Friday, 6 April 2012

Five Types of Cultural Studies

Assignment- Cultural Studies
Topic- Five Types of Cultural Studies
Name- Sumra Jitendra V.
SEM - 2 
Roll No - 17
Batch- 2011-12

Submitted to,
Dr.Dilip Barad
Bhavnagar University,

Five Types of Cultural Studies

[1]British Cultural materialism

Matthew Arnold sought to redline the “givens” of British culture. To appreciate the importance of this revision of “culture” we must situate it within the controlling myth of social and political reality of the British Empire upon which the sun never set, an ideology left over from the previous century. In modern Britain two trajectories for “Culture” developed one led back to the past and the feudal hierarchies that ordered community in the past; here, culture acted in its sacred function as preserver of the past. Cultural materialism began in earnest in the 1950s with the work of F.R. Leavis sought to use the educational system to distribute literary knowledge and appreciation more widely ; Lea vices promoted the “great tradition “ of Shakespeare and Milton to improve the moral sensibilities of a wider range of readers than just the elite.

Cultural materialists also turned to the more humanized and even spiritual insights of the great students of Rabelais and Dostoevsky, Russain formalist Bakhtn, especially his amplification of the dialogic form of communal, individual and social.

[2]New Historicism:

New Historicism focuses on the way literature expresses-and sometimes disguises-power relations at work in the social context in which the literature was produced, often this involves making connections between a literary work and other kinds of texts. Literature is often shown to “negotiate” conflicting power interests. New historicism has made its biggest mark on literary studies of the Renaissances and Romantic periods and has revised motions of literature as privileged, apolitical writing. Much new historicism focuses on the marginalization of subjects such as those identified as witches, the insane, heretics, vagabonds, and political prisoners.

[3]American Multiculturalism:

The idea that American identity is vested in a commitment to core values expressed in the American Creed and the ideals of Exceptionalism raises a fundamental concern that has been the source of considerable debate. Can American identity be meaningfully established by a commitment to core values and ideals among a population that is becoming increasingly heterogeneous? Since the 1960s, scholars and political activists, recognizing that the “melting pot” concept fails to acknowledge that immigrant groups do not, and should not, entirely abandon their distinct identities, embraced multiculturalism and diversity. Racial and ethnic groups maintain many of their basic traits and cultural attributes, while at the same time their orientations change through marriage and interactions with other groups in society. The American Studies curriculum serves to illustrate this shift in attitude. The curriculum, which had for decades relied upon the “melting pot” metaphor as an organizing framework, began to employ the alternative notion of the “American mosaic.” Multiculturalism, in the context of the “American mosaic,” celebrates the unique cultural heritage of racial and ethnic groups, some of whom seek to preserve their native languages and lifestyles. In a sense, individuals can be Americans and at the same time claim other identities, including those based on racial and ethnic heritage, gender, and sexual preference.

[4] Postmodernism and popular culture:

Postmodernism and Popular Culture brings together eleven recent essays by Angela McRobbie in a collection which deals with the issues which have dominated cultural studies over the last ten years.
A key theme is the notion of post modernity as a space for social change and political potential. McRobbie explores everyday life as a site of immense social and psychic complexity to which she argues that cultural studies scholars must return through ethnic and empirical work; the sound of living voices and spoken language. She also argues for feminists working in the field to continue to question the place and meaning of feminist theory in a postmodern society. In addition, she examines the new youth cultures as images of social change and signs of profound social transformation.
Bringing together complex ideas about cultural studies today in a lively and accessible format.

[1] Postmodernism:

Postmodernism describes a range of conceptual frameworks and ideologies that are defined in opposition to those commonly attributed to modernism and modernist notions of knowledge and science, as, materialism, realism, positivism, formalism, structuralism, and reductionism. Postmodernist approaches are critical of the possibility of objective knowledge of the real world, and consider the ways in which social dynamics such as power and hierarchy affect human conceptualizations of the world to have important effects on the way knowledge is constructed and used. In contrast to the modernist paradigm, postmodernist thought often emphasize idealism, constructivism, relativism, pluralism and skepticism in its approaches to knowledge and understanding.

It is not a philosophical movement in itself, but rather, incorporates a number of philosophical and critical methods that can be considered ‘postmodern’; the most familiar include feminism and post-structuralism. Put another way, postmodernism is not a method of doing philosophy, but rather a way of approaching traditional ideas and practices in non-traditional ways that deviate from pre-established super structural modes. This has caused difficulties in defining what postmodernism actually means or should mean and therefore remains a complex and controversial concept, which continues to be debated. The idea of the postmodern gained momentum through to the 1950s before dominating literature, art and the intellectual scene of the 1960s.Postmodernism's origins are generally accepted as having been conceived in art around the end of the nineteenth century as a reaction to the stultifying legacy of modern art and continued to expand into other disciplines during the early twentieth century as a reaction against modernism in general.

[2] Popular culture:

Popular culture is the totality of ideas, perspectives, attitudes, memes, images and other phenomena that are preferred by 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 late 20th and early 21st century. Heavily influenced by mass media, this collection of ideas permeates the everyday lives of the society.

Popular culture is often viewed as being trivial and dumped-down in order to find consensual acceptance throughout the mainstream. As a result, it comes under heavy criticism from various non-mainstream sources (most notably religious groups and countercultural groups) which deem it superficial, consumerist, sensationalist, and corrupted

The term "popular culture" was coined in the 19th century or earlier refers to the education and general "cult redness" of the lower classes, as was delivered in an address at the England. The term began to assume the meaning of a culture of the lower classes separate from (and sometimes opposed to) "true education" towards the end of the century, a usage that became established by the antebellum period. The current meaning of the term, culture for mass consumption, especially originating in the United States, is established by the end of World War II the abbreviated form "pop culture" dates to the 1960s.

[5]Postcolonial Studies:

The critical nature of postcolonial theory entails destabilizing Western ways of thinking, therefore creating space for the subaltern or marginalized groups, to speak and produce alternatives to dominant discourse. Often, the term post colonialism is taken literally, to mean the period of time after colonialism. This however, is problematic because the ‘once-colonized world’ is full of “contradictions, of half-finished processes, of confusions, of hybridist, and liminalities” .In other words, it is important to accept the plural nature of the word post colonialism, as it does not simply refer to the period after the colonial era. By some definitions, post colonialism can also be seen as a continuation of colonialism, albeit through different or new relationships concerning power and the control/production of knowledge. Due to these similarities, it is debated whether to hyphenate post colonialism as to symbolize that we have fully moved beyond colonialism.

Post-colonialist thinkers recognize that many of the assumptions which underlie the "logic" of colonialism are still active forces today. Some postcolonial theorists make the argument that studying both dominant knowledge sets and marginalized ones as binary opposites perpetuates their existence as homogenous entities. Homi K. Bhabha feels the postcolonial world should valorize spaces of mixing; spaces where truth and authenticity move aside for ambiguity. This space of hybridist, he argues, offers the most profound challenge to colonialism. Critiques that Bhabha ignores Spaak’s stated usefulness of essentialism have been put forward. Reference is made to essentialisms' potential usefulness. An organized voice provides a more powerful challenge to dominant knowledge - whether in academia or active protests.


  1. Hello Jitendra! This blog is very good and interesting.

  2. hi
    This blog is also good and i like your this blog.

  3. I like very much what you wrote about new historicism but I like to know the source you got it from as i need to quote it in my research. Thanks. Please reply very soon.