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Introducing Cultural Studies by Ziauddin…

Introducing Cultural Studies (original 1994; edition 2004)

by Ziauddin Sardar and Borin van Loon

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This title is now available in a new format. Refer to Cultural Studies: A Graphic Guide 9781848311817.
Title:Introducing Cultural Studies
Authors:Ziauddin Sardar and Borin van Loon
Info:Royston: Icon Books, Ltd. (2004), 173 pgs., paperback
Collections:Your library
Tags:cultural studies, cultural bias, culture, feminism, globalization, homosexuality, colonialism, Marxism, queer theory, India, South Asia, South America, Africa, Australia

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Introducing Cultural Studies by Ziauddin Sardar (1994)



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This is an introduction to Cultural Studies, an "anti-discipline" that originated from the Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies at the University of Birmingham in 1964. This book introduces some of the theories of its founding fathers, who each had slightly conflicting ideas, but centred their study on power structures in society, and the working class. There was an explicit emphasis here that the purpose of cultural studies was to initiate social change. Most of the early figures in the field were on the "New Left", which formed in order to distance themselves from Marx, though many Marxist ideas have had a heavy influence on them. Since then, cultural studies has spread across the world, and taken on different priorities in different places, according to where the inequalities in power are perceived to be. For example in America and elsewhere there has been interest in Black culture, while colonialism and post-colonialism have been major themes in India. More recently, Feminism and Queer theory etc have jumped on the cultural studies band-wagon, and caused disagreements between those who emphasise race or class for example.
As an "anti-discipline", Cultural Studies has sought to distance itself from traditional academic disciplines, in that it does not have a defined methodology, rather it borrows bits from here and there, and more or less "anything goes". This isn't to say that there are no common methods to cultural studies, as there is an emphasis on "discourse", or "discursive analysis", the aim of which is to expose structures of knowledge or power within their social and historical context. How this is gone about is what is left to the individual.
Where cultural studies seems particularly relevant is looking at the effect of globalisation, as this is really accelerating with the rise of modern technology, and is having a huge influence on the homgenisation of culture, and the loss of traditional culture. But as there are so many areas with which cultural studies has been concerned, we only get a brief introduction to these here. While this book does give a fair hearing to each of the different areas, it does acknowledge that much of what is written in cultural studies is little more than people banging the drum for their own personal cause, with less academic rigour than political bias. A list of further reading at the back is supplied which provides recommendations on some of the best works that are worth reading though. Overall this was an interesting introduction to cultural studies, and helps make sense of a lot of the jargon and concepts that are commonly used by cultural studies people who write in the press. The illustrations here are weaker than some other books in this series. ( )
  P_S_Patrick | Apr 11, 2017 |
As a basic overview of cultural studies, this does its job. But as a comic book, I think it's an epic failure; the text is pretty standard issue criticism in terms of its tone and level of excitement (read: little to none) and rather than helping to simplify or clarify the concepts, the comic aspects make this more jumbled, confusing, and difficult to read. ( )
  PhoebeReading | Nov 24, 2010 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Ziauddin Sardarprimary authorall editionscalculated
Van Loon, BorinAuthormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Appignanesi, RichardEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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This title is now available in a new format. Refer to Cultural Studies: A Graphic Guide 9781848311817.

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