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Introducing Cultural Studies

Introducing Cultural Studies
Learning through Practice

November 2007 | 336 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd

"An outstanding entry level text aimed at those with little or no cultural studies knowledge... Innovative, creative and clever."
- Times Higher Education 

"The ideal textbook for FE and first year HE cultural studies students. Its quality and character allow the reader to ‘feel’ the enthusiasm of its author which in turn becomes infectious, instilling in the reader a genuine sense of ebullient perturbation."
- Art/Design/Media, The Higher Education Authority

An introduction to the practice of cultural studies, this book is ideal for undergraduate courses. Full of practical exercises that will get students thinking and writing about the issues they encounter, this book offers its readers the conceptual tools to practice cultural analysis for themselves. There are heuristics to help students prepare and write projects, and the book provides plenty of examples to help students develop their own ideas.  

Written in a creative, playful and witty style, this book: 

  • Links key concepts to the key theorists of cultural studies.
  • Includes a wide range of references of popular cultural forms.
  • Emphasizes the multidisciplinary nature of cultural studies.
  • Includes pedagogical features, such as dialogues, graphs, images and recommended readings.
  • The book's skills-based approach enables students to develop their creative skills, and shows students how to improve their powers of analysis generally.

To listen to David Walton’s musical response to Adorno's famous essay on jazz, please visit Adorno: Jazz Perennial Fashion . This song accompanies pages 64 to 66 of the book together with a series of questions designed to get readers to evaluate the positive and negative aspects of Adorno's approach.

Culture and Anarchy in the UK
A Dialogue with Matthew Arnold

The Leavisites and T.S. Eliot Combat Mass Urban Culture
Adorno, the Frankfurt School and the 'Culture Industry'
From a Day Out at the Seaside to the Milk Bar
Richard Hoggart and Working-Class Culture

E.P. Thompson and Working-Class Culture as a Site for Conflict, Consciousness and Resistance
Towards a Recognizable Theory of Culture
Raymond Williams

Introducing Stuart Hall
The Importance and Re-evaluation of Popular Mass Culture

Youth Subcultures and Resistance
A Dialogue with Quadrophenia


Subcultures and Widening Horizons
Further Strategies for Practice

How to Dominate the Masses Without Resorting to the Inquisition
Antonio Gramsci and Hegemony Theory

A Few Ways You Might Adapt Ideas from Louis Althusser to Cultural Studies
a Dialogue with Dr Jeckyll and Mr Hyde

Crying Woolf! Thinking with Feminism
Adapting Theory to Explore Race, Ethnicity and Sexuality
The Case of East is East

Consolidating Practice, Heuristic Thinking, Creative Cri-tickle Acts and Further Research

An outstanding entry level text aimed at those with little or no cultural studies knowledge... Innovative, creative and clever
Times Higher Education

What a weird and wonderful book. It is the Ronseal of Cultural Studies Literature; it does what it says on the tin... the ideal textbook for Further Education and first year Higher Education Cultural Studies Students... It is also a brilliant revision and essay writing tool for more advanced learners. It is concise, honest and straightforward in its aims and content and witty in its approach... This does not mean however that its content is ‘dumbed down'. It valiantly manages to retain all the highly academic information required for this area of study and does not shy away from using the appropriate terminology and language that Cultural Studies students must familiarise themselves with. The ‘Oversimplification Warnings’, ‘Practice Exercises’, illustrations and ‘Notes’ act as practical or cognitive revision for the body of text rather than as a ‘gutter press’ substitute... this is a highly successful book, in that it has accomplished its intentions, but it is also a motivational book. Its quality and character allow the reader to ‘feel’ the enthusiasm of its author which in turn becomes infectious, instilling in the reader a genuine sense of ebullient perturbation
The Higher Education Authority

It does not attempt to be in any way exhaustive, as it shows a constant awareness of "what's been left out", but, working towards "interpretive independence", it aims to provide students with sufficient notional skills to start doing their own cultural criticism… Like the best cultural studies works, Walton's exhilarating book may leave the student wondering what cultural studies actually is, perhaps undecided about a final definition, but nonetheless confident enough to start practising it
Journal of the Spanish Association of Anglo-American Studies

Ideal for courses linked to the ECTS (European Credit Transfer System) laid down by the Bologna process that is transforming university education in Europe, epecially as the author shows a constant awareness of teaching in terms of developing students' critical competencies
J. Rubén Valdés Miyares
Universidad de Oviedo

Walton's book is essential reading for both undergraduates and postgraduates. It takes the foundationsl authors of the field and applies them to contemporary examples, which is important in a subject so highly theorised. Unfortunately, at the moment, our Department is moving away from cultural studies and more into the realm of glocal media studies, and therefore we are not able to adopt it at present.

Professor Beschara Karam
Department of Communicatin Science, University of South Africa
June 10, 2016

A really useful text that presents complex ideas in an engaging and accessible format.

Ms Rosey Whorlow
Department of Media Studies, Chichester University
November 14, 2011

We are currently reconsidering our Cultural Studies curriculum. We are therefore looking at different textbooks to see which ones fit our purpose.

Hanne Tange
Dept Language & Business Communication, Aarhus School of Business
October 18, 2010

This book's slant toward British cultural studies should be taken into account when considering adoption. The heuristic thinking and practice undertone of the entire text is extremely valuable, though it isn't balanced by deep critical analysis.

Natasha Chuk
Media Studies Dept, New School University
May 24, 2010

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