A CRITICAL ANALYSIS OF THE LINK BETWEEN CULTURE AND SOCIETY

INTRODUCTION

Within the traditions of critical social theory and cultural criticism, there are many models of cultural studies. Both classical and contemporary social theory have engaged the relationships between culture and society, and provided a variety of types of studies of culture. From this perspective, there are neo-Marxian models of cultural studies ranging from the Frankfurt School to Althusserian paradigms; there are neo-Weberian, neo-Durkheimian, poststructuralist, and feminist studies of culture; and there are a wide range of eclectic approaches that apply distinctive social theories to the study of culture.

The term “cultural studies,” however, has been most clearly associated in recent years with the work of the Birmingham Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies and its offshoots, so my discussion will focus on its work and its immediate predecessors — although I will argue that the Frankfurt School anticipated many of the positions of British cultural studies. In the following study, I accordingly examine the specific origins of British cultural studies, its genesis and trajectory, and imbrication with social theory. My argument will be that cultural studies requires social theory and that cultural studies in turn is a crucial part of a critical theory of society