"British Cultural Studies" is a comprehensive introduction to the British tradition of cultural studies. Graeme Turner offers an accessible overview to the central themes that have informed British cultural studies; language, semiotics, Marxism and ideology, individualism and subjectivity and discourse. Presenting a history of British cultural studies and focusing on the work of such pioneers as Raymond Williams, Richard Hoggart, E.P. Thompson, Stuart Hall and the Birmingham Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies, the second edition is fully revised to include new issues in cultural studies and to update key debates and references. New sections include: The influence of postmodernism, The politics of pleasure identified with the 'New Revisionism', Foucault and discourse, The politics of cultural studies, Gender and Race in the history of British Cultural Studies. A fully updated and comprehensive bibliography.
The essays cover aspects of British politics, media, music, film and popular culture at the close of the XX century. They indicate that the Labour Party's concept of "New" Britain introduced for political marketing is justified by significant qualitative transformations of British culture. In their critical interpretations the authors apply key theories and methods of the field to empirical material and demonstrate the importance of an interdisciplinary approach to cultural analysis.
In 1783 England felt down and out, having just lost the bulk of its American colonies. By 1846 it was once more a great imperial nation, as well as the world's strongest power and dominant economy. It the meantime the country survived a decade of invasion fears, and emerged victorious from more than twenty years of 'war to death' against Napoleonic France, while the Romantic movement brought English writers and artists to the forefront of European attention for the first time. But if Britain's external fortunes were in the ascendant, the situation at home remained fraught with peril, with the most prolonged period of social unrest since the seventeenth century. Population was growing at a rate not experienced by any comparable former society, and manufacturing towns were mushrooming into filthy, disease-ridden, gin-sodden hell-holes, in turn provoking the phantasmagoria of a mad, bad and dangerous people. The governing class, in constant fear of a French-style revolution, was forced to engage with social problems to an unprecedented extent, one reason why, by the mid-nineteenth century, the seed of a settled two-party system and of a more socially interventionist state were both in evidence. At the same time the country experienced a great religious revival, very loosely described under the heading 'evangelicalism'. Slowly but surely, the raffish and rakish style of eighteenth-century society, having reached a peak in the Regency, was succumbing to the new norms of respectability popular known as 'Victorianism'.