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Mixing personal memoir with social history and cultural critique, “The Uses of Literacy “anticipates recent interest in modes of cultural analysis that refuse to hide. No doubt about it, the Daily Herald declared, in a lead review of his newly published The Uses of Literacy, Richard Hoggart was “an angry. It is widely recognized that, without Richard Hoggart, there would have been no Centre for cultural studies. It is not always so widely acknowledged that without.

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Skip to main content. Log In Sign Up. Throughout an overall summary of the book will be made and attention will be drawn towards oof the author of this paper perceives to be the main points. Furthermore these findings, will be applied in context to how the book can be placed within a media archaeological field. The book will be examined in detail, while an attempt will be made in selecting limitations and relevance within a contemporary setting. It has been viewed upon as a key influential text for the emergence of cultural studies as an academic discipline.

Within the first part Hoggart describes the beliefs, attitudes and lives of working class culture in Northern England between the s and the s. An Older Order Already the title of part one shows that Hoggart will be addressing a previous time in history and the word order brings connotations of adequate arrangement, organisation and structure.

Both his parents died before he was nine years old and it was later decided that he and his siblings were to thw raised by five adults whom were part of his extended family.

A sense of collective belongingness and togetherness is a fundamental aspect portrayed throughout The Uses of Literacy. In the first section of the book Hoggart provides a very detailed and descriptive account of working class culture in Northern England throughout the s to the s. He is descriptive of his own lived culture, drawing reference from his childhood and consequent upbringing.

Hoggart, having experienced this culture at first hand, brings alive the attitudes and beliefs of the working class culture. A contemporary reader can obtain a rich feeling of what life was like at the time. In the opening chapter Hoggart describes who he means as the working classes throughout the book. In attempting to describe the lives, attitudes and setting hovgart fairly representative and homogeneous group of working class is hogggart throughout Hoggart,p.

A main focus is on the working classes who live in districts throughout Northern England with emphasis placed on his hometown of Leeds. Nostalgic elements are apparent throughout as they are intertwined within his observations of use working classes. Interpretations with an emotional liteeracy have the possibility of digging deeper to reveal the true grass roots of life for the working classes. It is on this note, according to Hoggart, that historians had all too often focused entirely within a political context and dismissed or neglected the deeper grass roots of life.

The Uses of Literacy is neither just a proclamation of the division of the working class us and the elite them nor a withdrawal into a nostalgic heyday, but rather it incorporated an argument that popular cultural forms could be viewed upon as lived experiences and texts in their own right. The term working class can kses meanings of pride and imply derogative connotations.

Expressed throughout the book the term is used hoygart show a sense of collectiveness and belongingness to an identity. Hoggart captures the difficult hardships of life during the first half of the 20th century and these hardships were expressed through commercial popular songs, which allowed for a mocking of the working classes.

There are studies now suggesting new models for approaching distinctions of class; showing in the United Kingdom there are seven differing classes Savage et al,surely this highlights the complexity of ,iteracy term today.

The following quote can be analysed within a media archaeology perspective in relation to new and old media: Here Hoggart discusses the implications when young couples move out of their parents houses respectively, starting a new home of their own.

Ultimately this extension into digitalization has made all of us historians in a way, as there are many outlets at the click of a button for storing the past. Prevailed throughout are old and new attitudes of oiteracy working classes, but Hoggart is quick to note he is not trying to provide a complete account, rather these terms are expressed for clarity Hoggart,p.

Working-class hero

The traditional roots of working class cultures have strong ties to the home, the personal usrs the local, and it is these attributes which are under threat from the mass media. Yielding Place to New In the second half of The Uses of Literacy Hoggart is descriptive of how uzes working classes culture is under threat from the mass media, from Masstification and Americanisation.


Using the word yielding within the title is suggestive of change, in giving up ones place in culture or society or giving away under pressures from a distance. The previous elements of localism, urbanism, personal and traditional highlighted within the first part of the book are in decline due to the prevailing mass culture. R Leavis, both viewed a decline of cultural standards in society. Throughout the second part sex and violent novels, hotgart popular press, magazines and pop music to name a few are discussed.

Here Hoggart is dismissive attacking mass publicists for their centralised notions moving away from an urban culture of the people. In a contemporary perspective media control is vastly centralised amongst the elite monolithic corporations.

Thus the s was a time when local and traditional values were uprooted and what began to emerge, is what has prevailed since, a bourgeois hegemonic society. Candy-floss is suggestive of an imaginative world enticing somebodies attention with colour, bright lights and attractions. These factors are parallel for mass cultures invitations for a sense of manipulating their audiences, to provoke the desired effects they want to gain.

The decline in culture is further anticipated with a worsening of the press, stories became glossier, sensationalist and personalised; curiosity was further aroused with a sexual, startling and scandalise emphasis. Some of the older fashioned media outlets were playing catch up with the newer ones.

The Uses of Literacy, by Richard Hoggart

There is here by no means a od loss of the older version, a parallel between the two is still apparent, hoggarr a new angle has been taken, yet still the present has an affinity with the past Peters,p. Any elements of natural beauty are rather manipulated and altered through digital programmes such as Photoshop. Interestingly within this section of the book Hoggart discusses how some of the writers share the same characteristics and attitudes of their audiences, gathering their senses, yet he acknowledges their competence in being able to consciously give the public what they fundamentally want, as they are an elite up from their readers Hoggart,p.

It is interesting to ask how far this can run parallel to his differing stance with his ability of orchestrating language, now observing from the outside through to the inside.

Can there be a slight snobbery tone of the scholarship boy chapter which has rubbed off from Hoggart?

Reminiscence of the younger, good old days, happens because it was preciously those days where neither time nor place appeared to matter. There is somehow though, both a tone of acceptance and cynicism in that the working classes are actively being duped, accepting what the newspapers say just to be part of the group, in loteracy the sense of togetherness Hoggart,p. Observations highlighted litercay include: Erkki Huhtamo and Jussi Parrika acknowledge authors and their work within this field even though they have not explicitly defined themselves as studies of media archaeology.

For writers of media archaeology these theorists and thinkers above are very influential and important. An element of time has to pass in order for a text to be regarded within this field. At the time of writing Hoggart is descriptive of his youth, essentially he is carrying out the act of historizing, i. Once further time has passed the book becomes embedded further as an archaeology of knowledge, shedding light on the changing social attitudes in the first half of the 20th century.

Here the authors argue selectivity does not always conjure the true relevant and adequate content of the story. On this note it is important to reiterate that media archaeology has to be read on a broad perspective and how work can be defined within this field without overtly expressing itself as media archaeology.

The Uses of Literacy, by Richard Hoggart : Analysis Essay Sample |

Embedded throughout introductory texts to the field of media archaeology is the binary opposition of technological development versus social process. Ideas of technological fhe are envisioned throughout the work of theorist Marshall McLuhan. Contrastingly Raymond Williams argued against technological determinism, citing it as a mere substitute for social and political issues and because of this apparent substitution it is a difficult theory to maintain. To a prevailing extent the two perspectives of this opposition can be applied to The Uses of Literacy.

Hoggart is keen to emphasise how the working classes desired material objects and developments of technology for social reasons as it made their lives easier with the rapid changes in culture at the time Hoggart,p. These threats of Masstification, to a degree go unnoticed to the average citizen who gain a dependency on the media and their technologies, thus changing their social behaviour. Friedrich Kittler documents changes from a renaissance perspective through too modern times.


He was heavily influenced by Marshall McLuhan, and often gets citied as a technological determinist in that technology drives social history. He views the military as the driving for all developments of technical media. Throughout the book speaking into the air John Durham Peters discusses the history of communication, exploring different senses of communication, which upon analysis proves to be a very complex term.

Communication is always traced back to something prior, just like new media is based an older formats of media. Communication is absolutely necessary in order for something to be perceived as a true reality whether it be an idea, issue or concept. It can carry motives as propaganda, intentionally setting out to satisfy or manipulate the masses Peters,p.

Moreover there are difficulties, for example environmental communication is a field within the communication discipline indicating how nature cannot communicate with us rather we communicate about nature.

Additionally problematic issues of communication arise as we can only perceive communication through the frameworks put in place which contribute to our own experiences. Framing theory As mentioned above it is apparent the field of media archaeology is embedded with the notion of selectivity. Essentially framing theory involves a selection of aspects to create a storyline, an interpretation or an overall general understanding. Lakoff suggests all of our knowledge makes fundamentally use of frames in defining problems or making moral judgements.

Here we can only understand problems and react at first hand through the frames and means of communication our culture or society has established in place. Hoggart discusses mass commercial writers and how they allow for most people to be kept at a readership level in which they can respond.

Here it is only within their frame work of understanding that they receive their required amusement. He is being subjective here almost blaming the working classes themselves for the selective view the popular papers portray.

Reiterating the point we can only make judgements and perceptions from the frames society has in place. Of course an additional frame cannot just happen overnight, but one would be needed for this to be known a wide scale. Hoggart does not deliberately set out to dismiss the working classes, in fact he gives them voice, addressing and communicating their problems throughout his book, thus perceiving their upheavals and ongoing social changes as a reality. To a certain extent though dismissive tones which the working classes hold of naivety and ignorance are projected throughout.

Framing within the media, too often now is of a political nature. Through time, society just like media technologies change aligning the present to the past within a media archaeological approach.

The roles of gender within the s were different to the present day. When Hoggart is descriptive of gender there are notions echoed throughout that it is constructed from nature. There are many observations Hoggart,p. In hindsight we now know gender roles are socially and culturally constructed, however since the s the feminist movement has made large strides.

Notions of belonging to a district as opposed to work have changed since the s regarding the advent of technological developments. Travel and communication fo have expanded at accelerated rates allowing more mobility, coincided with the opening of new job markets allowing people to move further afield for employment. Examples of ot books relevance to a contemporary setting have been shown throughout. uss

The Uses of Literacy – Wikipedia

Many of us from differing class perspectives are surely guilty of consuming mundane and sensationalism texts, such as the many outlets of reality TV which allow a feel good factor, gaining a satisfaction at the discredit of others. Although wrote in the s, the following passage speaks volumes within a contemporary setting, appearing to render a timeless frame. Through direct observations reflecting on an emotional level he accomplished something new within cultural analysis, prevailing an enriching account of social and cultural change.

Hogart of Chicago Press. Gitelman, Lisa Always Already New: University of California Press. Kittler,F Optical Media.