Raymond Williams on Culture and Society
- Jim McGuigan - University of Loughborough, UK
Sociological Theory | Sociology of Culture
"The most important Marxist cultural theorist after Gramsci, Williams' contributions go well beyond the critical tradition, supplying insights of great significance for cultural sociology today... I have never read Williams without finding something worthwhile, something subtle, some idea of great importance"
- Jeffrey C. Alexander, Professor of Sociology, Yale University
Celebrating the significant intellectual legacy and enduring influence of Raymond Williams, this exciting collection introduces a whole new generation to his work.
Jim McGuigan reasserts and rebalances Williams' reputation within the social sciences by collecting and introducing key pieces of his work. Providing context and clarity he powerfully evokes the major contribution Williams has made to sociology, media and communication and cultural studies.
Powerfully asserting the on-going relevance of Williams within our contemporary neoliberal and digital age, the book:
- Includes texts which have never been anthologised before
- Situates Williams' work both biographically and historically
- Provides a comprehensive introduction to Williams' social-scientific work
- Demonstrates the enduring relevance of cultural materialism.
Original and persuasive this book will be of interest to anyone involved in theoretical and methodological modules within sociology, media and communication studies and cultural studies.
Commentary on Raymond Williams tends to stress either his role in the formation of the British New Left or his intellectual status as a literary and cultural critic or his significance as a distinctively Welsh writer. The cumulative effect of McGuigan's closely argued introduction and carefully chosen set of extracts is to mount a powerful case for a surprisingly original addition to this repertoire: that of Williams as a major sociological thinker in his own right.
The most important Marxist cultural theorist after Gramsci, Williams' contributions go well beyond the critical tradition, supplying significant insights for cultural sociology today. The structure of feeling, drama in a dramatized society, advertising as magic – these are fundamental ideas. I have never read Williams without finding something worthwhile, something subtle, some idea of great importance.
I found the materials out of date and for a more Continental audience instead of an undergraduate class. However, I have recommended to other professors teaching graduate sociology of culture classes given the collections noteworthy essays from Williams.
Sample Materials & Chapters
Chapter One: Culture is Ordinary