现代西方文学理论与批评

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现代西方文学理论与批评
Modern Western
Literary Theory and Criticism
Part 1
Part 1 Introduction

Concepts:
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Criticism:
The reasoned discussion of literary works,an activity which
may include some or all of the following procedures,in
varying proportions:the defence of literature against
moralists and censors,classification of a work according to its
genre,interpretation of its meaning,analysis of its structure
and style, judgment of its worth by comparison with other
works,estimation of its likely effect on readers,and the
establishment of general principles by which literary works
can be evaluated and understood.(Oxford concise Dictionary
of Literary Terms)
Part 1

Literary Theory
literary theory is “speculative discourse on literature and
on practice of literature.”It may include reflections on or
analysis of general principles and categories of
literature,such as its nature and function;its relation to other
aspects of culture;the purpose,procedures and validity of
literary criticism;relation of literary text to their authors and
historical contexts;or the production of literary
meaning.(Zhu Gang )
Part 1
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Modern:
• historical period from Renaissance to 20th century
• 20th century
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Western:
• Geographical meaning:Europe and America
• Cultural meaning:Cultural community of develop
capitalism countries,especially based on Christian
tradition.

Conclusion:
Modern western literary theory and criticism are
reasoned activities of discussion about literature in Western
world in 20th century.
Part 1
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Approaches,schools and groups
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Scientism Approaches
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Russian Formalism
Anglo-American New Criticism
Czech Structuralism
French Structuralism
Post Structuralism
Part 1
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Humanism Approaches
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Existentialism
Psychoanalysis Criticism
Phenomenological Criticism
Hermeneutics Criticism
Reader-Response Criticism
Feminism Criticism
Part 1

Historical Approaches
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Marxist Criticism
New Historicism
Cultural Studies
Post-Colonial Criticism
Part 1
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Characters:
Theorized:almost all of the schools of criticism have
their particular theory.
 Adapting theories or principles from their disciplines.
 Understanding literature in terms of its relations to
history,politics gender,social class,race,mythology or
psychology.
 Critical tendency:many schools of criticism seek to
influence on the social reality with in their historical
context.
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Part 1
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References and Further reading:
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Handbook of critical Approaches to Literature(Third
Edition),Wilfred.L.Guerin(ed).
Literary Theory from Plato to Barthes:An Introductory
History ,Richard.Harland,外语教学与研究出版社。
Twentieth Century Western Critical Theories, Zhu Gang,上
海外语教育出版社。
Selective Readings in 20th Century Western Critical Theory,
张中载,王逢振、赵国新编,外语教学与研究出版社。
Literary theory,Jonathan Culler,Oxford University
Press,1997.
A Reader’s Guide to Contemporary Literary Theory,Roman
Selden,Harvester Wheatsheaf,1989.
Part 2
Part 2 The New Criticism
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Times:
There are four periods:the initiative(1910-1930),the
formative(1930-1945), the dominant(1945-1957), and
normalization(1960s to the present). If we take T.E.
Hume, a British aesthetician, or American poet Ezra
Pound as the initiator of the New Criticism, then this
school started in the 1910s.But the New Criticism rose
formally in the 1930s when some critics established their
theory in America, and it became dominant criticism
system in college and university English departments in
the 1950s.
Part 2
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Members:
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Founders:
• I.A.Richards(1883--1981)
• T.S.Eliot(1888--1965)
• W.Empson.(1906--1984)
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Masters:
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John Crowe Ransom(1888--1974)
Allen Tate(1888--1979)
Robert Penn Warren(1905--)
Cleanth Brooks(1906--1994)
W.K.Wimsatt(1907--1975)
• Rene Wellek(1903--1995)
Part 2
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Works:
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I.A Richards:
• Principles of Literary Criticism(1924)
• Practical Criticism:A sturdy of Literary
Judgment.(1929)
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T.S.Eliot:
• Tradition and the Individual Talent.(1917)
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William Empson:
• Seven Types of Ambiguity (1930)
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John Crowe Ransom:
• Poetry:A Note in Ontology.(1934)
• The New Criticism(1941)
Part 2
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Works:
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Allen Tate:
• Tension in Poetry(1938)
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Cleanth Brooks:
• The Language of Paradox(1942)
• The Well-wrought Urn.(1947)
• Understanding Poetry.(1938,with Robert Penn
Warren)
• Understanding fiction.(1943,with Robert Penn
Warren)
• Understanding Drama(1945,with Robert B.Heilman)
Part 2
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Works:
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W.K.Wimsatt:
• The Verbal Icon(1954)
• The Intentional Fallacy(1946,with M.C. Beardsley)
• The Affective fallacy(1949,with M.C. Beardsley)
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R.Wellek:
• Theory of Literature(1949,with Austin Warren)
• History of Modern Criticism 1750-1950(1986)
Part 2
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Ideas:
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The New Critics read the individual work of literary
art as an organic form.They articulated the concept
that in an organic form there is a consistency and an
internal vitality that we should look for and
appreciate.
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One of the most salient considerations of the New
Critics was emphasis on form,on the work of art as
an object.
Part 2
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The New Critics sought precision and structural
tightness in the literary work;they favored a style
and tone that tended toward irony;they insisted on
the presence within the work of everything
necessary for its analysis;and they called for an
end to a concern by critics with matters outside
the work itself--the life of the author,the history
of his times,or the social and economic
implications of the literary work.
Part 2
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Keywords:
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Close reading:
A reading method that is the mark of the New Criticism,
which takes work as a piece of textured literary art, and
only read the work itself. Close reading begins with
sensitivity to the words of the text and all their denotative
and connotative values and implications, then looks for
structures, patterns and interrelationships in the text.
Part 2
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Tension:
A reading strategy offered by Allen Tate in 1938,
that means a combination of extension and intension.
It is also a New Critical standard for evaluating
poetry and poets.
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Irony:
Irony involves a discrepancy between what is said
and what is meant. To I. A. Richards irony is
bringing opposites to form a balance, while C.
Brooks suggested irony is the stability of a context
in which the internal pressures balance and mutually
support each other.
Part 2
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The intentional fallacy:
A particular term proposed by Wimsatt and
Beardsley who argued that the design or intention
of the author is neither available nor desirable as a
standard for judging the success of a work of
literary art, and that a literary work,once
published,belongs in the public realm of
language,which gives it an objective existence
distinct from the author’s original idea of it.
Part 2
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The affective fallacy:
The affective fallacy is proposed by Wimsatt and
Beardsley that means a confusion between the
poem and its results(what it is and what it does), It
begins by trying to drive the standard of criticism
from the psychological effects of the poem and
ends in impressionism and relativism.The outcome
of either fallacy,the intentional or the affective,is
that the poem itself,as an object of specifically
critical judgment,tends to disappear.
Part 3
Part 3 The Psychoanalytical Criticism
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Times:
Started from 1900 when S.Freud published his The
Interpretation of Dreams, then extended to
present.There are two important stages in the course of
psychoanalytical criticism development. First is the
phase of Freud. Second is the phase of Jacque Lacan.
Part 3
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Members :
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Founder:
• Sigmund Freud(1856-1939)
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Adherent:
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Melanie Klein(1882-1960)
Ernest Jones(1879-1958)
Marie Bonaparte
Norman Holland(1927- )
Jacque Lacan(1901-1981)
Lionel Trilling(1905-1975)
Part 3
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Works :
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S.Freud:
• The interpretation of Dreams (1900)
• Creative writers and Daydreaming
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Jacque Lacan
• The four Fundamental concepts of psychoanalysis
(1977)
• Ecrits:A Selection (1966)
Part 3
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E.Jones:
• Hamlet and Oedipus(1910)
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Norman Holland
• The Dynamics of Literary Response (1968)
• Five Readers Reading (1975)
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Melanie Klein
• Notes on Some Schizoid Mechanisms(1946)
• Some theoretical conclusion regarding the Emotional
Life of the infant
Part 3
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Freud’s ideas
Freud emphasized the unconscious aspects of the
human psyche and provided convincing evidence
that most of our actions are motivated by
psychological forces over which we have very
limited control.
 He demonstrated that,like the iceberg,the human
mind is structured so that its great weight and
density lie beneath the surface.
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Part 3
All human behavior is motivated ultimately by what
we would call sexuality.Freud designates the prime
psychic force as libido,or sexual energy.
 His another major premise is that because of the
powerful social taboos attached to certain sexual
impulses,many of our desires and memories are
repressed.
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Part 3
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Keywords
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Oedipus complex
Freud borrowed this term from Greece classic Sophoclean
tragedy in which the hero Oedipus unknowingly slew his
father and married his mother.In psychoanalytical theory
Oedipus complex derives from the boy’s unconscious rivalry
with his father for the love of his mother.
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Unconsciousness
A mental process that is structured beneath the surface
consciousness,and has no easy access to consciousness,but
must be inferred,discovered,and translated into conscious
form in some special manners.
Part 3
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Libido
Freud called by this name (Libido)the energy of those
instincts which have to do with all that may be comprised
under the word “love”.To Freud, “love”consists in sexual
love with sexual union as its aim,but he did not separate
from this either the self-love or love for parents and children,
friendship and love for humanity in general, and also
devotion to concrete objects and to abstract ideas.
Part 4
Part 4 Western Marxist Criticism
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Times:
Marxist Literary criticism can be divided into
three periods:Classical Marxism,early Western
Marxism ,Late Marxism.Early Western Marxism
began with Georg Lukacs,then developed by
“Institute of Social Research”in university of
Frankfurt, Germany,Late Marxism started from
1960s and extended in the last years of the 20th
century.
Part 4
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Members:
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Founders:
• Georg Lukacs (1885-1971)
• Antonio Gramsci(1891-1937)
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Adherents:
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Max Horkheimer (1895-1973)
Thoedor W Adorno (1903-1969)
Walter Benjamin (1892-1940)
Herbert Marcuse (1898-1979)
Leo Lowenthal(1900-1993)
Part 4
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Later:
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Louis Althusser (1918-1980)
Raymond Williams (1921-1988)
Terry Eagleton (1943-)
Fredric Jameson (1934-)
Jurgen Habermas(1929-)
Part 4
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Works:
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Georg Lukacs:
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History and Class Consciousness (1923)
The Theory of Novel (1920)
The Historical Novel (1962)
The Meaning of Contemporary Realism (1963)
Antonio Gramsci:
• Prison Notebooks (1977)
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T. W Adrono:
• Aesthetic Theory (1970)
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Walter Benjamin
• Charles Baudelaire :A Lyric Poet in the Era of High
Capitalism (1973)
Part 4
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R. Williams:
• Marxism and Literature (1977)
• Culture and Society (1958)
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T. Eagleton:
• Criticism and Ideology (1976)
• Marxism and Literary Criticism (1976)
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F.Jameson:
• The Political Unconsciousness (1979)
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L. Althusser:
• Lenin and Philosophy and Other Essays (1971)
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Leo Lowenthal
• On Sociology of Literature (1932)
Part 4
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Characters:
Western Marxism turned Marxist criticism into
a cultural critique from the philosophical
perspective.
 Interdisciplinarity is another feature of the
Western Marxism.
 Researching many new fields which Marx and
Engels had never studied through associated
with other new theories in 20th century.
 Critical attitude towards new social problems
emerged in the West world in 20th century.
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Part 4
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Keywords:
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Ideology:
Ideology is idea or belief come from social classes in
their relations with each other.It is seen be rooted in the
material conditions of the everyday life of
classes,because classes are not equal,ideology is thought
as a distorted representation of the truth,or “false
consciousness”.
Part 4
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Hegemony:
The concept of hegemony was proposed by Italian
Marxist theorist and activist Antonio Gramsci to
understand how social groups organize their rule.He
suggested that rule involves both domination and
hegemony that is the organization of consent based on
establishing the legitimacy of leadership and developing
shared ideas,values, beliefs and meanings.
Part 5
Part 5 Feminism Criticism
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Times:
There are three phase in feminism:first-wave
(late 19th and early 20th century ),second-wave
and post-modern feminism . Second-wave
Feminist criticism developed since the women’s
movement beginning in the early 1960s,and with
women’s studies programs growing in American
higher education,Feminism criticism divided
into many types in 1970s and 1980s.E.Showalter
identified four models of them:The biological,
linguistic,psychoanalytic and cultural.
Part 5
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Members:
Mary Wollstonecraft(1759-1797)
 Virginia Woolf(1882-1941)
 Simone de Beauvoir(1908-1986)
 Kate Millett
 Elaine Showalter(1941-)
 Toril Moi(1953-)
 Lillian Robinson
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Part 5
Michele Barrett
 Sandra Gilbert
 Susan Gubar
 Helene Cixous(1937-)
 Jalis Kristeva(1941-)
 Luce Irigaray
 Barbara Smith
 bell hooks
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Part 5
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Works:
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Mary Wollstonecraft:
• A Vindication of the Rights of Woman(1791)
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Virginia Woolf:
• A Room of One’s Own(1929)
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Simon de Beauvoir:
• The Second Sex(1949)
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Kate Millett:
• Sexual Politics(1970)
Part 5
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Elaine Showalter:
• A Literature of Their Own(1977)
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Helene Cixous:
• The Laugh of the Medusa(1975)
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Mary Eagleton:
• Feminist Literary Criticism(1991)
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Sandra M.Gilbert and Susan Gubar
• The Madwomen in the Attic(1979)
Part 5
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Julia Kristeva:
• The Revolution of Poetic Language(1984)
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Luce Irigaray:
• This Sex Which Is Not One(1985)
• Sexes and Genealogies(1993)
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Judith Butler:
• Gender Trouble:Feminism and the Subversion of
Identity(1990)
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bell hooks:
• Feminist Theory:From Margin to Center(1984)
Part 5
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Ideas:
Feminist literary criticism is a political attack
upon other modes of criticism and theory,and
because of its social orientation it moves beyond
traditional literary criticism.
 Feminists believe that our culture is a patriarchal
culture,that is,one organized in favor of the
interests of men.
 Feminist literary critics try to explain how what
they term engendered power imbalances in a
given culture are reflected,supported,or
challenged by literary texts.
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Part 5
Feminist critics focus on absence of women from
discourse as well as meaningful spaces opened
by women’s discourse.
 Feminist critics largely agree on a threefold
purpose:to expose patriarchal premises and
resulting prejudices,to promote discovery and
reevaluation of literature by women,and to
examine social,cultural,and psychosexual
contexts of literature and criticism.
 Feminist critics wish to make us act as feminist
readers;that is,to create”new communities of
writers and readers supported by a language
spoken for and by women.”
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Part 5
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Keywords:
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Gender:
There is an important distinction between sex and
gender where sex describes biological or natural
differences,while gender describes the social roles of
masculinity and femininity,so gender is socially
constructed.
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Patriarchy:
This was originally an anthropological term which
describes a social system in which older men are entitled to
exercise socially sanctioned authority over other members
of the household or kinship group,both women and
younger men.
Part 6
Part 6 Cultural Studies
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Times:
Cultural studies formally began with the
establishing of “Center for Contemporary
Cultural Studies” in Birmingham University in
1964, then this method spread all over the
world ,and is also active today.
Part 6
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Members
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Founders:
• Raymond Williams(1921-1988)
• Richard Hoggart(1918-)
• Edward Palmer Thompson (1924-1993)
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Adherent:
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Stuart Hall(1932-)
Richard Johnson
Ien Ang
Tony Bennett
John Fiske()
Part 6
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Works
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Raymond Williams:
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The Long Revolution(1965)
Communications(1962)
Technology and Cultural Form(1974)
Culture(1981)
The Country and the City(1973)
Richard Hoggart:
• The Uses of Literacy(1958)
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Edward Palmer Thompson:
• The Making of the English Working Class(1968)
Part 6
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Stuart Hall:
• The Popular Arts(1964,with Paddy Whamel)
• Resistance Through Rituals(1976,ed with
T.Jefferson)
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Ien Ang:
• Watching Dallas(1985)
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John Fiske:
• Understanding Popular Culture(1989)
• Television Culture(1987)
Part 6
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Ideas
In cultural studies the concept of culture has a
range of meanings which includes both high art
and everyday life.
 Cultural studies advocates an interdisciplinary
approach to the study of culture.
 While cultural studies is eclectic in its use of
theory,using both structuralism and more
flexible approaches,it advocates those that stress
the overlapping,hybrid nature of cultures,seeing
cultures as networks rather than patchworks.
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Part 6
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Keywords:
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Culture:
• The term ‘culture’is chiefly used in three
relatively distinct senses to refer to :the arts and
artistic activity;the learned,primarily symbolic
features of a particular way of life;and a process
of development.In cultural studies this term
specially refers to a particular way of life
whether of a people,a period or humanity in
general.
Part 6
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Popular Culture:
• Popular culture is type of writing or other
cultural product,which come into fashion in the
mass and usually is seen as worthless and
harmful.But in cultural studies the boundaries
between popular culture and high culture are in
the process of dissolving,because they think the
forms of culture are constructed in social and
historical context.Popular culture and high
culture often share similar themes,and a
particular text can be seen as high culture at one
point in time and popular culture at another,more
importantly,popular culture is a representation of
a way of life within the period it emerges.

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