What is, or are, Cultural Studies? In this outstanding critical and historical account, Fred Inglis, strips away the philosophical incoherence of Cultural Studies to reveal a common focus within the protean subject--matter and complex history of the field. Inglis begins with a concise, ambitious review of the historical circumstances which made Cultural Studies both necessary and possible in the inter--war years. He then charts the development of the field from its often contradictory origins (in Cambridge, England, and Frankfurt, Germany through its encounter with Marxism. French structuralism and linguistic philosophy, to contemporary anthropology. Focusing on the study of the value as the defining content of Cultural Studies, Inglis illuminates the work of such key figures as F. R. Leavis, Raymond Williams, Stuart Hall, Theodore Adorno, Antonio Gramsci and Clifford Geertz. Balancing the claims of the Grand Theory against the charms of local knowledge, Inglis charts a fascinating course through the theories and methods of Cultural Studies as it seeks to refashion the traditional academic disciplines of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
Ending with a chapter on "How to do Cultural Studies", this book provides a much needed critical introduction to an exciting new field of inquiry. Sympathetic but non--partisan in approach, and refreshingly clear in its framework, Cultural Studies should be welcomed by students and teachers alike.