Download Contemporary Cultural Theory: An Introduction by Andrew Milner PDF

By Andrew Milner

This and concise creation to cultural idea goals to deliver a feeling of old and theoretical scale to cultural reports in Britain. As a entire and obtainable consultant to the usually tough manoeuverings of social and cultural conception lately, it may function a consultant to scholars learning the numerous disciplines now expert through cultural thought. ''Contemporary Cultural Theory'' identifies six substitute paradigms in cultural stories - utilitarianism, culturalism, marxism, structuralism, feminism and postmodernism - and explores the socio-discursive contexts during which each one of those have constructed. Andrew Milner is the writer of ''John Milton and the English Revolution'', and co-editor of ''Postmodern Conditions'' and ''Discourse and Difference''. This e-book is meant for undergraduate classes in cultural stories, sociology, media and verbal exchange and literary feedback.

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38 But if criteria of literary value can be found to which students and teachers can, or at least should, subscribe, and which have greater validity than other criteria available to the untrained reader, then students can indeed be examined for their ability to “discriminate” and “criticize”. This, then, was Leavisism’s central achievement: to ground an examinable pedagogy on an aesthetic which sharply distinguished between literature, which is valuable, and fiction, which is not. It was Leavis’s own peculiar apocalyptic historicism, which had sought to characterize the previous three hundred years of English history in terms of the process of disintegration and decline consequent upon industrialization, that came to provide the profession of English with its very particular sense of moral purpose and intellectual mission.

12 This bourgeois public sphere was progressively undermined during the 19th century, Eagleton argues, firstly by the expansion of the literary market and the concomitant rise of an anonymous public, 24 THE RISE OF ENGLISH STUDIES and secondly, by the eruption into the public sphere of social interests opposed to its rational norms, in particular the working class, radicalism, feminism and religious dissent. Criticism was thus increasingly faced with the choice between, on the one hand, a general cultural humanism which necessarily became increasingly amateur as capitalist society developed, and, on the other, an expert professionalism which could only achieve intellectual legitimacy at the price of social relevance.

49 Less directly political in intent, Hoggart’s The Uses of Literacy nonetheless marks the point at which post-Leavisite culturalism 36 LEFT CULTURALISM decisively shifted emphasis away from “literature” and towards “culture”. Hoggart combined an ethnographic account of Yorkshire working-class culture with a Leavisite practical criticism of mass media texts. 50 Much like Leavis, Hoggart was in effect arguing a theory of cultural decline. But for Hoggart it was workingclass culture, rather than that of the “sensitive minority”, which needed to be valorized, if only so as, in turn, to be elegized.

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