Hall, Stuart. 1992. “Race, Culture, and Communications: Looking Backward and Forward at Cultural Studies.” Rethinking Marxism: A Journal of Economics, Culture, and Society 5 (1): 10-18.
Roots of cultural studies at University of Birmingham in 1960s, in Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies. Existing departments of language, literature, history, fine arts upheld cultural heritage – social sciences dealt with (abstract) cultural system. Seeks to examine communication, communication processes, meaning – pop culture and high arts, where power intersects with knowledge, cultural processes intersect social change. Act as a popular US study – interdisciplinary, focus on critical theory – though each program varies differently.
“Cultural studies, wherever it exists, reflects the rapidly shifting ground of thought and knowledge, argument and debate about a society and about its own culture. It is an activity of intellectual self-reflection” (11). Works internal and external to academy, representative of change. An “irritant” to academic life – anticipates change, tensions. Focus on intellectual rigor in application to new, urgent, contemporary issues of a society and culture. In Britain, combines economics, impacts of war, immigration, media, multiplicity of racisms, masculinities – how these all impact each other and weave a common thread throughout culture.
“It was the silences that told us something; it was what wasn’t there. It was what was invisible, what couldn’t be put into frame, what was apparently unsayable that we needed to attend to. If you want to ask, “what can content analysis teach you?” well, one of the questions you have to ask is, “what about the people who appear to have no content at all-who are just pure form, just pure, invisible form?” You can count lexical items if they’re there; but you need a different approach if you really want, as it were, to read a society and its culture symptomatically” (15). (kx^ in regards to non-represented parties in sites)
Also, note the prominence of race/racism in our society, media, academy