Cultural Studies By Chris Rojek Summary

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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’…show more content…
Even though Rojeks book was published 9 years ago, the examples he uses, such as the 7/7 bombings in London and the 9/11 attack in the United States are still culturally relevant today and haven’t dated, which helps to keep readers engaged. Although at first these examples seem rather jarring and at odds with a simpler idea of culture being solely literature and music, once Rojek develops his points about these examples you’re left with a much deeper understanding of just how complicated culture is. This is best seen with his example of the 7/7 bombings where he discusses that three of the suicide bombers were British, yet still attacked their own people because of their strong identification with another culture, in this case radical Islamic beliefs. He then juxtaposes the fact that these men saw themselves as ‘righteous religious warriors’ (Rojek 2007 p. 3) while many British Muslims saw them as criminals. This manages to highlight the huge differences in how culture effects…show more content…
Most importantly though, he explores what Cultural Studies achieves, which is the questioning of traditions, power, knowledge and all perceivable aspects of our lives. This paints an incredibly broad and expansive picture of what Cultural Studies encompasses, however, towards the end of the chapter he claims that ‘Cultural Studies is frontally concerned with political issues.’ (Rojek 2007 p.9), this seemed to clash with his previous explanations of Cultural Studies and to greatly restrict what seemed to be such a wide area of study. It seemed especially redundant to say after that ‘there is more to the subject than a political focus.’ (Rojek 2007 p.9). It may have been wiser to leave a discussion of Cultural Studies political focus for later in the book rather than to include it in the introduction, where a broader view of the subject is

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