Jim McGuigan's Cultural Populism PDF

By Jim McGuigan

E-book Date: December three, 1992 | ISBN-10: 0415062942 | ISBN-13: 978-0415062947
This e-book makes an attempt to supply an realizing of present concept and enquiry within the learn of pop culture and verbal exchange media. the preferred sentiments and impulses underlying neo-Gramscian cultural reviews and its postmodernist editions 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 complicated 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, renowned tv examine, and matters in general inquisitive about public communique (including advertisements, arts and broadcasting regulations, 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 serious research of pop culture in a speedily altering, clash ridden world.

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Although similar sentiments operate in the adjacent fields of media and communication studies, sociology and contemporary literary theory, it is in cultural studies where they have been most intensely felt and pronounced. However much we trace and map the movement of ideas in cultural studies, its institutionalisation in research centres, proliferating undergraduate and postgraduate degree courses, its presence in further and secondary education, the journals, associations and conferences where debates are conducted and fresh directions explored, the field of study is not intelligible without recognition of its populist impulses, and what I aim to show are some of their attendant dilemmas.

He always saw it as an unstable project, in spite of its evident success at the time. Hall’s defence can be substantiated further if one refers back to the remarkably prescient Policing the Crisis (1978), perhaps the most impressive achievement of the Birmingham Centre during its heyday. In the early 1970s, Hall and his co-researchers became interested in the moral panic around ‘mugging’ and its connotations of an alien, black threat to law and order on the city streets of Britain. This developed into a conjunctural analysis of the British crisis and the ‘exceptional state’ solution: We identify, here, four principal aspects: the political crisis; the economic crisis; the ‘theatre’ of ideological struggle; the direct interpellation of the race issue into the crisis of British civil and political life.

Hall replied by arguing that, first, Jessop et al. had treated his thesis at a level of generalised abstraction that he had never intended, hence enabling themselves to challenge the interpretation of ideology as a totalising analysis. 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.

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