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Cultural Studies: Representation and Identity

What is Cultural Studies?
    Main Concerns and History  
Basic introd. Further Discussion 

I. Main Concerns:
1. Culture -- 2. Text -- Hegemony and the consumer
Hegemony theory in cultural studies operates not always quite as formated by Gramsci.  The concept has been expanded and elaborated to take into account other areas of struggle.  Whereas for Gramsci the concept is used to explain and explore relations of power articulated in terms of class, recent formulations in cultural studies have extended the concept to include, for example, gender, race, meaning and pleasure.  (1: 10)  history 
Neo-Gramscian hegemony theory at its best insists that there is a dialectic between the processes of production and the activities of consumption.  The consumer always confronts a text or practice in its material existence as a result of determinate conditions of production.  But in the same way, the text or practice is confronted by a consumer who in effect produce in use the range of possible meaning(s)--these cannot just be read off from the materiality of the text or practice, or the means or relations of its production.  (1: 9)

In every decade in the history of cultural studies, the point has been made and repeated.  It is the 'Gramscian insistence' (before, with and after Gramsci), learnt from Marx, that we make culture and we are made by culture; that is agency and there is structure.

Articulation: to express and to join together
[Hall] argues that cultural texts are not inscribed with meaning guaranteed once and for all by the intentions of production; meaning is always the result of an act of 'articulation' meaning meaning has to be expressed, but it is always expressed in a specific context, a specific historical moment, within a specific discourse(s).  Thus expression is always connected (articulated) to and conditioned by context.  (1:4)

II. History
  英國文化研究興起的社會因素:(學院內建制:1964  Center for Contemporary Cultural Studies)   新左派(New Left) 文化研究的理論發展:(2: 11)
社會主義者的人道主義(socialist humanism)
Hoggart, Williams, Thompson; 新左派 創造力行動主體
60's --
70's 初 --structuralistma
Althusser 的反人道主義 反對將主體及其生活經驗視為歷史的來源
Gramsci vs.
-- Derrida +論述理論 
-- Althusser + Lacan
80's 中期  -- postmodern debate

Guiding principles of hegemony

Cultural Studies and Marxism

  1. Storey, John.  "Cultural Studies: an introduction."  What is Cultural Studies: A Reader.  Ed. John Storey.   London: Arnold, 1996.
  2. 陳光興.  〈英國文化研究的系譜學〉.  《內爆麥當奴》.  陳光興、楊明敏編.  台北:島嶼邊緣雜誌社, 1992:7-15。