Talking to the Centre: Different Voices in the Intellectual History of
The Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies (CCCS)

H. Joseph Carnie, M.A. Candidate
Department of History,
University of British Columbia

In a well-known essay, Stuart Hall, director of the Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies (CCCS) from 1969 to 1979, declares, “there is something at stake in cultural studies, in a way that I think, and hope, is not exactly true of many other important intellectual and critical practices. Here one registers the tension between a refusal to close the field, to police it and, at the same time, a determination to stake out some positions within it and argue for them. That is the tension….” 1 What does Hall mean by this highly cryptic and loaded statement? Will discovering what Hall means aid our understanding of “British cultural studies” as an intellectual discourse? In order to answer these questions we first need to address the most pertinent and demanding question of all: what is cultural studies? Certainly, thinkers such as Hall had cause to ask and answer this question many times and in many different ways from a theoretical standpoint, in an effort to define the field of discourse in which they worked. However, it is only recently, with sufficient hindsight, that we find ourselves in the position to begin to ask and answer this question from a historical point of view.

Contemporary British cultural studies has its origins with the founding of the Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies (CCCS) at the University of Birmingham in 1964 as a postgraduate research institute. In fact the intellectual genealogy of British cultural studies is concomitant with the intellectual history of the CCCS. The Centre is acknowledged for producing what are generally regarded as thefoundational texts of “modern” British cultural studies. Its approach was interdisciplinary, drawing on sociology, literary criticism, and history. The Centre’s approach and methodology drew upon a long history of British cultural thinkers and later mined the intellectual wealth of contemporary European theoretical thought. These multiple approaches and multiple “voices” in turn impelled new questions and a subsequent rethinking of what “culture” means. The Birmingham group re-conceptualized “popular culture” as the location or site of resistance and negotiation by marginalized and disempowered groups in modern society and thus granted popular culture an entirely new order of importance. They perhaps most importantly reinterpreted culture in relation to dominant political structures and social hierarchies. The intention of this project, both implicitly and explicitly, was to give a “voice” to the marginalized. Initially, this project was propelled in terms of class but later, as we shall see, also in terms of gender and race.

While scholars have done work in chronicling the intellectual history of British cultural studies, 2 none have analyzed in detail, the importance of the intervention of gender and race in the cultural discourse at the Centre. Of particular interest to me are the discursive effects that the inclusion of multiple voices and perspectives had on the Centre and thereby on British cultural studies in general. In other words I am interested in the extent to which the central voice of the Birmingham school was ruptured by the “breaking in” of other previously marginalized and often discordant voices. My ultimate objective however is to determine whether the arrival of these voices at the Centre was contestatory and defiant on the one hand or complementary and constructive on the other. The first step in accomplishing this task is to trace the intellectual trajectory of British cultural studies as it happened at Birmingham. 3 Perhaps Mikhail Bakhtin’s notion of the “dialogic” (or “polyphonic”) is a useful intellectual framework in examining how “voices” at the Centre were at once conflicting and complementary to the overall discourse (in the most literal sense of the word) of British cultural studies as it emerged from the CCCS.

In his book Problems of Dostoevsky’s Poetics (1929), Bakhtin observes that the characters in Fyodor Dostoevsky’s novels are liberated to speak “a plurality of independent and unmerged voices and consciousnesses, a genuine polyphony of fully valid voices” which are not contained by the authoritative control of the author. 4 In other words, the dialogic form of the text allows the characters to speak “in their own voices”. This allows the creation of a textual space where several “voices,” each possessing their own “palpable definitiveness,” are heard, where they converse, and yet where no voice or perspective dominates the others.5 A dialogic approach is profitable to understanding the manner in which different voices within “British cultural studies” and at the CCCS interacted, conversed, answered one-another, argued and disagreed. In a dialogic setting no single voice would come to dominate the others yet ideas and perspectives are always fiercely debated. Bakhtin suggests that these different voices and the subsequent modes of discourse are not just a verbal or literary phenomenon, but a social one as well. These discordant voices (what he refers to as a “polyphonic heterogeneity”) disrupt the authority or centrality of a single voice. Yet in the case of the Centre we must recognize the tenuous and protean nature of this situation. The dialogic at the CCCS was something that was never certain or fixed but always struggled over. As an ideal it was sometimes achieved and sometimes not. The more conscious and palpable this goal became in the minds of those at the Centre the more authentic and purposeful the struggle to achieve it became.

When I use the term British “cultural studies,” I am explicitly referring to a specific discursive field of academic inquiry centered on the CCCS. It is the history of this discursive field (in both its intellectual and political context) that I will now trace – a history that includes the formation of the Birmingham Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies but, more significantly, beyond this “institution” to a whole field of academic inquiry. Originally the Centre was founded as part of the school of English at the University of Birmingham. Its agenda from the beginning was to utilize the methods and techniques of literary criticism to analyze mass culture and develop a critical criterion for texts. However, the Centre was soon granted autonomy as an independent postgraduate research centre. Cultural studies at the Centre was initially conceived not as an independent field of study but as a supplementary adjunct to social-scientific analysis. Stuart Hall, a key figure during the Centre’s formative years, notes:

Cultural studies have multiple discourses; it has a number of different histories. It is a whole set of formations; it has its own different conjunctures and comments in the past. It included many different kinds of work. I want to insist on that! It always was a set of unstable formations. It was “centered” only in quotation marks, in a particular way…. It had many trajectories; many people had and have different trajectories through it; it was constructed by a number of different methodologies and theoretical positions, all of them in contention. Theoretical work in the Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies was more appropriately called theoretical noise. It was accompanied by a great deal of bad feeling, argument, unstable anxieties, and angry silences. 6
Hall’s quote richly characterizes the spirit of “the Centre” – its hybridity and its dialogic atmosphere. His implication that the Centre had no fundamental intellectual “Centre” I believe succinctly articulates not necessarily the amorphous nature of the CCCS but rather its loose confederation of simultaneously complementary and conflicting “voices.” This dialogue, as characterized by Hall, with its multiplicity of voices and discourses never deteriorated into a discordant impasse or to the point of intellectual immobilization. Undeniably this dialogic was highly emotive, often hostile, and always volatile; nevertheless, it constantly seems to have fostered an environment of intellectual ferment and innovation in spite of this.

The genealogy of British cultural studies as a mode of scholarly inquiry can be traced to such “early” cultural writers and commentators such as Mathew Arnold, the Leavises and T.S. Eliot. This early manifestation of the discipline (unlike French and German cultural studies which had roots in sociology) has its roots in literary criticism but also operates from a perspective of cultural elitism. These cultural commentators narrowed their definition of culture to “high” culture – the “Great Tradition” of English literature, which consisted of a limited literary canon (e.g. Chaucer, Milton, Shakespeare, etc.).7 However, even though these pioneers are credited with being the first to negotiate the terrain of “culture” from a British perspective, mass or popular culture was viewed by them as a subject to be derided and not worth serious study. British cultural studies, as it emerged from Birmingham, was built more or less directly on the intellectual and methodological foundation laid by two key figures: Richard Hoggart and Raymond Williams, both of whom drew extensively upon literary criticism – a field in which they were trained.8 However, both attempted to engage culture not in the elite parochial sense of Arnold, Leavis or Elliot but in the sense of mass or working class culture – that is culture tout ensemble.

But leaving aside the intellectual lineage of cultural studies as it was manifested, fostered and given shape by the founding of the CCCS, let us turn briefly to the political and social milieu in which British cultural studies and the Centre was envisioned and mobilized. The project of cultural studies, as it took root and flourished at Birmingham, was shaped by a postwar British social and political movement known as the New Left. Dennis Dworkin asserts that the project of British cultural studies “cannot be viewed in isolation; it must be seen in the context of the crisis of the British Left, a crisis virtually coterminous with the postwar era.” 9 The character of the New Left “movement” was contingent and tumultuous; it lacked any form of permanent organization or centralized leadership. 10 Overall, the New Left movement was a tenuous “heterogeneous” conglomeration of “ex-Communists, disaffected labour supporters, and socialist students hopeful of renewing socialist theory and practice.”11 These individuals aggregated in reaction to resurgence of the British Tories in the 1950s. As Dennis Dworkin writes: “leftist intellectual culture, dominant in the thirties and forties, was displaced by a stifling conservatism founded on the revival of traditional values and a definition of Western culture defined as ‘the best that has been thought and written.’” 12

The New Left was also mobilized in trenchant protest to specific political events, specifically the Suez and Hungary Crises in 1956, and in support for the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) during the late fifties and early sixties. It was also committed to breathing life into the social democratic politics that drew from a tradition of English popular radicalism but that skirted Leftist orthodoxy that was out of touch with the economic and social realities of postwar Britain. Hence, the New Left was also motivated by their disenchantment with the conventional or orthodox left. On the other hand, its emergence was also impelled by the disillusionment of many British Communists with Stalin’s Soviet Union. While the movement was impelled by these political commitments, it did possess a fundamental intellectual and theoretical component that was synonymous and inseparable from the political dimension. Dworkin notes: “They never succeeded in creating a permanent organization, but they created a new political space on the Left, and their project was critical to the development of radical historiography and cultural studies in Britain.” 13Consequently, in discussing the New Left as a postwar British political and intellectual project, it is also crucial to acknowledge that this project was firmly grounded in Marxist ideology.

While the Centre’s Marxist roots are deep, these roots are not just intellectual but profoundly political. 14 The individuals at the Centre drew not only on the intellectual tradition of Marxism but on the Marxist-leftist legacy of political and social praxis as well. E. P. Thompson, Raymond Williams, and Richard Hoggart, the three founding figures of the Centre, were also recognized influential members of the New Left. These three writers (Thompson, Williams, and Hoggart) working within the political milieu of the New Left, lay the foundation for the cultural theory of the Centre in terms of an analysis of working class culture and a critique of capitalism. Raymond Williams articulates this latter point’s relevance for the cultural studies project as a whole: “Capitalism’s version of society can only be the market, for its purpose is profit in particular activities rather than any conception of social use.”15

Indeed the New Left is synonymous with a shift in Marxist thought and an emphasis on a “cultural turn” in Marxist thought. Marxism’s cultural turn partly developed around a writing of “history from below.” “New Left” historians such as E. P. Thompson, Eric
Hobsbawn, Catherine Hall and Sheila Rowbotham and other members of the Communist Party’s Historians Group were influential in voicing a concern with the social and cultural history of the British working class. The Group was founded in 1946, its core membership consisting of the radical student generation of the 1930s and early 1940s. Largely steeped in Marxist ideology, this cadre of intellectuals primarily saw themselves as a united front of progressive historians loudly countering what they saw as reactionary practices and attitudes present in British historiography at that time. Catherine Hall notes that the Communist Party Historians’ Group was a body which

had decided to challenge British historiography and construct a new body of Marxist history that would both connect with popular politics and engage with the academic establishment. [They] called for a major reassessment of English cultural and political history and a communism which would combine elements of Marxism with popular radical English traditions.16
However the Group also provided, in a larger context, the fertile ground for the aforementioned “cultural turn” in Marxism to take root.17

British cultural Marxism thus grew out of an effort to create a socialist understanding of Britain, which took into consideration postwar transformations that seemed to undermine traditional Marxist assumptions about the working class and that questioned the traditional Left’s exclusive reliance on political and economic categories. Cultural Marxists were, above all, concerned with redefining the relationship between structure and agency, for it was the agency of traditional socialism (the industrial working class) that was being called into question. They attempted to identify the contours of the postwar terrain, to redefine social struggle, and to articulate new forms of resistance appropriate to a democratic and socialist politics in an advanced capitalist society. At the heart of this project was “culture.”18 This emphasis on the “terrain” of culture was in contrast to orthodox Marxism, which subordinated culture’s importance to “real” social relations produced by the economic base.

Marxism is firmly embedded in British cultural studies as Marx’s discussion of class relations formed a compatible intellectual and theoretical framework on which to construct an examination of popular culture as a vessel for the working class’s attempt at expression and agency.19 “Cultural” Marxism firstly allows a cultural text to be understood in terms of its socio-historical conditions of “production and consumption.”20 Moreover, culture and history are not reified insomuch as separate entities; they are rather “inscribed on each other” – culture shapes and constructs history as much as history shapes and constructs culture.21 The two are inseparable components of the same process.

Cultural Marxism asserts that culture is the site in which inequalities and stratification in modern capitalist societies are voiced and contested. Divisions in these societies occur along class, gender, ethnic, and generational lines and culture is seen as a terrain in which underclasses may exert a mode (no matter how tenuous) of resistance by challenging and traversing forms of cultural meaning proscribed by the dominant groups. These regnant cultural meanings reflect the vested interests of the hegemonic groups and thus are the targets of a struggle over re-defining them and wresting control and privilege over them away from those with power.22 Thus, Marxism highlights the ideological nature of culture – a nexus in which contested meanings and symbols are struggled for over by subordinate and dominant groups.23

The highly ideological nature of culture was acknowledged by such founding figures of British cultural studies as Hoggart, Williams, and E. P. Thompson from the outset, whether they as individuals deployed an explicit Marxian framework or not. Yet the Centre would come to explicitly deploy Marxian analysis as a technology (to use an overtly Foucauldian term) of cultural investigation. The shift of Marxism itself towards culture involved extensive theoretical debate within the New Left. It was this debate that helped elucidate British “cultural studies.” In other words, the emergence of cultural studies in Britain was fundamentally defined and voiced as an “opposition to orthodox Marxism.”24 While orthodox Marxists subordinated culture to real social relations produced by the economic base, the revisionists emphasized that “culture mattered.” Stuart Hall reflects:

There never was a prior moment when cultural studies and Marxism represented a perfect theoretical fit. From the beginning (to use this way of speaking for a moment) there was always – already the question of the great inadequacies, theoretically and politically, the resounding silences, the great evasions of Marxism – the things that
Marx did not talk about or seem to understand which were our privileged object of study: culture, ideology, language, the symbolic…. That is to say, the encounter between British cultural studies and Marxism has first to be understood as the engagement with a problem – not a theory, not even a problematic. It begins, and develops through the critique of a certain reductionism and economism, which I think is not extrinsic but intrinsic to Marxism; a contestation with the model of base and superstructure, through which sophisticated and vulgar Marxism alike had tried to think the relationships between society, economy and culture. It was located and sited in a necessary, prolonged, and as yet unending contestation with the question of false consciousness.25
Hall’s words reveal a point of rupture in the theoretical framework of British cultural studies – wherein the Centre broke through the structural Marxism which had served as a theoretical framework and language of articulation but had also constrained interpretation and understanding within the “discipline” (in Foucault’s double sense of the word).26 Hall herein expresses the intellectual lysis of a structural Marxism and the yoking of a Post-Structuralist technique best exemplified by Jacques Derrida’s deconstructionist approach. Such a strategy, pioneered by the French deconstructionists, calls for a dismantling and examination of rhetoric, assumptions and absences within texts. Indeed, according to Saussurian linguistics, language itself is not a rigid, autonomous structure, unchanging in time, but instead continually shifting through signifying practices, or rather the interplay of signifiers with each other.27 But let us now turn back to our discussion of Marxism.

Marxism’s class analysis was from the outset compatible with the Centre’s emphasis on popular culture as “a reflection of the working class’s implicit struggle for self-expression.”28 British cultural studies nevertheless broke through the boundaries of traditional Marxism, which denigrated the importance of culture, claiming that it was merely a product of the economic base. Many historians within the Communist Party Historians’ Group had already criticized Marx’s model as too simplistic to account for the functioning of history – E. P. Thompson being the most prominent historian in this group to push beyond traditional Marxism’s perimeters. In the mid-1960s the infusion of European theorists such as Lukács, Benjamin, Goldman and Sartre began to complicate traditional British conceptions of Marxism.29 This re-conceptualizing of Marxism benefited cultural thinkers at the Centre greatly as this rethinking of the function and location of culture within Marxism allowed them to reapply it as an analytical language – a language intrinsically steeped in issues of power and resistance.

From the outset, the Centre’s mandate was conceptualized as interdisciplinary in nature.30 There were three “foundational disciplines” on which cultural studies would rest when it “arrived” at the Centre: English literary criticism, history and sociology. Richard Hoggart, the first director of the Centre, envisioned the project of
cultural studies as consisting of this triad of disciplines. Hoggart writes, “The field for possible work in Contemporary Cultural Studies can be divided into three parts: one is roughly historical and philosophical; another is, again roughly, sociological; the third - which will be most important – is the literary critical”.31 Cultural studies would look to these disciplines not only for methodology but also for objects of criticism and analysis in and of themselves.32 Both Richard Hoggart and Raymond Williams approached cultural studies from the practice of literary criticism and their contribution to the heritage of British cultural studies cannot be overstated.

Richard Hoggart and Raymond Williams had much in common. Both came from working class backgrounds and both were involved in adult education, both were literary critics and both were interested with the subject of culture in the class-stratified society of Britain. While the environment of Postwar Britain promoted an extension of educational opportunities (specifically adult education), as part of an effort at renewal and reconstruction, class politics were still very much prevalent in the midst of cultural changes and the raising of public consciousness. Britain was also coming under the influence of American popular cultural ideals. In this light, intellectuals such as Hoggart and Williams came to view mass culture as a subject worth of study in contrast to the elite or high culture traditionally viewed as the only culture worth studying.33 William and Hoggart boisterously valorize popular culture as the genuine expression of the working class. Unlike Mathew Arnold, T.S. Eliot and the Leavises they certainly do not view mass or popular culture as base and unworthy of serious study and analysis. Nor do they interpret popular culture as a banal and intellectually empty commodity manufactured by a “culture industry.” And unlike such cultural thinkers as Theodor Adorno, Hoggart, Williams and others who coalesced around the CCCS are concerned less with how people conform passively to an inherited culture than they are interested in how people receive and interact with the cultural commodities that they are faced with from day-to-day. They are interested in how popular culture is created but also how it is received and contested by different groups – how it acts as a site for a struggle for cultural “hegemony.”34 Hoggart based much of his own work on the Leavises’ methodology of applying literary criticism to culture in general. This approach asserts that by analyzing culture and art, one can gain insight into the true complexity of a society – into what Hoggart refers to as “the felt quality of life.” But perhaps further explanation of Hoggart’s interpretation of culture is required.

According to Hoggart, the elite within society attempt to legitimate their power and privilege by projecting their “fields of value” – their mindsets, customs and values – to become, in effect, the dominant culture. Yet there is resistance by the lower classes, and a struggle over cultural legitimacy and cultural dominance thus ensues. Hoggart sees popular culture, or the “authentic” working class culture of pre-war Britain, as an instrument of class struggle – a means by which the working class can express their own values and mentality vis-à-vis the culture of the elite. He interprets working class or popular culture as an interconnected entity or a gestalt of a specific working class family structure, its recreational patterns, language and communication, combined with an organic sense of community.

This incredibly rich and meaningful working class culture is directly reflective or expressive of the working class lived experience. An “authentic” working class culture, Hoggart asserts, is in direct contrast to a “commodified” culture largely imported from the United States (consisting of popular music, television programs, pulp novels, and Hollywood movies). This latter “commodified” culture produced for mass consumption is, according to Hoggart, banal and empty. He claims that in post-war Britain mass culture is in a process of displacing traditional popular culture (which, as we have seen, is viewed as organic and experientially produced by the lived lives of the working class). Hoggart writes:

My argument is not that there was, in England one generation ago, an urban culture still very much ‘of the people’ and that now there is only a mass urban culture. It is rather that the appeals made by the mass publicists are for a great number of reasons made more insistently, effectively and in a more comprehensive and centralised form today than they were earlier; that we are moving towards the creation of a mass culture; that the remnants of what was at least in parts an urban culture ‘of the people’ are being destroyed; and that the new mass culture is in some important ways less healthy than the often crude culture it is replacing.35
For Hoggart then, “cultural studies” is also a means to analyze how imported American mass culture subverts or colonizes traditional working class culture and, thereby, the British working class itself.

Raymond Williams takes a similar approach to Hoggart in regards to privileging popular working class culture; however, he takes a more explicitly Marxist approach. Williams holds the distinction of being the most influential socialist thinkers in the postwar years in Britain. In Culture and Society (1958), Williams traces the concept of “culture” from its origins during the Industrial Revolution to the present. He sees culture as an expression of the coherence of organic communities and also as a terrain for resisting domination and determinism. This is very similar to Hoggart’s definition of culture, however Williams couches his analysis in unambiguous Marxist terms and definitions. In Culture and Society, Williams also engages in an analysis of language – the way in which it is used to give expression and meaning to lived experience. Williams notes that there are “keywords” that map the shape of cultural meaning and understanding throughout history. He writes:

Five words are the key points from which this map can be drawn. They are industry, democracy, class, art and culture. The importance of these words, in our modern structure of meanings, is obvious. The changes in their use, at this critical period, bear witness to a general change in our characteristic way of thinking about our common life: about our social, political and economic institutions; about the purposes which these institutions are designed to embody; and about the relations to these institutions and purposes of our activities in learning, education and the arts.36
In The Long Revolution (1961) Williams outlines the practice of seeing culture as at once “a creative activity” and as “a whole way of life.”37 His project herein is to again follow the evolution of culture through its various historical manifestations towards its present condition. He characterizes this evolution as a process of continuous revolution. He states:
It seems to me that we are living through a long revolution, which our best descriptions only in part interpret. It is genuine revolution, transforming men [sic] and institutions; continually expanded and deepened by the actions of millions, continually and variously opposed by explicit reaction and by the pressure of habitual forms and ideas. Yet it is a difficult revolution to define, and its uneven action is taking place over so long a period that it is almost impossible not to get lost in its exceptionally complicated process.38
By exploring these revolutionary changes in ideas and ways of understanding, Williams’ intention is to promote reflection and further social change. It is his hope that an examination of society’s cultural heritage will encourage ongoing conscious progressive dialogue and change.39

Williams resists any notion of determinism yet acknowledges that specific societies are shaped by spatially and temporally contingent forces – in other words by their local and temporary circumstances throughout history. Hence, to him, the category “the masses” is a misnomer – the masses are not a fixed structure that can be
isolated and examined out of their specific social and historical context. As Williams writes, “There are in fact no masses; there are only ways of seeing people as masses.”40 Subsequently he recognizes that there is good and bad mass culture but what is important is how we non-arbitrarily decide these categories of “good” and “bad”. It is the actual practice of assigning value to things (i.e. what is inherently “good” and what is inherently “bad”) that is the most important concern to Williams since this practice is never a neutral, objective or apolitical exercise. It is this formula that Williams sees as bolstering existing ideological structures and power relationships which serve to obstruct the common voices and efforts of ordinary individuals. Williams highlights the necessity for critically examining how and why cultural symbols and meanings are manufactured, and how and why they are accepted and maintained in society writ large (we can clearly see a strong parallel with Barthes here). In this, he seems to set the ground work for the invitation of Antonio Gramsci’s theory of hegemony into the discourse of cultural studies, as we shall see shortly. More relevant to our discussion here is that Williams sets the tone for the writing of “history from below.”

As I have already mentioned, history is one of the founding disciplines of cultural studies as it began to speak from the CCCS after 1964. Through his seminal work The Making of the English Working Class (1963) E. P. Thompson changed how British history was thought about and written. Thompson, through a practice of “history from below,” intends to reveal the agency and historical experience of the working class, who had been ignored in the practice of traditional history. He does this by documenting the emergence of the English working class during a specific historic period through a narrative that focuses on the working class as its central historical agents. Thompson argues in this book that class cannot be conceived of as a rigid or fixed structure, but rather as something that happens though time – it is a historical process or phenomenon that cannot be frozen in one instance and analyzed. Thompson claims that class must be understood or approached as a social and cultural formation that only manifests itself (or becomes apparent) over a given historical period.41

In other words, Thompson proposes that class is not a thing – it is “something which in fact happens (and can be shown to have happened) in human relationships.”42 Class is a historical event that cannot be understood as a static “structure” or “category.” In order to comprehend “class,” Thompson argues that it is necessary to see class as “an historical phenomenon, unifying a number of disparate and seemingly unconnected events both in the raw material of experience and consciousness.”43 Thompson’s redefinition of class as a fluid historical event-construct thus paradoxically both facilitates and contemplates the notion of “culture.” Indeed he writes that class is “defined by men as they live their own history, and, in the end, this is its only definition.”44 The “working class” exists in the very act of defining of themselves through their life experiences which is necessarily reflected in a working class culture: “embodied in traditions, value-systems, ideas, and institutional forms.”45

Thompson further emphasizes that in looking at culture, the historical voices of both the winners and losers must be considered. It would be ahistorical or Whiggish, he believes, to make judgements where “only the successful are remembered” and “the blind alleys, the lost causes and the losers themselves are forgotten.”46 The significance of the contribution of “victims” or the oppressed to the formation of culture is as apparent as that of the “winners” throughout history. Hence Thompson emphasizes that the lived experience, and therefore the very meaning of culture, are as significant among the “casualties” and the vanquished of history as among the “winners.” In fact, he sees the historical voices of those that have “fought and lost” as having important lessons to impart to those seeking social progress in the present. He states, “In some of the lost causes of the people of the Industrial Revolution [e.g. the Luddites and the Chartists] we may discover insights into social evils which we have yet to cure.”47 Indeed Thompson notes that it is a historical imperative that “[the] only criterion of judgment should not be whether or not a man’s [sic] actions are justified in the light of subsequent evolution. After all, we are not at the end of social evolution ourselves.”48 Thompson, in his warning against presupposed notions of historical progress or regress actually lays the intellectual groundwork for women’s historians and non-western historians who take up this caveat – not just from a class
perspective but also from that of gender and race. Indeed, despite his trenchant engagements with those intellectuals taking other issues besides class into consideration, Thompson, through his focus on the experience and agency of the historical subject(s), arguably puts forward a prescription for a plurality of historical voices. This apparent openness to other possibilities and other historical voices, especially in a non-western context, is suggested when he writes: “Moreover, the greater part of the world today [1963] is still undergoing problems of industrialization, and of the formation of democratic institutions, analogous in many ways to our own experience during the Industrial Revolution. Causes which were lost in England might, in Asia or Africa, yet be won.”49

Thompson further places the development of British popular culture within a historical context by revealing that it has a history. Thompson asserts that popular culture is not produced or manufactured by a “culture industry” ready-made for mass-consumption. On the contrary, it has a history that makes clear its organic connection to the lived experience of the working class. Thompson thus reveals a culture that is produced by the working class in contrast to a culture produced for a working class. In this Thompson establishes the cultural agency and voice of the working class – a vital expression or reflection of working class historical experience, and a working class weltanschauung.

Overall, The Making of the English Working Class contributed greatly to the conceptualization of cultural studies as it examines the struggle of the working class in terms of a working class culture. E. P. Thompson thus represents an intellectual bridge between the tradition of Communist historiography of the Historian’s Group and the burgeoning of cultural studies. Nevertheless, Thompson is very critical of the theoretical turn cultural Marxism in Britain undertook with its absorption of certain key aspects of “structuralism” as personified by the thought of Louis Althusser. Thompson, in fact, launches a loud acerbic attack against what he perceived to be a highly counterproductive intellectual trend. His viewpoints are published in the essay “The Poverty of Theory”, which was expanded into a book in 1978.50In this work Thompson observers:

Althusser and his acolytes challenge, centrally, historical materialism itself. They do not offer to modify it but to displace it. In exchange they offer an a-historical theoreticism which, at the first examination, discloses itself as idealism. How then is it possible for these two to co-exist within one single tradition? Either, a very extraordinary mutation has been taking place, in the last few years, in the Marxist tradition: or that tradition is now breaking apart into two – or several – parts. What is being threatened – what is now being rejected – is the entire tradition of substantive Marxist historical and political analysis, and its accumulating (if provisional) knowledge.51
Thompson’s rather hostile and vociferous reaction to these synchronic theoretical trends in British cultural studies somewhat alienated him from the intellectuals in that field – thus Thompson is often seen as an ambiguous or even “problematic” figure in the canon of cultural studies.52 A discussion of the structuralism that Thompson so objected to will perhaps facilitate a further understanding of this issue.

British cultural studies was profoundly influenced in a theoretical context by the French structuralist Marxist Louis Althusser in the 1970s. Althusser views society as a structural whole which consists of substructures (legal, political, cultural, etc.) whose “effectivity” or manifestation is only determined “in the last instance” by the
economic base.53 The differences and relationships between these substructures are more important than the way in which each reflects the nature of the whole. In other words, from a structuralist perspective, an understanding of differential relations is crucial to an analysis of society and culture. Nevertheless structure is recognized not as existing prior to differential relations but simultaneously with them. For Althusser the mode of production, as it changes through history, is permanently embedded in the separate levels of the whole superstructure. This perspective thus disallows human agency through the conscious deliberate actions of the individual in the formation of societal relationships. Each person is merely an element or cog in the whole structure and denied an existence external to the societal conditions of the system.54 Althusser uses the term “overdetermined” to describe the way in which the mode of production is not necessarily grounded or rooted in ideology or class consciousness but exists in a displaced form dispersed throughout the entire structure of society – it is the milieu or episteme in which society is nested. These “overdetermined” factors (economic, cultural, and political) complete and contest each other thereby, in effect, weaving the very fabric of society and culture.55

The main ideological “substructures” of society – religion, education, family, government, the law – are as significant as the economic means of production. To Althusser, “culture” is not solely reliant or determined by the economic mode. Yet neither is it completely autonomous from economic conditions and relationships.  This interpretation sees ideology as a false consciousness, as Marxism traditionally believed, but ideology also serves as the conceptual means by which members of a society understand (though that may be falsely) their lived lives and their material conditions. Hence ideology has a profound effect on the production of culture and how members of a society perceive themselves and the society around them. Although Althusserian analysis and terminology is evident in the writing that was produced at Birmingham its use was always consciously problematic (E. P. Thompson most notably denounced the anti-humanism of Althusserism).

While Althusserian structuralism provided those at Birmingham with useful intellectual language in approaching culture, Althusser’s more problematic aspects (such as his denial of human agency) prompted those at the Centre to search for more appealing theoretical tools. Antonio Gramsci’s thought provided a subsequent compelling framework for analyzing society and culture.56 Gramsci’s theory of hegemony postulated an understanding of how a society is bound together without direct authoritative control. Hegemony is the method understood by Gramsci to be the means of exercising power without the use of overt force. The dominant group or ruling class faction (which Gramsci describes as a “historical bloc”) exercises their control and authority over the subordinate classes. They do this not simply through their access to the means of physical coercion or “domination” but more significantly through their ability to create consent through an “intellectual and moral leadership.”57 This consent is obtained and maintained by the dominant group through a negotiation of cultural meanings, ideas, and values. Rather than being imposed from above or developed in a free or incidental manner, cultural artifacts are negotiated contingently on the basis of encounters and conflicts between the opposing classes. The process in which this “representation and authoritative set of representations and practices” operates takes place on a number of fronts.58 Significantly culture is the location in which this struggle for hegemony occurs. It is especially on the field of popular culture that the issues of power and control come to conflict and eventually reach closure in the form of a consensual compromise between the competing classes. Thus the notion of hegemony provides a flexible and compatible framework for those at the CCCS. As we shall now see, the “Gramscian turn” at the Centre was in fact largely facilitated by the work being done by Stuart Hall.

Stuart Hall, a key intellectual of the New Left who drew upon the cultural approaches of Hoggart and William, became the director of the Centre in 1969 following Hoggart’s departure. Hall’s writing is often thought of as the most influential or significant body of work in the “canon” of British cultural studies. He was acutely aware of a need for cultural discourse to ask theoretical and political questions, and so consciously involved himself in both activism and academic work. Hall emphasized that the intellectual must always position her or himself on the cutting edge of knowledge and theory, and “cannot absolve himself or herself from the responsibility of transmitting those ideas, that knowledge, through the intellectual function, to those who do not belong, professionally, in the intellectual class.”59

From the outset, intellectuals involved with the New Left and with the Centre both implicitly and explicitly saw themselves as having a deliberate political role to play beyond the confines of the academy. Thus there was a conscious effort by all (and, dare I say, a consensus) at the Centre to embrace an ideal that can best be
described by Antonio Gramsci’s concept of the “organic intellectual.” This concept refers to those individuals who were overtly identified with an underclass and purposefully voice its interests and political objectives. However, cultural studies appropriated and expanded Gramsci’s notion of the intellectual (as it did with his concept of hegemony) beyond the scope of class to include the power relations of sex, gender, race, ethnicity, age, consumerism, meaning and pleasure.60

Hall’s life and work are a conscious and deliberate attempt to recognize this belief and bear it out in practice. Indeed Hall believes the intellectual must come to terms with conflicting forces, contest them, even use them for creative and political ends. It is this belief or spirit that consequently permeates the entire discourse of cultural studies at Birmingham, especially under Hall’s leadership from 1969 to 1979. “Organic intellectualism” allowed the very intellectual space at the Centre to be used as an open dialogue for contesting all knowledge and conventions, even those held by the leading members of the Centre themselves. It was this “dialogic” spirit – a spirit that tried to acknowledge those outside of a core of intellectual élites that would position cultural studies as a location for the voices of feminism and race to be heard, as we shall see. But it was ironically a location that also harbored trenchant resistance to ideas which were perceived to be trying to overturn or subvert the class analysis bias long established at the Centre. Indeed these contestatory projects at the Centre (most notably feminism) revealed that the intellectual concern of cultural studies at the Centre was not only a class-based inflexibility but also one which, moreover, focused on a profoundly male subject. This narrow perspective of the Centre was only expanded in the 1980s to give expression to issues of gender and race – as the result of great internal political and intellectual struggle.

The political “openness” of cultural studies would seemingly allow for a more broad analysis of other marginalized or disadvantaged groups, most significantly women and minority groups nevertheless this did not occur all at once.61 Pioneering intellectual work would eventually be done which aimed at empowering and giving voice to these groups through an understanding of the relationship between culture and the workings of different forms of power, and thus making possible the formulation of political strategies for countering this power. Women at the Centre in the late 1970s noted that there was an obvious absence of female subjects within the work being done in cultural studies. There was precious little focus on women’s cultural practices in the “cutting-edge” research being done into subcultures and subcultural practices. Angela McRobbie was among the first researchers at the CCCS to draw attention to the unfortunate fact that women were a lacuna and that the subjects of this research had an “unambiguously masculine prerogative.”62 The production of male-centered studies and histories by members of the Centre thus “unconsciously reproduce[d] their subculture’s repressible [sic] attitude towards women.”63 McRobbie further notes:

This is not to say that women are denied style, rather that the style of a subculture is primarily that of its men. Linked to this are the collective celebrations of itself through its rituals of stylish public self-display and of its (at least temporary) sexual self-sufficiency.64
A similar observation was published in Women Take Issue (1978) in which the male middle class bias of Centre was critiqued. The Editorial Group of this groundbreaking volume articulated the barriers they faced in doing this work and their motivations for pushing beyond these barriers:
When we decided to do this book we thought we were deciding to produce the eleventh issue of Working Papers in Cultural Studies. Ten issues, with only four articles concerning women – it seemed about time. Women’s continuing ‘invisibility’ in the journal, and in much of the intellectual work done within CCCS (although things are changing), is the result of a complex of factors, which although in their particular combination are specific to our own relatively privileged situation, are not unique to it. We want here to outline some of the problems the Women’s Studies Group has faced, in a way which gives this book some sort of history, but also attempts to deals with more general problems of women’s studies and trying to do feminist intellectual work.65
Women Take Issue was authored by Angela McRobbie, Charlotte Brundson, Dorothy Hobson, Janice Winship, Rachel Harrison and other writers at the Centre who came together under the collective name of the Women’s Studies Group. The group was formed in 1974 with the mission to investigate and analyze women as cultural subjects. This represented an opening of ethnographic research into the largely overlooked, or “silenced,” cultural lives of women and the textual analysis of “feminine” cultural forms (such as teenage and women’s magazines). The Women’s Studies Group’s critique of the patriarchal approach and assumptions of the previous work at the Centre reveals that the results of previous cultural analysis are heavily gender biased and contribute to the oppression of women by relegating them to “relative obscurity.”66 The result of this revelation was an opening up of the discourse at the Centre. It pushed the research at the Centre to be more inclusive to the voice of “outsiders,” but also in making the research and language at the Centre “less arcane and esoteric during a period when much of it tended towards theoreticism.”67

This investigation further reveals the ways in which culture is a locus where the social categories and arrangements of gender can be contested. Ideology and cultural institutions reinforce the bifurcation of male and female subject headings, which is made evident in the placement of women in cultural production (as creators, and consumers of this culture). Moreover, this research dealt with the role of women in the different modes of cultural representation (popular culture, literature, and the visual arts) which act as the setting for the playing out of constructed notions of gender. The intervention of feminist theory into the work being done at the Centre allowed important new dialogues to be opened. It inspired further projects, extending the Centre’s understanding of race – but also in the possible ways that race, gender and class were linked. A key work towards vocalizing this further understanding was contained within the collaborative work The Empire Strikes Back: Race and Racism in ‘70s Britain (1982).68 This book is a collection of essays written in the aftermath of Thatcher’s 1979 victory and the race riots of the early 1980s.70 Earlier, in Policing the Crisis (1978), Stuart Hall points out how the media constructed and built up the crime of “mugging” and the social type of the “mugger,’ and conflated these notions with racial minorities and broader social problems. The racially circumscribed “mugger” provided a convenient scapegoat (i.e. the young black male) or excuse for the dominant hegemony to reassert itself through a policy of “cracking down” on crime. Indeed, the work done in The Empire Strikes Back was built upon the groundwork laid by Hall in Policing the Crisis. Both works emphasize the need to reexamine racism in reference to its specific historical and social context instead of viewing it as a universal constant across the range of human experience. This work on racism and sexism was in concordance with Williams and Hoggart’s early attempts to use personal experiential accounts as ingress to the investigation of more extensive cultural phenomenon.71 In this way, the Centre’s investigation into racism and sexism was a further exploration in the ways in which “the personal was the political.”

Work along these lines vastly contributed to the understanding of race, identity and difference at the Centre (and thus in British cultural studies in general). This investigation helped lead to the recognition of “race” as a socially and historically constructed concept. The meaning of “race” is shown to have changed over history; however there is no prior universal or essentialized categorization of race. Race cannot be reduced to clear-cut, biologically or genetically valid differentiations. Like gender, it is a socially and historically contingent construct. Race came to be seen in relation to the specific forms of struggle by black people in their efforts to resist the oppression of both the British State and British society. “In this context, race relations have become the central aspect of the attempts to orchestrate politically – and therefore to manage – the effects of the organic crisis. We must locate the pertinence of 'race' within this hegemonic struggle and assess its articulation by and with the processes which secure economic, ideological and political power and domination.”71 Further work would be done elaborating greatly on these new meanings and understandings of race. This work would also further the cause of making the discourse of cultural studies more inclusive of the marginalized “Other.” One of the most noteworthy intellectuals to push the disciplinary boundaries in this direction was the sociologist Paul Gilroy.

In ‘There Ain’t No Black in the Union Jack’ (1987), Paul Gilroy engages in a discussion of the relationship between the black diaspora in Britain, on the one hand, and the construction (or reconstruction) of the British national cultural identity, on the other.72 Gilroy voices a unique or groundbreaking examination of race in Britain during the 1980s. Gilroy sees an intrinsic linkage between race, class, and gender in this complex relationship. He offers the idea that “race” does not correspond to “any biological or epistemological absolutes,”73 rather he (similarly to Hall) sees it as an “open political category” referring to “the power that collective identities acquire by means of their roots in tradition.”74Gilroy asserts that “race” is an unfixed, mutable category that is at once historically and culturally contingent. In his analysis Gilroy notes that this is counterproductive to those studying race to “subsume a specifically racial problematic – and assume that race can be analyzed within the confines of traditional Marxian analysis.”75 In fact in the outset of the book Gilroy emphasizes that race must not be perceived solely in terms of class issues and class analysis. He refuses the notion of class as a unifying category of analysis or even praxis. In fact, Gilroy rethinks the notions of “class” and “surplus values” that can be deployed as tools in the analysis of race and national identity. Gilroy points to the unfortunate fact that nationally rooted racist attitudes transcend not only the political divide between left and right but also class barriers. This is especially valid since Gilroy is writing at a time when a revitalized Right is exacting draconian punitive measures against organized labour while a demoralized Left is in disarray.

It is this political, social and cultural environment that Gilroy sees as being the locus for the breaking down of traditional perceived alliances between the Left and issues defined by race. He sees the New Left as an heir equal to the Right to an aesthetic and cultural tradition embracing and compounding a sense of nationalism, and therefore a sense of racism, by denying cultural referents external to those of traditional (white) British identity. It is an odd convergence of Left and Right wing voices in regards to the politics of nationality and the politics of race that Gilroy seeks to interrogate and historize. Exploring this seemingly paradoxical Left-Right convergence over the politics of race and national identity, Gilroy points to it having emerged in the postcolonial politics of Britain after World War Two.76 But it is the prevalent bipartisan nature of Thatcherite era racism that Gilroy sees as anchored in the anxieties of national decline rather than imperialist expansion abroad. This recent articulation of racism does not necessarily proceed through traditional notions of racial superiority and inferiority. The nature of racial power relations has become more subtle and evasive, and Gilroy asserts that this is fundamentally the basis for the convergence of Leftist and Rightist rhetoric in the politics of race.77 He notes that “[t]his coming together is a characteristic feature of contemporary 'race' politics in Britain.”78

Gilroy observes that political strategy on the part of the Left has involved the attempt to counter the Right’s monopoly on British nationalism and patriotism by constructing an “alternative” nationalism and patriotism around the English working-man. British historians, most notably E. P. Thompson and Eric Hobsbawm, have attempted to locate this idealized referent at the Centre of a “true” British cultural identity. Gilroy draws attention to the Left’s rhetorical attempt to re-appropriate nationalistic and patriotic fervor during the Falklands War as a clear manifestation of this trend.79However this pernicious attempt on the part of the Left to redefine the semiotics of British identity only betrays the ethnocentric nature of the entire nationalist project. In fact, the very presence of a black (or Asian) diaspora that overtly refuses to conform to this ideal national dialogue represents a threat that must either be ignored or silenced outright as “non-British” in this new paradigm.

Yet while Gilroy offers useful critiques of Marxist approaches, he does not see a need to completely dismiss a Marxian analysis altogether. Indeed Gilroy’s critiques are very instructive as he calls for more totalizing Marxian approach to race and class (as well as the gender, sexuality, and generation). Gilroy acknowledges the valuable insights that the Marxist approach has to offer in articulating a materialist theory of culture vis-à-vis capital. Yet he sees cultural studies (viz. cultural Marxism’s) prior attempts to sidestep (or ignore outright) the voice of race as pernicious at best. The “invisibility” or “silencing” of race in the “discipline” reveals that “in spite of itself, [cultural studies] tends towards a morbid celebration of England and Englishness from which blacks are systematically excluded.”80

In retrospect, work done at the Centre on racism and sexism contributed to an understanding that such inequities were implicit to capitalism. However, an answer to the overall question of how to resolve the importance of the voices of gender and race within the class bias of Marxist criticism remains elusive. On the other hand, the intervention of gender and race has served to complicate the reductionist perspective of Marxism in a very positive way. Paul Gilroy argues that this complication of Marxism has led to a “view of class formation as an effect of heterogeneous struggles perhaps promised in different communities – linguistic, sexual, regional, ecological and ‘racial.’”81

The debate continues as to how the different, yet not mutually exclusive, axes of class, gender, and race (there are of course more areas of analysis than this) are to be reconciled with each other within British cultural studies. What weight or priority is to be granted to each of them in matters in which they conflict? “There is no consensus at the present time – not even between white feminists and women of colour who are inclined to disagree about how race and gender intersects in forms of oppression.”82 Yet it is my assertion that the intellectual space provided by British cultural studies at Birmingham has allowed this debate to play out in an immensely productive, on-going dialogue. It is here that Bakhtin’s concept of the “dialogic” is efficacious to understanding the dynamics in place at the Centre. To Bakhtin, literature or the text is the site for the “dialogic” interaction of multiple voices. However he also suggests that these different voices and the subsequent modes of discourse in a text are not just a verbal or literary phenomenon, but a social one as well. These discordant voices (what he refers to as a “polyphonic heterogeneity”) in a text may be seen to “disrupt” the authority or “centrality” of a single voice – namely the author.83

British cultural studies as it emerged from Birmingham also fits into a larger Bakhtinian practice or methodology. Bakhtin begins his analytical method by continually instituting a dialogue between previous studies and his own commentaries – an approach which sees itself as always occurring within the context of a larger historical and critical movement. This is relevant to an analysis of the Centre as the scholarship that was practiced within its walls was/is always acutely aware of its own position towards the scholarship that came before it and an awareness of a need to push beyond it. Dialogic criticism, or the dialogical approach, proposes that a narrative work, and even culture as well, is constituted by a plurality of absolute contending and mutually qualifying social voices, with no possibility of a decisive resolution in the form of a “monologic” truth or single authoritative consensus. There is “simply” one voice among many in the contention of theories and practices, which coexist in a sustained tension of opposition and mutual definition. Hence it is my assertion that the differing opinions, perspectives, or voices at the Centre (most notably with the arrival of “gender” and “race”) conform to a dialogic interpretation. In this way the differing perspectives throughout the history of the CCCS never conflict to the point of theoretical or political paresis. Rather they are always engaged in a vigorous dialogue of separate and valid voices at “tension” as Hall would say within an overarching discursive framework that is also inclusive of new voices from without.


1. Stuart Hall, “Cultural Studies and its Theoretical Legacies,” in
Cultural Studies, ed. Lawrence Grossberg, Cary Nelson, and Paula
Treichler (New York: Routledge, 1992), 278.
Return to Text

2. Such as Norma Schulman, Dennis Dworkin and Graeme
Return to Text

3. I have made the conscious decision in this paper to avoid a
major problematic in regards to British cultural studies – that is its
positionality as a “discipline.” How do “voices” (even contestatory
ones) become institutionalized and “disarmed” within the discourse?
How do the “voices” within this discursive field “police” themselves.
These are highly relevant subjects that must wait for a future paper
for I recognize they are crucial to a greater understanding of British
cultural studies at the CCCS.
Return to Text

4. [Italics in original] Mikhail Bakhtin, Problems of Dostoevsky's
Poetics, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1984, 6.
Return to Text

5. Bakhtin, 62.
Return to Text

6. Stuart Hall, 278.
Return to Text

7. Dennis Dworkin, Cultural Marxism in Postwar Britain: History,
the New Left, and Origins of Cultural Studies (Durham and London:
Duke University, 1997), 80.
Return to Text

8. Will Brooker, Cultural Studies (Chicago: NTC/Contemporary
Publishing, 1998), 23-40.
Return to Text

9. Dworkin, 3.
Return to Text

10. Dworkin, 78.
Return to Text

11. Dworkin, 45.
Return to Text

12. Dworkin, 79.
Return to Text

13. Dworkin, 45.
Return to Text

14. In his book British Cultural Studies: An Introduction, Turner
acknowledges the importance of the political project but consciously
relegates it to the last chapter in the Section Edition.
Return to Text

15. Raymond Williams, The Long Revolution (London: Chatto &
Windus, 1961), 300.
Return to Text

16. Catherine Hall, “Introduction,” in White, Male and
Middle-Class: Explorations in Feminism and History, ed. Catherine
Hall (New York: Routledge, 1988), 3.
Return to Text

17. Dworkin, 10-11.
Return to Text

18. Dworkin, 3.
Return to Text

19. Schulman, 51-73.
Return to Text

20. John Storey, Cultural Studies and The Study of Popular
Culture: Theories and Methods (Athens: University of Georgia
Press, 1996), 3.
Return to Text

21. Storey, 3.
Return to Text

22. Bourdieu and Barthes’ influence can clearly be seen here.
Return to Text

23. Storey, 3-4.
Return to Text

24. Dworkin, 141.
Return to Text

25. Stuart Hall, 279 [My emphasis].
Return to Text

26. A subject I shall return to later in this paper.
Return to Text

27. Barker, 74-5.
Return to Text

28. Schulman, 51-73.
Return to Text

29. Graeme Turner, British Cultural Studies: An Introduction,
Second Edition (London and New York: Routledge, 1990), 23.
Return to Text

30. Schulman, 51-73.
Return to Text

31. Richard Hoggart, Speaking to Each Other: Essays by
Richard Hoggart, Volume II About Literature (New York: Oxford
University Press, 1970), 255.
Return to Text

32. Turner, 70.
Return to Text

33. Bakhtin, 62.
Return to Text

34. I shall return to the concept of “hegemony” in my
discussion of Gramsci.
Return to Text

35. Richard Hoggart, Uses of Literacy (London: Chatto &
Windus, 1967), 23-4.
Return to Text

36. Williams, Culture and Society, xi [My italics].
Return to Text

37. Williams, The Long Revolution, 40.
Return to Text

38. Williams, The Long Revolution, x.
Return to Text

39. Williams, Culture and Society, 338.
Return to Text

40. Williams, Culture and Society, 300.
Return to Text

41. E. P. Thompson, The Making of the English Working Class
(New York: Vintage Books, 1966), 8.
Return to Text

42. Thompson, The Making of the English Working Class, 9.
Return to Text

43. Thompson, The Making of the English Working Class, 9.
Return to Text

44. Thompson, The Making of the English Working Class, 11.
Return to Text

45. Thompson, The Making of the English Working Class, 9.
Return to Text

46. Thompson, The Making of the English Working Class, 12.
Return to Text

47. Thompson, The Making of the English Working Class, 12.
Return to Text

48. Thompson, The Making of the English Working Class, 12.
Return to Text

49. Thompson, The Making of the English Working Class, 12.
Return to Text

50. E. P. Thompson, “The Poverty of Theory: or an Orrery of
Errors,” in The Poverty of Theory and Other Essays (London: Merlin
Press, 1978), 193-401.
Return to Text

51. Thompson, “The Poverty of Theory: or an Orrery of
Errors,” 196.
Return to Text

52. Turner, 63.
Return to Text

53. Louis Althusser, For Marx, trans. Ben Brewster (London:
Verso, 1965), 235.
Return to Text

54. Louis Althusser and Etienne Balibar, Reading Capital,
trans. Ben Brewster (London: Verso, 1968), 106-7.
Return to Text

55. Althusser and Balibar, 315.
Return to Text

56. Graeme Turner, 194-5.
Return to Text

57. Antonio Gramsci, The Antonio Gramsci Reader: Selected
Writings 1916-1935 ed. David Forgacs (New York: New York
University Press, 2000), 249.
Return to Text

58. Barker, 351.
Return to Text

59. Stuart Hall, 281.
Return to Text

60. Barker, 351.
Return to Text

61. Schulman, 51-73.
Return to Text

62. Angela McRobbie, “Settling Accounts with Subcultures: A
Feminist Critique,” in Feminism and Youth Culture (London:
Macmillan, 1991), 117.
Return to Text

63. Turner, 165.
Return to Text

64. McRobbie, 117.
Return to Text

65. Editorial Group, Women’s Studies Group Centre for
Contemporary Cultural Studies University of Birmingham, Women
Take Issue: Aspects of Women’s Subordination (London:
Hutchinson, 1978), 7.
Return to Text

66. Schulman, 51-73.
Return to Text

67. Schulman, 51-73.
Return to Text

68. Paul Gilroy, Pratibha Parnar, Hazel V. Carby, and Errol
Lawrence were among the contributors.
Return to Text

69. Dworkin, 180.
Return to Text

70. Schulman, 51-73.
Return to Text

71. John Solomos quoted in Paul Gilroy, ‘There Ain’t No Black
in the Union Jack’ (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1987),
Return to Text

72. Work done on this book was technically done after Gilroy
had left the Centre however it is a clear extension of the work that
he had done there.
Return to Text

73. Gilroy, ‘There Ain’t No Black in the Union Jack’, 247.
Return to Text

74. Gilroy, 39.
Return to Text

75. Gilroy, 5.
Return to Text

76. Gilroy, 9.
Return to Text

77. Gilroy, 40.
Return to Text

78. Gilroy, 40.
Return to Text
79. Gilroy, 57.
Return to Text

80. Gilroy, 12.
Return to Text

81. Gilroy, 281.
Return to Text

82. Schulman, 51-73.
Return to Text

83. M. M. Bakhtin, “Discourse in the Novel,” in The Dialogic
Imagination: Four Essays by M. M. Bakhtin, ed. Michael Holquist,
trans. Caryl Emerson and Michael Holquist (Austin: University of
Texas Press, 1981), 314-5.
Return to Text

Gateway encourges its readers to contact us with
any comments, questions or concerns.