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Hoggart, Richard (1918–)

MICHAEL GREEN


Subject Literature

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405168908.2010.x


Extract

English writer on cultural and social change, literature, media, and education. He taught in the armed services and adult education, publishing a study of W.H. Auden (1951) and then The Uses of Literacy (1957). Vividly written and unorthodox in construction, this was at once influential, reaching a broad public through successive paperback editions. The book drew partly upon personal experiences in studying changes within the working-class culture of the north of England, discussing everyday life, media, and P opular culture , and also the trajectory through education of “scholarship boys.” Closely observed details, warning against nostalgia, were set against the influence, skeptically observed in the shadow of F.R. L eavis , of American cultural trends. Running over existing disciplinary boundaries while celebrating the strengths of working-class life, the book attracted criticism but also enormous attention. Its author soon became a regular commentator on cultural issues, for instance, as a defense witness in the D.H. Lawrence censorship trial (1960) and as a key member of a committee on the quality of British broadcasting (Pilkington Report, 1962). At Birmingham University he founded the C entre for contemporary cultural studies , as whose first director he inaugurated with Stuart H all its extensive and pioneering activities, before moving to work in a senior position for ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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