Cultural studies

Cultural studies

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Encyclopedia
Cultural studies is an academic field grounded in critical theory
Critical theory
Critical theory is an examination and critique of society and culture, drawing from knowledge across the social sciences and humanities. The term has two different meanings with different origins and histories: one originating in sociology and the other in literary criticism...

 and literary criticism
Literary criticism
Literary criticism is the study, evaluation, and interpretation of literature. Modern literary criticism is often informed by literary theory, which is the philosophical discussion of its methods and goals...

. It generally concerns the political nature of contemporary culture, as well as its historical foundations, conflicts, and defining traits. It is, to this extent, largely distinguished from cultural anthropology
Cultural anthropology
Cultural anthropology is a branch of anthropology focused on the study of cultural variation among humans, collecting data about the impact of global economic and political processes on local cultural realities. Anthropologists use a variety of methods, including participant observation,...

 and ethnic studies
Ethnic studies
Ethnic studies is the interdisciplinary study of racialized peoples in the world in relation to ethnicity. It evolved in the second half of the 20th century partly in response to charges that traditional disciplines such as anthropology, history, English, ethnology, Asian studies, and orientalism...

 in both objective and methodology. Researchers concentrate on how a particular medium or message
Message
A message in its most general meaning is an object of communication. It is a vessel which provides information. Yet, it can also be this information. Therefore, its meaning is dependent upon the context in which it is used; the term may apply to both the information and its form...

 relates to matters of ideology
Ideology
An ideology is a set of ideas that constitutes one's goals, expectations, and actions. An ideology can be thought of as a comprehensive vision, as a way of looking at things , as in common sense and several philosophical tendencies , or a set of ideas proposed by the dominant class of a society to...

, social class
Social class
Social classes are economic or cultural arrangements of groups in society. Class is an essential object of analysis for sociologists, political scientists, economists, anthropologists and social historians. In the social sciences, social class is often discussed in terms of 'social stratification'...

, nationality
Nationality
Nationality is membership of a nation or sovereign state, usually determined by their citizenship, but sometimes by ethnicity or place of residence, or based on their sense of national identity....

, ethnicity, sexuality
Sexual orientation
Sexual orientation describes a pattern of emotional, romantic, or sexual attractions to the opposite sex, the same sex, both, or neither, and the genders that accompany them. By the convention of organized researchers, these attractions are subsumed under heterosexuality, homosexuality,...

, and/or gender
Gender
Gender is a range of characteristics used to distinguish between males and females, particularly in the cases of men and women and the masculine and feminine attributes assigned to them. Depending on the context, the discriminating characteristics vary from sex to social role to gender identity...

.

Cultural studies approaches subjects holistically, combining feminist theory
Feminist theory
Feminist theory is the extension of feminism into theoretical, or philosophical discourse, it aims to understand the nature of gender inequality...

, social theory
Social theory
Social theories are theoretical frameworks which are used to study and interpret social phenomena within a particular school of thought. An essential tool used by social scientists, theories relate to historical debates over the most valid and reliable methodologies , as well as the primacy of...

, political theory, history
History
History is the discovery, collection, organization, and presentation of information about past events. History can also mean the period of time after writing was invented. Scholars who write about history are called historians...

, philosophy
Philosophy
Philosophy is the study of general and fundamental problems, such as those connected with existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language. Philosophy is distinguished from other ways of addressing such problems by its critical, generally systematic approach and its reliance on rational...

, literary theory
Literary theory
Literary theory in a strict sense is the systematic study of the nature of literature and of the methods for analyzing literature. However, literary scholarship since the 19th century often includes—in addition to, or even instead of literary theory in the strict sense—considerations of...

, media theory
Media influence
Media influence or media effects are used in media studies, psychology, communication theory and sociology to refer to the theories about the ways in which mass media affect how their audiences think and behave....

, film/video studies
Film studies
Film studies is an academic discipline that deals with various theoretical, historical, and critical approaches to films. It is sometimes subsumed within media studies and is often compared to television studies...

, communication studies
Communication studies
Communication Studies is an academic field that deals with processes of communication, commonly defined as the sharing of symbols over distances in space and time. Hence, communication studies encompasses a wide range of topics and contexts ranging from face-to-face conversation to speeches to mass...

, political economy
Political economy
Political economy originally was the term for studying production, buying, and selling, and their relations with law, custom, and government, as well as with the distribution of national income and wealth, including through the budget process. Political economy originated in moral philosophy...

, translation studies
Translation studies
Translation studies is an interdiscipline containing elements of social science and the humanities, dealing with the systematic study of the theory, the description and the application of translation, interpreting or both these activities....

, museum studies and art history/criticism
Art history
Art history has historically been understood as the academic study of objects of art in their historical development and stylistic contexts, i.e. genre, design, format, and style...

 to study cultural phenomena in various societies. Thus, cultural studies seeks to understand the ways in which meaning is generated, disseminated, and produced through various practices, beliefs, institutions, and political, economic, or social structures within a given culture.

History


The term was coined by Richard Hoggart
Richard Hoggart
Herbert Richard Hoggart is a British academic and public figure, whose career has covered the fields of sociology, English literature and cultural studies, with a special concern for British popular culture.-Career:...

 in 1964 when he founded the Birmingham Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies
Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies
The Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies was a research centre at the University of Birmingham, England. It was founded in 1964 by Richard Hoggart, its first director...

 or CCCS. It has since become strongly associated with Stuart Hall
Stuart Hall (cultural theorist)
Stuart Hall is a cultural theorist and sociologist who has lived and worked in the United Kingdom since 1951. Hall, along with Richard Hoggart and Raymond Williams, was one of the founding figures of the school of thought that is now known as British Cultural Studies or The Birmingham School of...

, who succeeded Hoggart as Director.

From the 1970s onward, Stuart Hall's pioneering work, along with his colleagues Paul Willis
Paul Willis (cultural theorist)
Paul Willis is a leading British cultural theorist.He was born in Wolverhampton and received his education at the University of Cambridge and at the University of Birmingham. He worked at Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies and subsequently at the University of Wolverhampton. He was a...

, Dick Hebdige
Dick Hebdige
Richard "Dick" Hebdige is an expatriate British media theorist and sociologist most commonly associated with the study of subcultures, and its resistance against the mainstream of society.-Life and career:...

, Tony Jefferson, and Angela McRobbie
Angela McRobbie
Angela McRobbie is a British cultural theorist, feminist and commentator. She combines the study of different dimensions of youth culture with a commentary on development in cultural theory and politics.-Biography:...

, created an international intellectual movement. Many cultural studies scholars employed Marxist methods of analysis, exploring the relationships between cultural forms (the superstructure) and that of the political economy (the base). By the 1970s, however, the politically formidable British working classes were in decline. Britain's manufacturing industries were fading and union rolls were shrinking. Yet, millions of working class Britons backed the rise of Margaret Thatcher
Margaret Thatcher
Margaret Hilda Thatcher, Baroness Thatcher, was Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1979 to 1990...

. For Stuart Hall and other Marxist theorists, this shift in loyalty from the Labour Party
Labour Party (UK)
The Labour Party is a centre-left democratic socialist party in the United Kingdom. It surpassed the Liberal Party in general elections during the early 1920s, forming minority governments under Ramsay MacDonald in 1924 and 1929-1931. The party was in a wartime coalition from 1940 to 1945, after...

 to the Conservative Party
Conservative Party (UK)
The Conservative Party, formally the Conservative and Unionist Party, is a centre-right political party in the United Kingdom that adheres to the philosophies of conservatism and British unionism. It is the largest political party in the UK, and is currently the largest single party in the House...

 was antithetical to the interests of the working class and had to be explained in terms of cultural politics.

In order to understand the changing political circumstances of class, politics, and culture in the United Kingdom, scholars at the CCCS turned to the work of Antonio Gramsci
Antonio Gramsci
Antonio Gramsci was an Italian writer, politician, political philosopher, and linguist. He was a founding member and onetime leader of the Communist Party of Italy and was imprisoned by Benito Mussolini's Fascist regime...

, an Italian thinker of the 1920s and 30s. Gramsci had been concerned with similar issues: why would Italian laborers and peasants vote for fascists? Why, in other words, would working people vote to give more control to corporations, and see their own rights and freedoms abrogated? Gramsci modified classical Marxism
Classical Marxism
Classical Marxism refers to the social theory expounded by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, as contrasted with later developments in Marxism.-Karl Marx:...

 in seeing culture as a key instrument of political and social control. In this view, capitalists use not only brute force (police, prisons, repression, military) to maintain control, but also penetrate the everyday culture of working people. Thus, the key rubric for Gramsci and for cultural studies is that of cultural hegemony
Cultural hegemony
Cultural hegemony is the philosophic and sociological theory, by the Marxist philosopher Antonio Gramsci, that a culturally diverse society can be dominated by one social class, by manipulating the societal culture so that its ruling-class worldview is imposed as the societal norm, which then is...

.

Scott Lash
Scott Lash
Scott Lash is a professor of sociology and cultural studies at Goldsmiths College, University of London.He took a BSc as in Psychology from the University of Michigan, an MA in Sociology from Northwestern University, and a PhD from the London School of Economics . Lash began his teaching career as...

 writes,
Write Edgar and Sedgwick:

The theory of hegemony
Hegemony
Hegemony is an indirect form of imperial dominance in which the hegemon rules sub-ordinate states by the implied means of power rather than direct military force. In Ancient Greece , hegemony denoted the politico–military dominance of a city-state over other city-states...

 was of central importance to the development of British cultural studies [particularly the CCCS]. It facilitated analysis of the ways in which subordinate groups actively resist and respond to political and economic domination. The subordinate groups need not be seen merely as the passive dupes of the dominant class and its ideology.


This line of thinking opened up fruitful work exploring agency
Structure and agency
The question over the primacy of either structure or agency in human behavior is a central debate in the social sciences. In this context, "agency" refers to the capacity of individuals to act independently and to make their own free choices. "Structure", by contrast, refers to the recurrent...

, a theoretical outlook which reinserted the active, critical capacities of all people. Notions of agency have supplanted much scholarly emphasis on groups of people (e.g. the working class, primitives, colonized peoples, women) whose political consciousness
Political consciousness
Following the work of Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, Karl Marx outlined the workings of a political consciousness.-The politics of consciousness:...

 and scope of action was generally limited to their position within certain economic and political structures. In other words, many economists, sociologists, political scientists, and historians have traditionally deprived everyday people of a role in shaping their world or outlook, although anthropologists since the 1960s have foregrounded the power of agents to contest structure, first in the work of transactionalists like Fredrik Barth
Fredrik Barth
Thomas Fredrik Weybye Barth is a Norwegian social anthropologist who has published several ethnographic books with a clear formalistic view...

, and then in works inspired by resistance theory and post-colonial theory.

At times, cultural studies' romance with agency nearly excluded the possibility of oppression, overlooks the fact that the subaltern have their own politics, and romanticizes agency, overblowing its potentiality and pervasiveness. In work of this kind, popular in the 1990s, many cultural studies scholars discovered in consumers ways of creatively using and subverting commodities and dominant ideologies. This orientation has come under fire for a variety of reasons.

Cultural studies concerns itself with the meaning
Value (personal and cultural)
A personal or cultural value is an absolute or relative ethical value, the assumption of which can be the basis for ethical action. A value system is a set of consistent values and measures. A principle value is a foundation upon which other values and measures of integrity are based...

 and practices of everyday life. Cultural practices comprise the ways people do particular things (such as watching television, or eating out) in a given culture. In any given practice, people use various objects (such as iPods or crucifixes). Hence, this field studies the meanings and uses people attribute to various objects and practices. Recently, as capitalism
Capitalism
Capitalism is an economic system that became dominant in the Western world following the demise of feudalism. There is no consensus on the precise definition nor on how the term should be used as a historical category...

 has spread throughout the world (a process associated with globalization
Globalization
Globalization refers to the increasingly global relationships of culture, people and economic activity. Most often, it refers to economics: the global distribution of the production of goods and services, through reduction of barriers to international trade such as tariffs, export fees, and import...

), cultural studies has begun to analyse local and global forms of resistance to Western hegemony.

Overview


In his book Introducing Cultural Studies, Ziauddin Sardar
Ziauddin Sardar
Ziauddin Sardar is a London-based scholar, writer and cultural-critic who specialises in Muslim thought, the future of Islam, futures studies and science and cultural relations...

 lists the following five main characteristics of cultural studies:
  • Cultural studies aims to examine its subject matter in terms of cultural practices and their relation to power
    Power (sociology)
    Power is a measurement of an entity's ability to control its environment, including the behavior of other entities. The term authority is often used for power perceived as legitimate by the social structure. Power can be seen as evil or unjust, but the exercise of power is accepted as endemic to...

    . For example, a study of a subculture
    Subculture
    In sociology, anthropology and cultural studies, a subculture is a group of people with a culture which differentiates them from the larger culture to which they belong.- Definition :...

     (such as white working class youth in London) would consider the social practices of the youth as they relate to the dominant classes.
  • It has the objective of understanding culture in all its complex forms and of analyzing the social and political context in which culture manifests itself.
  • It is both the object of study and the location of political criticism and action. For example, not only would a cultural studies scholar study an object, but she/he would connect this study to a larger, progressive political project.
  • It attempts to expose and reconcile the division of knowledge
    Knowledge
    Knowledge is a familiarity with someone or something unknown, which can include information, facts, descriptions, or skills acquired through experience or education. It can refer to the theoretical or practical understanding of a subject...

    , to overcome the split between tacit cultural knowledge and objective (universal) forms of knowledge.
  • It has a commitment to an ethical evaluation of modern society
    Society
    A society, or a human society, is a group of people related to each other through persistent relations, or a large social grouping sharing the same geographical or virtual territory, subject to the same political authority and dominant cultural expectations...

     and to a radical
    Radicalization
    Radicalization is the process in which an individual changes from passiveness or activism to become more revolutionary, militant or extremist. Radicalization is often associated with youth, adversity, alienation, social exclusion, poverty, or the perception of injustice to self or others.-...

     line of political action.

Approaches


Scholars in the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 and the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 developed somewhat different versions of cultural studies after the field's inception in the late 1970s. The British version of cultural studies was developed in the 1950s and 1960s mainly under the influence first of Richard Hoggart, E. P. Thompson
E. P. Thompson
Edward Palmer Thompson was a British historian, writer, socialist and peace campaigner. He is probably best known today for his historical work on the British radical movements in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, in particular The Making of the English Working Class...

, and Raymond Williams
Raymond Williams
Raymond Henry Williams was a Welsh academic, novelist and critic. He was an influential figure within the New Left and in wider culture. His writings on politics, culture, the mass media and literature are a significant contribution to the Marxist critique of culture and the arts...

, and later Stuart Hall
Stuart Hall (cultural theorist)
Stuart Hall is a cultural theorist and sociologist who has lived and worked in the United Kingdom since 1951. Hall, along with Richard Hoggart and Raymond Williams, was one of the founding figures of the school of thought that is now known as British Cultural Studies or The Birmingham School of...

 and others at the Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies
Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies
The Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies was a research centre at the University of Birmingham, England. It was founded in 1964 by Richard Hoggart, its first director...

 at the University of Birmingham. This included overtly political, left-wing
Left-wing politics
In politics, Left, left-wing and leftist generally refer to support for social change to create a more egalitarian society...

 views, and criticisms of popular culture
Popular culture
Popular culture is the totality of ideas, perspectives, attitudes, memes, images and other phenomena that are deemed preferred per an informal consensus within the mainstream of a given culture, especially Western culture of the early to mid 20th century and the emerging global mainstream of the...

 as 'capitalist' mass culture; it absorbed some of the ideas of the Frankfurt School
Frankfurt School
The Frankfurt School refers to a school of neo-Marxist interdisciplinary social theory, particularly associated with the Institute for Social Research at the University of Frankfurt am Main...

 critique of the "culture industry
Culture industry
Culture industry is a term coined by critical theorists Theodor Adorno and Max Horkheimer , who argued in the chapter of their book Dialectic of Enlightenment, 'The Culture Industry: Enlightenment as Mass Deception' ; that popular culture is akin to a factory producing standardized cultural goods...

" (i.e. mass culture). This emerges in the writings of early British cultural-studies scholars and their influences: see the work of (for example) Raymond Williams
Raymond Williams
Raymond Henry Williams was a Welsh academic, novelist and critic. He was an influential figure within the New Left and in wider culture. His writings on politics, culture, the mass media and literature are a significant contribution to the Marxist critique of culture and the arts...

, Stuart Hall
Stuart Hall (cultural theorist)
Stuart Hall is a cultural theorist and sociologist who has lived and worked in the United Kingdom since 1951. Hall, along with Richard Hoggart and Raymond Williams, was one of the founding figures of the school of thought that is now known as British Cultural Studies or The Birmingham School of...

, Paul Willis
Paul Willis (cultural theorist)
Paul Willis is a leading British cultural theorist.He was born in Wolverhampton and received his education at the University of Cambridge and at the University of Birmingham. He worked at Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies and subsequently at the University of Wolverhampton. He was a...

, and Paul Gilroy
Paul Gilroy
-Biography:Born in the East End of London to Guyanese and English parents , he was educated at University College School and obtained his bachelor's degree at Sussex University in 1978. He moved from there to Birmingham University where he completed his Ph.D...

.

In contrast, "cultural studies was grounded in a pragmatic, liberal-pluralist tradition" in the United States (Lindlof & Taylor, 2002,p. 60).The American version of cultural studies initially concerned itself more with understanding the subjective and appropriative side of audience reactions to, and uses of, mass culture; for example, American cultural-studies advocates wrote about the liberatory aspects of fandom
Fandom
Fandom is a term used to refer to a subculture composed of fans characterized by a feeling of sympathy and camaraderie with others who share a common interest...

. The distinction between American and British strands, however, has faded.

In Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

, cultural studies has sometimes focused on issues of technology and society
Technology and society
Technology and society or technology and culture refers to cyclical co-dependence, co-influence, co-production of technology and society upon the other . This synergistic relationship occurred from the dawn of humankind, with the invention of simple tools and continues into modern technologies such...

, continuing the emphasis in the work of Marshall McLuhan
Marshall McLuhan
Herbert Marshall McLuhan, CC was a Canadian educator, philosopher, and scholar—a professor of English literature, a literary critic, a rhetorician, and a communication theorist...

 and others. In Australia
Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

, there has sometimes been a special emphasis on cultural policy
Cultural policy
Cultural Policy is the area of public policy-making that governs activities related to the arts and culture. Generally, this involves fostering processes, legal classifications and institutions which promote cultural diversity and accessibility, as well as enhancing and promulgating the artistic,...

. In South Africa, human rights
Human rights
Human rights are "commonly understood as inalienable fundamental rights to which a person is inherently entitled simply because she or he is a human being." Human rights are thus conceived as universal and egalitarian . These rights may exist as natural rights or as legal rights, in both national...

 and Third World
Third World
The term Third World arose during the Cold War to define countries that remained non-aligned with either capitalism and NATO , or communism and the Soviet Union...

 issues are among the topics treated. There were a number of exchanges between Birmingham and Italy
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

, resulting in work on Italian leftism, and theories of postmodernism
Postmodernism
Postmodernism is a philosophical movement evolved in reaction to modernism, the tendency in contemporary culture to accept only objective truth and to be inherently suspicious towards a global cultural narrative or meta-narrative. Postmodernist thought is an intentional departure from the...

. On the other hand, there is a debate in Latin America
Latin America
Latin America is a region of the Americas where Romance languages  – particularly Spanish and Portuguese, and variably French – are primarily spoken. Latin America has an area of approximately 21,069,500 km² , almost 3.9% of the Earth's surface or 14.1% of its land surface area...

 about the relevance of cultural studies, with some researchers calling for more action-oriented research. Cultural Studies is relatively undeveloped in France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

, where there is a stronger tradition of semiotics
Semiotics
Semiotics, also called semiotic studies or semiology, is the study of signs and sign processes , indication, designation, likeness, analogy, metaphor, symbolism, signification, and communication...

, as in the writings of Roland Barthes
Roland Barthes
Roland Gérard Barthes was a French literary theorist, philosopher, critic, and semiotician. Barthes' ideas explored a diverse range of fields and he influenced the development of schools of theory including structuralism, semiotics, existentialism, social theory, Marxism, anthropology and...

. Also in Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

 it is undeveloped, probably due to the continued influence of the Frankfurt School
Frankfurt School
The Frankfurt School refers to a school of neo-Marxist interdisciplinary social theory, particularly associated with the Institute for Social Research at the University of Frankfurt am Main...

, which has developed a body of writing on such topics as mass culture, modern art and music.

Some researchers, especially in early British cultural studies, apply a Marxist model to the field. This strain of thinking has some influence from the Frankfurt School
Frankfurt School
The Frankfurt School refers to a school of neo-Marxist interdisciplinary social theory, particularly associated with the Institute for Social Research at the University of Frankfurt am Main...

, but especially from the structuralist
Structuralism
Structuralism originated in the structural linguistics of Ferdinand de Saussure and the subsequent Prague and Moscow schools of linguistics. Just as structural linguistics was facing serious challenges from the likes of Noam Chomsky and thus fading in importance in linguistics, structuralism...

 Marxism of Louis Althusser
Louis Althusser
Louis Pierre Althusser was a French Marxist philosopher. He was born in Algeria and studied at the École Normale Supérieure in Paris, where he eventually became Professor of Philosophy....

 and others. The main focus of an orthodox Marxist approach concentrates on the production of meaning
Value (personal and cultural)
A personal or cultural value is an absolute or relative ethical value, the assumption of which can be the basis for ethical action. A value system is a set of consistent values and measures. A principle value is a foundation upon which other values and measures of integrity are based...

. This model assumes a mass production of culture and identifies power as residing with those producing cultural artifact
Cultural artifact
A cultural artifact is a term used in the social sciences, particularly anthropology, ethnology, and sociology for anything created by humans which gives information about the culture of its creator and users...

s. In a Marxist view, those who control the means of production
Means of production
Means of production refers to physical, non-human inputs used in production—the factories, machines, and tools used to produce wealth — along with both infrastructural capital and natural capital. This includes the classical factors of production minus financial capital and minus human capital...

 (the economic base) essentially control a culture.

Other approaches to cultural studies, such as feminist cultural studies and later American developments of the field, distance themselves from this view. They criticize the Marxist assumption of a single, dominant meaning, shared by all, for any cultural product. The non-Marxist approaches suggest that different ways of consuming cultural artifacts affect the meaning of the product. This view is best exemplified by the book Doing Cultural Studies: The Case of the Sony Walkman (by Paul du Gay et al.), which seeks to challenge the notion that those who produce commodities control the meanings that people attribute to them. Feminist cultural analyst, theorist and art historian Griselda Pollock
Griselda Pollock
Griselda Pollock is a prominent art historian and cultural analyst, and a world-renowned scholar of international, post-colonial feminist studies in the visual arts. She is best known for her theoretical and methodological innovation, combined with deeply engaged readings of historical and...

 contributed to cultural studies from viewpoints of art history
Art history
Art history has historically been understood as the academic study of objects of art in their historical development and stylistic contexts, i.e. genre, design, format, and style...

 and psychoanalysis
Psychoanalysis
Psychoanalysis is a psychological theory developed in the late 19th and early 20th centuries by Austrian neurologist Sigmund Freud. Psychoanalysis has expanded, been criticized and developed in different directions, mostly by some of Freud's former students, such as Alfred Adler and Carl Gustav...

. The writer Julia Kristeva
Julia Kristeva
Julia Kristeva is a Bulgarian-French philosopher, literary critic, psychoanalyst, sociologist, feminist, and, most recently, novelist, who has lived in France since the mid-1960s. She is now a Professor at the University Paris Diderot...

 was an influential voice in the turn of the century, contributing to cultural studies from the field of art and psychoanalytical French feminism.

Ultimately, this perspective criticizes the traditional view assuming a passive consumer, particularly by underlining the different ways people read, receive, and interpret cultural texts. On this view, a consumer can appropriate, actively reject, or challenge the meaning of a product. These different approaches have shifted the focus away from the production of items. Instead, they argue that consumption plays an equally important role, since the way consumers consume a product gives meaning to an item. Some closely link the act of consuming with cultural identity
Cultural identity
Cultural identity is the identity of a group or culture, or of an individual as far as one is influenced by one's belonging to a group or culture. Cultural identity is similar to and has overlaps with, but is not synonymous with, identity politics....

. Stuart Hall and John Fiske
John Fiske (media studies)
John Fiske is a media scholar who has taught around the world, most notably as Professor of Communication Arts at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. His areas of interest include popular culture, mass culture, and television studies...

 have become influential in these developments.

In the context of cultural studies, the idea of a text not only includes written language, but also film
Film
A film, also called a movie or motion picture, is a series of still or moving images. It is produced by recording photographic images with cameras, or by creating images using animation techniques or visual effects...

s, photograph
Photography
Photography is the art, science and practice of creating durable images by recording light or other electromagnetic radiation, either electronically by means of an image sensor or chemically by means of a light-sensitive material such as photographic film...

s, fashion
Fashion
Fashion, a general term for a currently popular style or practice, especially in clothing, foot wear, or accessories. Fashion references to anything that is the current trend in look and dress up of a person...

 or hairstyle
Hairstyle
A hairstyle, hairdo, or haircut refers to the styling of hair, usually on the human head. The fashioning of hair can be considered an aspect of personal grooming, fashion, and cosmetics, although practical, cultural, and popular considerations also influence some hairstyles.-History of...

s: the texts of cultural studies comprise all the meaningful artifacts of culture. Similarly, the discipline widens the concept of "culture". "Culture" for a cultural studies researcher not only includes traditional high culture
High culture
High culture is a term, now used in a number of different ways in academic discourse, whose most common meaning is the set of cultural products, mainly in the arts, held in the highest esteem by a culture...

 (the culture of ruling
Ruling class
The term ruling class refers to the social class of a given society that decides upon and sets that society's political policy - assuming there is one such particular class in the given society....

 social groups) and popular culture
Popular culture
Popular culture is the totality of ideas, perspectives, attitudes, memes, images and other phenomena that are deemed preferred per an informal consensus within the mainstream of a given culture, especially Western culture of the early to mid 20th century and the emerging global mainstream of the...

, but also everyday meanings and practices. The last two, in fact, have become the main focus of cultural studies. A further and recent approach is comparative cultural studies
Comparative cultural studies
Comparative cultural studies is a contextual approach to the study of culture in a global and intercultural context. The focus of the studies is placed on the theory, method, and application of the study process rather than on the "what" of the object of study.In comparative cultural studies,...

, based on the discipline of comparative literature
Comparative literature
Comparative literature is an academic field dealing with the literature of two or more different linguistic, cultural or national groups...

 and cultural studies.

Contemporary cultural studies


Sociologist Scott Lash
Scott Lash
Scott Lash is a professor of sociology and cultural studies at Goldsmiths College, University of London.He took a BSc as in Psychology from the University of Michigan, an MA in Sociology from Northwestern University, and a PhD from the London School of Economics . Lash began his teaching career as...

 has recently put forth the idea that cultural studies is entering a new phase. Arguing that the political and economic milieu has fundamentally altered from that of the 1970s, he writes, "I want to suggest that power now... is largely post-hegemonic... Hegemony was the concept that de facto crystallized cultural studies as a discipline. Hegemony means domination through consent as much as coercion. It has meant domination through ideology or discourse..." He writes that the flow of power is becoming more internalized, that there has been "a shift in power from the hegemonic mode of 'power over' to an intensive notion of power from within (including domination from within) and power as a generative force." Resistance to power, in other words, becomes complicated when power and domination are increasingly (re)produced within oneself, within subaltern groups, within exploited people.

On the same subject, American feminist theorist and author of Gender Trouble
Gender Trouble
Gender Trouble by Judith Butler is a highly influential book in academic feminism and queer theory. It is also the book credited with creating the seminal notion of gender performativity. It is considered to be one of the canonical texts of queer theory and postmodern/poststructural feminism.-...

Judith Butler
Judith Butler
Judith Butler is an American post-structuralist philosopher, who has contributed to the fields of feminism, queer theory, political philosophy, and ethics. She is a professor in the Rhetoric and Comparative Literature departments at the University of California, Berkeley.Butler received her Ph.D...

 wrote in the scholarly journal Diacritics
Diacritics
diacritics is a quarterly academic journal established in 1971 at Cornell University and published by the Johns Hopkins University Press. Articles serve to review recent literature in the field of literary criticism, and have covered topics in gender studies, political theory, psychoanalysis, queer...

 an essay entitled "Further Reflections on the Conversions of Our Time", in which she described the shift in these terms:

"The move from a structuralist
Structuralism
Structuralism originated in the structural linguistics of Ferdinand de Saussure and the subsequent Prague and Moscow schools of linguistics. Just as structural linguistics was facing serious challenges from the likes of Noam Chomsky and thus fading in importance in linguistics, structuralism...

 account in which capital is understood to structure social relations in relatively homologous ways to a view of hegemony in which power relations are subject to repetition, convergence, and rearticulation brought the question of temporality into the thinking of structure, and marked a shift from a form of Althusserian theory that takes structural totalities as theoretical objects to one in which the insights into the contingent possibility of structure inaugurate a renewed conception of hegemony as bound up with the contingent sites and strategies of the rearticulation of power."

In response, however, Richard Johnson argues that Lash appears to have misunderstood the most basic concept of the discipline. 'Hegemony
Hegemony
Hegemony is an indirect form of imperial dominance in which the hegemon rules sub-ordinate states by the implied means of power rather than direct military force. In Ancient Greece , hegemony denoted the politico–military dominance of a city-state over other city-states...

', even in the writings of Antonio Gramsci
Antonio Gramsci
Antonio Gramsci was an Italian writer, politician, political philosopher, and linguist. He was a founding member and onetime leader of the Communist Party of Italy and was imprisoned by Benito Mussolini's Fascist regime...

, is not understood as a mode of domination at all, but as a form of political leadership which involves a complex set of relationships between various groups and individuals and which always proceeds from the immanence of power to all social relations. This complex understanding has been taken much further in the work of Stuart Hall and that of political theorist Ernesto Laclau
Ernesto Laclau
Ernesto Laclau is an Argentine political theorist often described as post-Marxist.He studied History in Buenos Aires, graduating from the Universidad Nacional de Buenos Aires in 1964, and received a PhD from Essex University in 1977.Since the 1970s he has been Professor of Political Theory at the...

, who has had some influence on Cultural Studies. It is therefore unclear as to why Lash claims that Cultural Studies has understood hegemony as a form of domination, or where the originality of his theory of power is actually thought to lie.

Institutionally, the discipline has undergone major shifts. The Department of Cultural Studies at the University of Birmingham, which was descended from the Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies
Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies
The Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies was a research centre at the University of Birmingham, England. It was founded in 1964 by Richard Hoggart, its first director...

, closed in 2002, although by this time the intellectual centre of gravity of the discipline had long since shifted to other universities throughout the world. Strong cultural studies programs can be found in the United Kingdom, North and South America, Europe, Australia, and Asia, and there are a host of journals and conferences where cultural studies research is published and presented.

Critical views


Cultural studies is not a unified theory but a diverse field of study encompassing many different approaches, methods, and academic perspectives; as in any academic discipline, cultural studies academics frequently debate among themselves. However, some academics from other fields have criticised the discipline as a whole. It has been popular to dismiss cultural studies as an academic fad. Yale literature professor Harold Bloom
Harold Bloom
Harold Bloom is an American writer and literary critic, and is Sterling Professor of Humanities at Yale University. He is known for his defense of 19th-century Romantic poets, his unique and controversial theories of poetic influence, and his prodigious literary output, particularly for a literary...

 has been an outspoken critic of the cultural studies model of literary studies. Critics such as Bloom see cultural studies as it applies to literary scholarship as a vehicle of careerism by academics, instead promoting essentialist theories of culture, mobilising arguments that scholars should promote the public interest by studying what makes beautiful literary works beautiful.

Bloom stated his position during the 3 September 2000 episode of C-SPAN's Booknotes:
Literary critic Terry Eagleton
Terry Eagleton
Terence Francis Eagleton FBA is a British literary theorist and critic, who is regarded as one of Britain's most influential living literary critics...

 is not wholly opposed to cultural studies theory like Bloom, but has criticised certain aspects of it, highlighting what he sees as its strengths and weaknesses in books such as After Theory (2003). For Eagleton, literary and cultural theory have the potential to say important things about the "fundamental questions" in life, but theorists have rarely realized this potential.

Whereas sociology was founded upon various historic works which purposefully set out to distinguish the subject as distinct from philosophy
Philosophy
Philosophy is the study of general and fundamental problems, such as those connected with existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language. Philosophy is distinguished from other ways of addressing such problems by its critical, generally systematic approach and its reliance on rational...

 or psychology
Psychology
Psychology is the study of the mind and behavior. Its immediate goal is to understand individuals and groups by both establishing general principles and researching specific cases. For many, the ultimate goal of psychology is to benefit society...

, cultural studies lacks any fundamental literature explicitly founding a new discipline. A relevant criticism comes from Pierre Bourdieu
Pierre Bourdieu
Pierre Bourdieu was a French sociologist, anthropologist, and philosopher.Starting from the role of economic capital for social positioning, Bourdieu pioneered investigative frameworks and terminologies such as cultural, social, and symbolic capital, and the concepts of habitus, field or location,...

 who, working in the sociological tradition, wrote on similar topics such as photography, art museums, and modern literature. Bourdieu's point is that cultural studies lacks scientific method. His own work makes innovative use of statistics and in-depth interviews. Cultural studies is relatively unstructured as an academic field. It is difficult to hold researchers accountable for their claims because there is no agreement on method and validity.

The Sokal Affair



One of the most prominent critiques of cultural studies came from physicist Alan Sokal
Alan Sokal
Alan David Sokal is a professor of mathematics at University College London and professor of physics at New York University. He works in statistical mechanics and combinatorics. To the general public he is best known for his criticism of postmodernism, resulting in the Sokal affair in...

, who submitted an article
Sokal Affair
The Sokal affair, also known as the Sokal hoax, was a publishing hoax perpetrated by Alan Sokal, a physics professor at New York University. In 1996, Sokal submitted an article to Social Text, an academic journal of postmodern cultural studies...

 to a cultural-studies journal, Social Text
Social Text
Social Text is an academic journal published by Duke University Press. Since its inception as an independent editorial collective in 1979, Social Text has addressed a wide range of social and cultural phenomena, covering questions of gender, sexuality, race, and the environment...

.
This article was what Sokal thought would be a parody of what he perceived to be the "fashionable nonsense" of postmodernists working in cultural studies. As the paper was coming out, Sokal published an article in a self-described "academic gossip" magazine Lingua Franca, revealing the hoax. His explanation for doing this was:

Founding works


Hall identifies some originating texts, or the original 'curriculum', of the field of cultural studies:
  • Hoggart's The Uses of Literacy
    The Uses of Literacy
    The Uses of Literacy has been described as a key book in the history of English and Media Studies and in the founding of Cultural Studies. -Massification of Culture:...

  • Raymond Williams' Culture and Society
    Culture and Society
    Culture and Society is a book published in 1958 by Welsh leftist writer Raymond Williams, exploring how the notion of culture developed in the West, especially Great Britain, from the eighteenth through the twentieth centuries....

     and The Long Revolution
    The Long Revolution
    The Long Revolution, by Raymond Williams, 1961.The "long revolution" of the title is a revolution in culture, which Raymond Williams sees as having unfolded alongside the democratic revolution and the industrial revolution...

  • E.P. Thompson's The Making of the English Working Class
    The Making of the English Working Class
    The Making of the English Working Class is an influential and pivotal work of English social history, written by E. P. Thompson, a notable 'New Left' historian; it was published in 1963 by Victor Gollancz Ltd, and later republished at Pelican, becoming an early Open University Set Book...


Argentina

  • National University of Córdoba
    National University of Córdoba
    The National University of Córdoba, , is the oldest university in Argentina, and one of the oldest in the Americas. It is located in Córdoba, the capital of Córdoba Province. Since the early 20th century it has been the second largest university in the country in terms of the number of students,...

  • National University of General San Martín
    National University of General San Martín
    The National University of General San Martín is an Argentine national university located in San Martín, Buenos Aires Province.Some courses are taken at INTI and CNEA.The Instituto Sabato is a branch of this university.-External links:*...

  • University of Buenos Aires
    University of Buenos Aires
    The University of Buenos Aires is the largest university in Argentina and the largest university by enrollment in Latin America. Founded on August 12, 1821 in the city of Buenos Aires, it consists of 13 faculties, 6 hospitals, 10 museums and is linked to 4 high schools: Colegio Nacional de Buenos...


Australia

  • Central Queensland University
    Central Queensland University
    CQUniversity is an Australian public university based in Queensland. Its main campus is in North Rockhampton Queensland. However, it also has campuses in Bundaberg, Emerald, Gladstone and Mackay, as well as operations throughout Asia-Pacific. For instance, Melior Business School is one of its...

  • Edith Cowan University
    Edith Cowan University
    Edith Cowan University is located in Perth, Western Australia. It was named after the first woman to be elected to an Australian Parliament, Edith Cowan, and is the only Australian university named after a woman....

  • Macquarie University
    Macquarie University
    Macquarie University is an Australian public teaching and research university located in Sydney, with its main campus situated in Macquarie Park. Founded in 1964 by the New South Wales Government, it was the third university to be established in the metropolitan area of Sydney...

  • Southern Cross University
    Southern Cross University
    Southern Cross University is a university based on the North and Mid North Coast of New South Wales, Australia. It is a regional University with more than 14,000 students. The University's primary campus is in Lismore, with other campuses located at Coffs Harbour and Tweed Heads.The University is...

  • University of Melbourne
    University of Melbourne
    The University of Melbourne is a public university located in Melbourne, Victoria. Founded in 1853, it is the second oldest university in Australia and the oldest in Victoria...

  • University of South Australia
    University of South Australia
    The University of South Australia is a public university in the Australian state of South Australia. It was formed in 1991 with the merger of the South Australian Institute of Technology and Colleges of Advanced Education. It is the largest university in South Australia, with more than 36,000...

     (Communication, Media, and Culture)
  • University of Sydney
    University of Sydney
    The University of Sydney is a public university located in Sydney, New South Wales. The main campus spreads across the suburbs of Camperdown and Darlington on the southwestern outskirts of the Sydney CBD. Founded in 1850, it is the oldest university in Australia and Oceania...

     (Gender and Cultural Studies)
  • University of Western Australia
    University of Western Australia
    The University of Western Australia was established by an Act of the Western Australian Parliament in February 1911, and began teaching students for the first time in 1913. It is the oldest university in the state of Western Australia and the only university in the state to be a member of the...

     (English and Cultural Studies)
  • The Australian National University(Gender and Cultural Studies, CAP)

Canada

  • McGill University
    McGill University
    Mohammed Fathy is a public research university located in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. The university bears the name of James McGill, a prominent Montreal merchant from Glasgow, Scotland, whose bequest formed the beginning of the university...

  • McMaster University
    McMaster University
    McMaster University is a public research university whose main campus is located in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. The main campus is located on of land in the residential neighbourhood of Westdale, adjacent to Hamilton's Royal Botanical Gardens...

  • Mount Saint Vincent University
    Mount Saint Vincent University
    Mount Saint Vincent University is a university located in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. It was established in 1873 and is locally referred to as The Mount.-History:...

  • Queen's University
    Queen's University
    Queen's University, , is a public research university located in Kingston, Ontario, Canada. Founded on 16 October 1841, the university pre-dates the founding of Canada by 26 years. Queen's holds more more than of land throughout Ontario as well as Herstmonceux Castle in East Sussex, England...

  • Trent University
    Trent University
    Trent University is a liberal arts and science-oriented institution located along the Otonabee River in Peterborough, Ontario, Canada.The enabling legislation is the Trent University Act, 1962-63. The University was founded through the efforts of a citizens' committee interested in creating a...

  • UBC Okanagan
    UBC Okanagan
    The University of British Columbia Okanagan is a campus of the University of British Columbia, located in Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada. The official name for the campus is simply UBC's Okanagan Campus, although it is frequently called 'UBCO.'...

  • University of Toronto
    University of Toronto
    The University of Toronto is a public research university in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, situated on the grounds that surround Queen's Park. It was founded by royal charter in 1827 as King's College, the first institution of higher learning in Upper Canada...

     (Literary Studies)
  • University of Winnipeg
    University of Winnipeg
    The University of Winnipeg is a public university in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada that offers undergraduate faculties of art, business and economics, education, science and theology as well as graduate programs. The U of W's founding colleges were Manitoba College and Wesley College, which merged...


India

  • Northeastern Hill University (NEHU), Shillong
  • Tezpur University, Assam
  • Central University of Jharkhand
  • The English and Foreign Languages University, Hyderabad

Indonesia


Israel

  • The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
  • Open University of Israel
    Open University of Israel
    The Open University of Israel is a distance-education university in Israel. , the Open University taught around 39,000 students.The Open University of Israel has more students than any other academic institution in Israel. The administration is based in the city of Ra'anana. Students from all over...

  • Bar Ilan University (Hermeneutics and Culture)
  • Tel Aviv University
    Tel Aviv University
    Tel Aviv University is a public university located in Ramat Aviv, Tel Aviv, Israel. With nearly 30,000 students, TAU is Israel's largest university.-History:...


Mexico

  • Universidad de las Americas Puebla(Creation and Culture Theories)
  • Universidad Autonoma de Ciudad Juarez(Cultural Studies Ph.D.)

Russia

  • St Petersburg State University
  • Russian Institute for Cultural Research
  • Russian State University for the Humanities
    Russian State University for the Humanities
    The Russian State University for the Humanities , is a university in Moscow, Russia with over 5500 students. It was created in 1991 as the result of the merger of the Moscow Public University and the Moscow State Institute for History and Archives The Russian State University for the Humanities...

  • Moscow State University
    Moscow State University
    Lomonosov Moscow State University , previously known as Lomonosov University or MSU , is the largest university in Russia. Founded in 1755, it also claims to be one of the oldest university in Russia and to have the tallest educational building in the world. Its current rector is Viktor Sadovnichiy...

  • Southern State University

United Kingdom



  • Canterbury Christ Church University
    Canterbury Christ Church University
    Canterbury Christ Church University is a university in Canterbury, Kent, England. Founded as a Church of England college for teaching training it has grown to full university status and will celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2012. The focus of its work is in the education of people going into...

  • Cardiff University
    Cardiff University
    Cardiff University is a leading research university located in the Cathays Park area of Cardiff, Wales, United Kingdom. It received its Royal charter in 1883 and is a member of the Russell Group of Universities. The university is consistently recognised as providing high quality research-based...

  • Goldsmiths, University of London
  • Kingston University
    Kingston University
    Kingston University is a public research university located in Kingston upon Thames, southwest London, United Kingdom. It was originally founded in 1899 as Kingston Technical Institute, a polytechnic, and became a university in 1992....

  • Lancaster University
    Lancaster University
    Lancaster University, officially The University of Lancaster, is a leading research-intensive British university in Lancaster, Lancashire, England. The university was established by Royal Charter in 1964 and initially based in St Leonard's Gate until moving to a purpose-built 300 acre campus at...

  • London College of Communication
    London College of Communication
    The London College of Communication is a constituent college of the University of the Arts London, located in Elephant and Castle. It has about 5,000 students on 60 courses in media and design courses preparing students for careers in the creative industries...

  • Middlesex University
    Middlesex University
    Middlesex University is a university in north London, England. It is located in the historic county boundaries of Middlesex from which it takes its name. It is one of the post-1992 universities and is a member of Million+ working group...

  • Queen's University Belfast
  • Roehampton University
    Roehampton University
    The University of Roehampton is a campus university in the United Kingdom, situated on three major sites in Roehampton, south-west London.-History:...

  • St. Mary's University College (Twickenham)
  • Swansea University
    Swansea University
    Swansea University is a university located in Swansea, Wales, United Kingdom. Swansea University was chartered as University College of Swansea in 1920, as the fourth college of the University of Wales. In 1996, it changed its name to the University of Wales Swansea following structural changes...


  • University of East London
    University of East London
    The University of East London is a university located in the London Borough of Newham, East London, England, based at two campuses in Stratford and Docklands areas...

  • University of Edinburgh
    University of Edinburgh
    The University of Edinburgh, founded in 1583, is a public research university located in Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The university is deeply embedded in the fabric of the city, with many of the buildings in the historic Old Town belonging to the university...

  • University of the Highlands and Islands
  • University of Kent
    University of Kent
    The University of Kent, previously the University of Kent at Canterbury, is a public research university based in Kent, United Kingdom...

  • University of Leeds
    University of Leeds
    The University of Leeds is a British Redbrick university located in the city of Leeds, West Yorkshire, England...

  • University of Sunderland
    University of Sunderland
    The University of Sunderland is located in Sunderland, north east England. The university has more than 17,500 students, including 7,000-plus international students from some 70 countries....

  • University of Surrey
    University of Surrey
    The University of Surrey is a university located within the county town of Guildford, Surrey in the South East of England. It received its charter on 9 September 1966, and was previously situated near Battersea Park in south-west London. The institution was known as Battersea College of Technology...

  • University of Sussex
    University of Sussex
    The University of Sussex is an English public research university situated next to the East Sussex village of Falmer, within the city of Brighton and Hove. The University received its Royal Charter in August 1961....

  • University of Nottingham
    University of Nottingham
    The University of Nottingham is a public research university based in Nottingham, United Kingdom, with further campuses in Ningbo, China and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia...

  • University of the West of England
    University of the West of England
    The University of the West of England is a university based in the English city of Bristol. Its main campus is at Frenchay, about five miles north of the city centre...

  • University of Winchester
  • University of Wolverhampton
    University of Wolverhampton
    The University of Wolverhampton is a British university located on four campuses across the West Midlands and Shropshire. The city campus is located in Wolverhampton city centre with a second campus at Compton Park, Wolverhampton; a third in Walsall and a fourth in Telford...



United States



  • Bowling Green State University
    Bowling Green State University
    Bowling Green State University, often referred to as Bowling Green or BGSU, is a public, coeducational research university located in Bowling Green, Ohio, United States. The institution was granted a charter in 1910 by the State of Ohio as part of the Lowry Bill, which also established Kent State...

  • Bryant University
    Bryant University
    Bryant University is a private university located in Smithfield, Rhode Island, U.S., that grants the degrees of bachelor of arts, bachelor of science, and master's degrees in business, taxation and accounting. Until August 2004, it was known as Bryant College...

     (Literary and Cultural Studies)
  • Carnegie Mellon University
    Carnegie Mellon University
    Carnegie Mellon University is a private research university in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States....

     (via English)
  • Columbia College Chicago
    Columbia College Chicago
    Columbia College Chicago is one of the largest art colleges in the United States with nearly 12,000 students pursuing degrees within 120 undergraduate and graduate programs...

  • Claremont Graduate University
    Claremont Graduate University
    Claremont Graduate University is a private, all-graduate research university located in Claremont, California, a city east of downtown Los Angeles...

  • George Mason University
    George Mason University
    George Mason University is a public university based in unincorporated Fairfax County, Virginia, United States, south of and adjacent to the city of Fairfax. Additional campuses are located nearby in Arlington County, Prince William County, and Loudoun County...

  • Marylhurst University
    Marylhurst University
    Marylhurst University is a private Catholic liberal arts university located in Marylhurst, Oregon, United States, nine miles south of Portland on the Willamette River. It is among the oldest collegiate degree-granting institutions in Oregon, awarding its first degree in 1897...

  • Northern Arizona University
    Northern Arizona University
    Northern Arizona University is a public university located in Flagstaff, Arizona, United States. It is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, and has 39 satellite campuses in the state of Arizona. The university offers both undergraduate and graduate degrees.As of...

     (Comparative Cultural Studies)
  • Pitzer College
    Pitzer College
    Pitzer College is a private residential liberal arts college located in Claremont, California, a college town approximately east of downtown Los Angeles. Pitzer College is one of the Claremont Colleges....

     (Media Studies Department)
  • Pomona College
    Pomona College
    Pomona College is a private, residential, liberal arts college in Claremont, California. Founded in 1887 in Pomona, California by a group of Congregationalists, the college moved to Claremont in 1889 to the site of a hotel, retaining its name. The school enrolls 1,548 students.The founding member...

     (Media Studies Department)
  • Pratt Institute
    Pratt Institute
    Pratt Institute is a private art college in New York City located in Brooklyn, New York, with satellite campuses in Manhattan and Utica. Pratt is one of the leading undergraduate art schools in the United States and offers programs in Architecture, Graphic Design, History of Art and Design,...

     (Social Science and Cultural Studies)
  • Purdue University
    Purdue University
    Purdue University, located in West Lafayette, Indiana, U.S., is the flagship university of the six-campus Purdue University system. Purdue was founded on May 6, 1869, as a land-grant university when the Indiana General Assembly, taking advantage of the Morrill Act, accepted a donation of land and...

     (via English)
  • Ohio University
    Ohio University
    Ohio University is a public university located in the Midwestern United States in Athens, Ohio, situated on an campus...

     (Cultural Studies in Education)
  • Old Dominion University
    Old Dominion University
    Old Dominion University is a state university located in Norfolk, Virginia, United States, and is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools...

  • Rollins College
    Rollins College
    Rollins College is a private, coeducational liberal arts college located in Winter Park, Florida , along the shores of Lake Virginia....

     (Critical Media and Cultural Studies)

  • Stony Brook University
  • The New School
    The New School
    The New School is a university in New York City, located mostly in Greenwich Village. From its founding in 1919 by progressive New York academics, and for most of its history, the university was known as the New School for Social Research. Between 1997 and 2005 it was known as New School University...

     (Culture and Media, Media Studies and Film)
  • The Ohio State University (Comparative Cultural Studies)
  • University at Buffalo (via English)
  • University of California, Berkeley
    University of California, Berkeley
    The University of California, Berkeley , is a teaching and research university established in 1868 and located in Berkeley, California, USA...

     (Rhetoric degree)
  • University of California, Davis
    University of California, Davis
    The University of California, Davis is a public teaching and research university established in 1905 and located in Davis, California, USA. Spanning over , the campus is the largest within the University of California system and third largest by enrollment...

  • University of California, Irvine
    University of California, Irvine
    The University of California, Irvine , founded in 1965, is one of the ten campuses of the University of California, located in Irvine, California, USA...

     (Media Studies)
  • University of California, Riverside
    University of California, Riverside
    The University of California, Riverside, commonly known as UCR or UC Riverside, is a public research university and one of the ten general campuses of the University of California system. UCR is consistently ranked as one of the most ethnically and economically diverse universities in the United...

     (Media and Cultural Studies
  • University of Cincinnati
    University of Cincinnati
    The University of Cincinnati is a comprehensive public research university in Cincinnati, Ohio, and a part of the University System of Ohio....

     (Humanities, Media Studies, and Cultural Studies)
  • University of Hawaii at Manoa
    University of Hawaii at Manoa
    The University of Hawaii at Mānoa is a public, co-educational university and is the flagship campus of the greater University of Hawaii system...

     (certificate program)
  • University of Louisiana, Lafayette (via English, Literary and Cultural Studies)
  • University of Massachusetts Lowell
    University of Massachusetts Lowell
    The University of Massachusetts Lowell is a public university in Lowell, Massachusetts, and part of the University of Massachusetts system...


  • University of Maryland
    University of Maryland
    When the term "University of Maryland" is used without any qualification, it generally refers to the University of Maryland, College Park.University of Maryland may refer to the following:...

     (Film Studies and Cultural Studies)
  • University of Minnesota
    University of Minnesota
    The University of Minnesota, Twin Cities is a public research university located in Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota, United States. It is the oldest and largest part of the University of Minnesota system and has the fourth-largest main campus student body in the United States, with 52,557...

     (Cultural Studies and Comparative Literature)
  • University of Missouri
    University of Missouri
    The University of Missouri System is a state university system providing centralized administration for four universities, a health care system, an extension program, five research and technology parks, and a publishing press. More than 64,000 students are currently enrolled at its four campuses...

     (via English)
  • University of Nebraska, Lincoln (via English)
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
    University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
    The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is a public research university located in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, United States...

  • University of Pittsburgh
    University of Pittsburgh
    The University of Pittsburgh, commonly referred to as Pitt, is a state-related research university located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States. Founded as Pittsburgh Academy in 1787 on what was then the American frontier, Pitt is one of the oldest continuously chartered institutions of...

  • University of San Francisco
    University of San Francisco
    The University of San Francisco , is a private, Jesuit/Catholic university located in San Francisco, California. Founded in 1855, USF was established as the first university in San Francisco. It is the second oldest institution for higher learning in California and the tenth-oldest university of...

     (Humanities and Cultural Studies)
  • University of Southern California
    University of Southern California
    The University of Southern California is a private, not-for-profit, nonsectarian, research university located in Los Angeles, California, United States. USC was founded in 1880, making it California's oldest private research university...

     (Critical Studies Division at the School of Cinematic Arts)
  • University of Texas at Austin
    University of Texas at Austin
    The University of Texas at Austin is a state research university located in Austin, Texas, USA, and is the flagship institution of the The University of Texas System. Founded in 1883, its campus is located approximately from the Texas State Capitol in Austin...

     (Americo Paredes Center for Cultural Studies)
  • University of Washington, Bothell
    University of Washington, Bothell
    The University of Washington Bothell is a four-year undergraduate and graduate campus in northeast King County, one of the three campuses of the public University of Washington...

  • University of Wisconsin-Madison (Media & Cultural Studies)
  • Villanova University
    Villanova University
    Villanova University is a private university located in Radnor Township, a suburb northwest of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in the United States...

  • The College of William and Mary (Literary and Cultural Studies)


See also



  • Critical theory
    Critical theory
    Critical theory is an examination and critique of society and culture, drawing from knowledge across the social sciences and humanities. The term has two different meanings with different origins and histories: one originating in sociology and the other in literary criticism...

  • Cultural critic
    Cultural critic
    A cultural critic is a critic of a given culture, usually as a whole and typically on a radical basis. There is significant overlap with social and cultural theory.-Terminology:...

  • Cultural geography
    Cultural geography
    Cultural geography is a sub-field within human geography. Cultural geography is the study of cultural products and norms and their variations across and relations to spaces and places...

  • Cultural history
    Cultural history
    The term cultural history refers both to an academic discipline and to its subject matter.Cultural history, as a discipline, at least in its common definition since the 1970s, often combines the approaches of anthropology and history to look at popular cultural traditions and cultural...

  • Cultural Studies Association
    Cultural Studies Association
    The Cultural Studies Association , which was founded in 2003, is a non-profit association for scientific purposes in the field and discipline of cultural studies.-Purpose:...

  • Culturology
    Culturology
    Culturology is the branch of Social Sciences concerned with the scientific understanding, description, analysis and prediction of cultural activities, cultural systems and culture broadly-construed.-History of the term in Russia:...

  • Communication studies
    Communication studies
    Communication Studies is an academic field that deals with processes of communication, commonly defined as the sharing of symbols over distances in space and time. Hence, communication studies encompasses a wide range of topics and contexts ranging from face-to-face conversation to speeches to mass...


  • Film studies
    Film studies
    Film studies is an academic discipline that deals with various theoretical, historical, and critical approaches to films. It is sometimes subsumed within media studies and is often compared to television studies...

  • Gender studies
    Gender studies
    Gender studies is a field of interdisciplinary study which analyses race, ethnicity, sexuality and location.Gender study has many different forms. One view exposed by the philosopher Simone de Beauvoir said: "One is not born a woman, one becomes one"...

  • IATIS
  • Marxist sociology
    Marxist sociology
    Marxist sociology refers to the conduct of sociology from a Marxist perspective. Marxism itself can be recognized as both a political philosophy and a sociology, particularly to the extent it attempts to remain scientific, systematic and objective rather than purely normative and prescriptive....

  • Media studies
    Media studies
    Media studies is an academic discipline and field of study that deals with the content, history and effects of various media; in particular, the 'mass media'. Media studies may draw on traditions from both the social sciences and the humanities, but mostly from its core disciplines of mass...

  • New musicology
    New musicology
    The New Musicology is a term applied to a wide body of musicology with focus upon the cultural study, analysis, and criticism of music, with influences from feminism, gender studies, queer theory, and postcolonial studies...

  • Orientalism
    Orientalism
    Orientalism is a term used for the imitation or depiction of aspects of Eastern cultures in the West by writers, designers and artists, as well as having other meanings...

  • Popular culture studies
    Popular culture studies
    Popular culture studies is the academic discipline studying popular culture from a critical theory perspective. It is generally considered as a combination of communication studies and cultural studies....


  • Political theory
  • Post-structuralism
    Post-structuralism
    Post-structuralism is a label formulated by American academics to denote the heterogeneous works of a series of French intellectuals who came to international prominence in the 1960s and '70s...

  • Queer theory
    Queer theory
    Queer theory is a field of critical theory that emerged in the early 1990s out of the fields of LGBT studies and feminist studies. Queer theory includes both queer readings of texts and the theorisation of 'queerness' itself...

  • Semiotics
    Semiotics
    Semiotics, also called semiotic studies or semiology, is the study of signs and sign processes , indication, designation, likeness, analogy, metaphor, symbolism, signification, and communication...

  • Social criticism
    Social criticism
    The term social criticism locates the reasons for malicious conditions of the society in flawed social structures. People adhering to a social critics aim at practical solutions by specific measures, often consensual reform but sometimes also by powerful revolution.- European roots :Religious...

  • Sociology
    Sociology
    Sociology is the study of society. It is a social science—a term with which it is sometimes synonymous—which uses various methods of empirical investigation and critical analysis to develop a body of knowledge about human social activity...

  • Visual Culture
    Visual culture
    Visual Culture as an academic subject is a field of study that generally includes some combination of cultural studies, art history, critical theory, philosophy, and anthropology, by focusing on aspects of culture that rely on visual images.- Overview :...



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    Walter Bendix Schönflies Benjamin was a German-Jewish intellectual, who functioned variously as a literary critic, philosopher, sociologist, translator, radio broadcaster and essayist...

  • Homi K. Bhabha
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  • Pierre Bourdieu
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  • Gilles Deleuze
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  • Jacques Derrida
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  • Paul Gilroy
    Paul Gilroy
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  • Henry Giroux
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    Henry Giroux, born September 18, 1943, in Providence, Rhode Island, is an American cultural critic. One of the founding theorists of critical pedagogy in the United States, he is best known for his pioneering work in public pedagogy, cultural studies, youth studies, higher education, media studies,...

  • Antonio Gramsci
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  • Lawrence Grossberg
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  • Jürgen Habermas
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  • Stuart Hall
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  • bell hooks
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  • Max Horkheimer
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  • Luce Irigaray
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  • Ernesto Laclau
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  • Scott Lash
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  • Herbert Marcuse
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  • Griselda Pollock
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  • Jacques Ranciere
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  • Edward Said
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  • Sara Suleri
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  • Cornel West
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  • Raymond Williams
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  • Slavoj Žižek
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External links