Cultural Studies As A Literary Theory Essay

Cultural Studies As A Literary Theory Essay

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Cultural Studies as a literary theory began with the works… Cultural Studies is an extremely interdisciplinary theory that can encompass many fields, including anthropology, political science, and even philosophy and ethics. It began with the works of Raymond Williams and Richard Hoggart in the late 1950s and early 1960s before being adopted and expanded by Stuart Hall in the late 1960s. This theory moved away from the reading of literature for literature’s sake, and instead begins to regard it both as a product created by a culture and a object influencing that culture. Though the general aims and guidelines of Cultural Studies are hard to pin down, it can broadly be considered a theory that provides new methods for examining the cultural significance and implications of a broader context of texts, moving beyond traditional and canonical texts.
While I appreciate the consideration Cultural Studies pays to marginalized communities and societal practices, it seems that, in its attempt to broadly encompass the ephemeral aspects of culture, Cultural studies itself becomes nebulous and almost impossible to definitively define. Cultural Studies grows and changes when a culture does, which makes it difficult to identify any concrete tenants and practices of the school. If everything is both a contributor to and a creator of culture, then there doesn’t seem to be a place to draw the line between legitimate cultural influences and transient social trends.
I have chosen to complete an analysis of a Republican primary debate as my cultural artifact for examination, rather than a work of literature, because it represents more clearly the social implications that can occasionally be filtered through fiction. A debate is a direct manifes...

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...ontributions to American history and acting as though their importance comes primarily through their relationship with a man. When discussing appointments to the Supreme Court, the candidates only entertained the idea of selecting a man with a conservative track record. Planned Parenthood and overall spending on women’s health issues repeatedly came under attack. All of these slights against women—deliberate or subconscious, premeditated or impulsive—accumulate into a cultural practice in American society, and the Republican base being represented in this case, that still considers women less capable than men in the political arena. Women were systematically dismissed, underrepresented, mocked, ignored, and trivialized throughout the night. A Cultural Studies approach would look at this distinct pattern as a representative of underlying cultural symbols and values.

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