Cultural Studies and the Working Class by Sally R. Munt

By Sally R. Munt

This paintings demanding situations the sphere of British cultural stories to come to the query of social classification as a chief concentration of analysis. The chapters learn modern working-class existence and its depiction within the media via a few case stories on themes akin to renowned cinema, soccer, romance magazines and membership tradition. The essays pose methodologies for realizing working-class responses to dominant tradition, and discover the contradictions and barriers of the conventional Marxist version. The book's members finish that it's time for cultural theorists to revisit problems with working-class cultural formations and to resume the unique radical intentions of the self-discipline via reintegrating type research into social templates of race, sexuality and gender.

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Leavis' Fiction and the Reading Public. She talked brilliantly about popular fiction, but it was always distant from her as if she had a peg on her nose ... Then I started writing ... ' (p. 14) This is the same debate Raymond Williams recalled from that Cambridge lecture, although here Queenie Leavis replaces her husband Frank. ) It is a debate about distance, about whether first-hand experience of a lived culture is a valid tool in cultural analysis. Cultural Studies is a discipline fundamentally predicated on yanking that peg off Queenie's nose, demanding that the experiential is respected - except, of course, that one view of the 'move to theory' would be that its downplaying of experience put the peg right back, albeit a peg newly carved from French wood.

7 Lisa Lewis maintains that 'we are all fans of something. We respect, admire, and desire. We distinguish and form commitments' (1992, p. 1) What is interesting about the ways in which academics tend to discuss their relationships to favoured texts is that the desire is written out of the equation in favour of respect and admiration, feelings which are much more acceptable in the academy. My fan impulse towards these texts manifested some interesting points of tension. 8 Much of this work is insightful, located in the historical, material and cultural relations of escape, but it does not address the perceptions of success and achievement placed on the educated working-class academic.

But where does that leave me, both an avid consumer of middle-class lifestyle magazines and a devotee of brashly downmarket television? I suppose I live, if anywhere, in a space between, but I don't want to make that sound like the latest tiresomely fashionable trope of postmodern indeterminacy. Those triumphalist celebrations of fluidity always overlook the fact that being unfixed, mobile, in-between, can distress as much as it liberates. So my sense of class identity is uncertain, torn and oscillating - caught on a cultural cusp.

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