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UNIVERSIDADE DE SO PAULO FACULDADE DE FILOSOFIA, LETRAS E CINCIAS HUMANAS DEPARTAMENTO DE LETRAS MODERNAS Estudos de Cultura Professora Dra.

Maria Elisa Cevasco

Nome: Sabrina Palladino Simas

N USP: 7194862

Review on Raymond Williams works about Cultural Theory

SO PAULO 2013

Some of the greatest contributions to the Cultural Studies were, and still are, the pieces of work of Raymond Williams. For Raymond Williams, the Cultural Studies has started with Adult Education, and he refutes all other works that present the origin of these studies based on books of the end of the 50s. The experiences brought by those students has contributed to understand the relation between culture and society in a contemporary world, influenced both by bad and good culture. Regarding the approaches related to Greshams Law, in which bad culture removes good culture, the author make a criticism, in a sense that the overall cultural production has been increased, expanded, thus increasing the options of good culture. Culture is, then, ordinary, which means that it is from everyone and is everywhere:
Every human society has its own shape, its own purposes, its own meanings. Every human society expresses these, in institutions, and in arts and learning. The making of a society is the finding of common meanings and directions, and its growth is an active debate and amendment under the pressures of experience, contact, and discovery, writing themselves into the land. (2002, p. 93)

Williams says that we use the word culture in two senses: to mean a whole way of life, that is, the common meanings and to mean the arts and learning the special process of discovery and creative effort. The most important for him, instead other writers, is the conjunction of both meaning. The author interrelates the concepts of artistic or intellectual project and its formation, by affirming that the former cannot be understood without knowing the latter. It is within such interrelation that Cultural Studies is found, innovating in the sense that it refused to give priority to either the project or the formation () there were more basic relations between those otherwise separated areas (19, p. 168). Project and formation, means the relation between culture and society, or else base and superstructure.

Culture should be dynamic and not only based on the tradition. If changes happen, its acceptance would be easier. Infrastructure/base determines the superstructures (culture).

Culture is established in the relationships between mass and elite. Culture is not only the works of art but something that comes from the ordinary culture.

WILLIAMS, Raymond. "You're Marxist, Aren't You?" In: Resources of Hope: Culture, Democracy, Socialism. London: Verso, 1989. 65-76. ______. Base and Superstructure in Marxist Cultural Theory In: ______. Culture is Ordinary ______. Future of cultural studies