Cultural Studies By Chris Rojek Essay

Cultural Studies By Chris Rojek Essay

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‘Cultural Studies’ written by Chris Rojek, a Professor of Sociology at City University, is a short introduction into the complex field of culture, of which the first introductory chapter ‘Culture Counts’ will be reviewed. As this is an introductory text, preconceptions of it were that it would briefly outline a history of Cultural Studies and give a simple overview of the types of topics and ideas that could be studied, with the aid of examples. In some degrees it fulfilled these expectations, however, R. Williams book ‘Keywords’ provides an alternative introduction into Cultural Studies, which encompasses many of the previously mentioned preconceptions, despite the fact that it looked at the ‘historical changes in the meaning of 109 keywords’ ("Keywords Project | Raymond Williams and Keywords") as opposed to being an actual introductory text book.
Initially, Rojeks’ chapter title ‘Culture Counts’ gives a rather ambiguous outlook on what the chapter will discuss, he doesn’t choose to go with a straight forward title of ‘An Introduction to Culture’ or ‘Studying Culture’, instead, his title creates a sense of importance. That culture counts towards something and has meaning. However, once past this, his subheadings outline very well what the chapter would be looking at, from ‘The local and the global’ to ‘The meaning of culture’ (Rojek 2007 pp. 2,5) This structure works well for a book intended towards students as it breaks up what would have been a heavy chunk of text into more manageable sections. Whereas, Williams text is 7 pages of straight text which is much harder to comfortably read, although it does have a more academic feel. Furthermore, Rojeks use of illustration, although admittedly limited use, also helps to engage the ...


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... a clear focus on the political aspect of culture, and it’s use to deconstruct power structures, which felt out of place in an introductory chapter, it succeeded in deepening the readers understanding of the impact culture has on people. Furthermore, it must be noted how well the examples used in the chapter, both remain relevant over the time that has passed and are excellently used to display the points being made, even if they are politically geared. However, it did seem to overstep the historical and contextual knowledge of Cultural Studies, that is provided by Williams in ‘Keywords’, which is important to have for a base of understanding. In light of this, ‘Culture Counts’ is a fair introduction to Cultural Studies, however should be read in addition to other introductory texts, in order to give a more well-rounded picture of the scope of Cultural Studies.





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