Mixing personal memoir with social history and cultural critique, “The Uses of Literacy “anticipates recent interest in modes of cultural analysis that refuse to hide. No doubt about it, the Daily Herald declared, in a lead review of his newly published The Uses of Literacy, Richard Hoggart was “an angry. It is widely recognized that, without Richard Hoggart, there would have been no Centre for cultural studies. It is not always so widely acknowledged that without.

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Ideas thee technological determinism are envisioned throughout the work of theorist Marshall McLuhan. Hoggart’s attack is not on popular culture; rather it is on mass culture which is imposed from above.

The Uses of Literacy – Wikipedia

It depends what you mean by Puritanism. The people he portrays are neither the sentimentalized victims of a culture of deference nor neo-fascist hooligans. Embedded throughout introductory texts to the field of media archaeology is the binary opposition of technological development versus social process.

In hindsight we now know gender roles are socially and culturally constructed, however since the s the feminist movement has made hoggarr strides. This thought was an important one for the Early New Left, caught up in the same quick processes of cultural shift that Hoggart described.

University of California Press. Written under a Creative Commons License, with edits: To reduce the argument to its most basic level, thraldom at the hands of the Means Test and the Public Assistance Committee was about to give way to thraldom at the hands of mass entertainment.


With regard to the social commentators of the following decade, Hoggart was not simply wringing his hands over the decay of a certain kind thf working-class life and its incremental replacement by the shiny barbarism of mass-produced goods, American gangster films and Tin Pan Alley.

This page was last edited on 18 Marchat Yielding Place to New. It blends scraps of literature, popular song, cheap journalism, personal observation and scenes from Hoggart’s own early provincial life into an almost psychological investigation.

For all his interest in communality, Tge is careful not to uess too many claims for working-class solidarity. These “alien” phenomena have colonized local communities and robbed them of their distinctive features. He was heavily influenced by Marshall McLuhan, and often gets citied as a technological determinist in that technology drives social history. Richard Hoggart and Cultural Studies.

It can carry motives as propaganda, intentionally setting out to satisfy or manipulate the masses Peters,p. The Uses of Literacy was an attempt to understand the changes in culture in Britain caused by “massification”.

On this note it is important to reiterate that media archaeology has to be read on a broad perspective and how work can be defined within this field without overtly expressing itself as media archaeology. Suez’s shock-waves were still resounding through the body politic; the “affluent society” had just been proven to exist; mass communications were revolutionising print and visual media; and here was a former scholarship boy, a classic deracinated intellectual in the Lawrence mould, examining, in warm and punctilious detail, some of the fatal consequences of affluence on the processes of ordinary life.


Reiterating the point we can only make judgements and perceptions from the frames society has in place. First published init mapped out a new methodology in cultural studies based around interdisciplinarity and a concern with how texts-in this case, mass publications-are stitched His argument, as he patiently explained, is not that there was in England one generation ago an urban culture still very much “of the people” and that now there is only a mass urban culture.

To a prevailing extent the two perspectives of this opposition can be applied to The Uses of Literacy.

He documents the break-up of the old, class culture, lamenting the loss of the close-knit communities and their replacement by the emerging manufactured mass culture. Literqcy here to sign up. On its release, The Uses of Literacy raised questions for the Early New Left about the character of a class liteacy, the very meaning of culture, and the interaction between culture and politics in cultural struggle and culture and class—questions which have not cannot?

Working-class hero

Two important partialities must be noted though. All this seems uncannily prophetic of developments in literacj 20th-century mass culture. Common terms and phrases admirable advertisements appear assumptions attitudes audience become British called centre cheerful club common contemporary cultural studies cynicism D.

Throughout the second part sex and violent novels, the popular press, magazines and pop music to name a hogvart are discussed. Our response, then, must be not only to examine the content of the publications that are read, but to accord central importance to the ownership of the media and the institutions for cultural dissemination and promotion. Gitelman, Lisa Always Already New: When Hoggart is descriptive of gender there are notions echoed throughout that it is constructed from nature.


Hoggart correctly identifies in the second part of The Uses of Literacy the shallowness and specious populism of popular publications, as well ot their banality and the meretriciousness of the industry that produces them—which he compares fairly straightforwardly to the in parts resilient working-class culture he has previously outlined.