Cultural Populism by Jim McGuigan

By Jim McGuigan

E-book Date: December three, 1992 | ISBN-10: 0415062942 | ISBN-13: 978-0415062947
This ebook makes an attempt to supply an figuring out of present concept and enquiry within the research of pop culture and verbal exchange media. the preferred sentiments and impulses underlying neo-Gramscian cultural stories and its postmodernist variations are explored and criticized sympathetically. An uncritical and solely consumptionist pattern of study is pointed out and proven to be an unsatisfactory technique of accounting for the advanced fabric stipulations and mediations that form traditional people's pleasures and possibilities for private and political expression. via attention of the paintings of Raymond Williams, Stuart corridor and "the Birmingham School", John Fiske, formative years subcultural research, well known tv research, and matters ordinarily interested in public conversation (including ads, arts and broadcasting guidelines, children's tv, tabloid journalism, feminism and pornography, the Rushdie affair, and the cave in of communism) the writer units out a particular case for convalescing severe research of pop culture in a speedily altering, clash ridden world.

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He claimed that his intention was much narrower and more specific. And, with Gramsci, he would never deny ‘the decisive nucleus of economic activity’ (1988a:156). Second, Hall contended, it was wrong to question the concept of authoritarian populism for referring to inconsistencies in the Thatcherite project. That was, in a sense, the whole point of it: Thatcherism had combined authoritarian and populist elements. Third, Hall repudiated any suggestion that his position conceded total hegemony to Thatcherism.

6 Alan O’Connor (1989) has written a book-length appreciation of Raymond Williams. Similarly to the book of essays edited by Terry Eagleton (1989), O’Connor concentrates mainly on the literarypolitical aspects of Williams’s work. The discussion here draws on my own article which deals more specifically and at greater length with Williams’s contribution to communication and cultural studies (McGuigan forthcoming). 7 Williams’s posthumously published The Politics of Modernism (1989b) is an incomplete collection of disparate pieces and, for this reason, cannot be considered his last major study of culture and politics, which, therefore, remains Towards 2000 from 1983.

The second essay presents a much messier picture, identifying other important strands of thought (for instance, interpretative sociology and Sartrean existentialism), false starts, dead ends, the difference between actually doing concrete research and theorising it, in a collective endeavour, sometimes harmoniously, sometimes antagonistically, built around workshops rather than academic individualism. Also, as well as registering the dizzying ‘impact of the structuralisms’, Hall registers the ‘impact of the feminisms’— that is, a political rather than principally intellectual movement, in the 1970s.

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