Introducing Cultural Studies: Learning Through Practice


David Walton

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  • Chapters
  • Front Matter
  • Subject Index
  • Part One: High Culture Gladiators: Some Influential Early Models of Cultural Analysis

    Part Two: The Transformative Power of Working-Class Culture

    Part Three: Consolidating Cultural Studies: Subcultures, the Popular, Ideology and Hegemony

    Part Four: Probing the Margins, Remembering the Forgotten: Representation, Subordination and Identity

    Part Five: Honing Your Skills, Conclusions and ‘Begin-Endings’

  • Copyright

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    For my son, Dan (a constant source of life, energy, affection, humour and fun), and in memory of Dale Thompson (who helped to teach me the meaning of friendship, strength, generosity and support).


    This book has been a great pleasure to write – partly because I've enjoyed some magnificent support and encouragement. If it seems well thought out and structured – I'm not entirely to blame …

    Firstly, I'd like to thank my editor at Sage, Julia Hall, for helping me to get my sometimes fuzzy ideas structured into coherent book form. Thanks, too, for helping to make the book a reality by believing in it and giving it your support. Many thanks go to the ‘disappearing’ Annie Wilson, who very kindly test read some early drafts of the opening chapters. I'm very grateful to her early encouragement. In the process of writing the book (post-Annie) it evolved in some new and more creative ways. Navigating these changes was made much smoother and enjoyable by the support I received from Lynne Slocombe at Sage. I feel that Lynn is the model of an in-house reader. She read every chapter seeing the book from the inside: that is, reading it from the point of view of the writer's aims. I found all her feedback sympathetic, useful and enormously encouraging. I believe the book has benefited greatly from her observations and comments.

    Outside Sage, my most faithful reader has been Emma Hamilton (recent world gold medallist in Hapkido!), who very generously offered, despite her own work and hard training, to read draft chapters, and later agreed to test out and comment on practice exercises. Emma's help has been invaluable. Her criticisms were all constructive, her feedback intelligent, and she proved to be enormously encouraging and supportive (and certainly helped me to believe in what I was doing). She even found me an excellent artist in the shape of José María Campoy Ruiz, her partner. Many thanks go to José who agreed to do the illustrations, taking valuable time out from a very busy work schedule. Despite having detailed ideas about the kind of images I wanted (but lacking the artistic talent to get them down on paper) I was fascinated by how José was able to realize those ideas with such accuracy and yet with such ingenuity. I am delighted by José's interpretations of my original ideas (and the unexpected, but always apposite, details) and it has been a great pleasure negotiating each image with him. I hope readers will agree with me that they make a valuable contribution to the book.

    I am grateful to Chantal Cornut-Gentille for encouraging me to pick myself up and get going on a book in the first place and to the Culture and Power group in Spain for providing a forum for debate. Thanks to Lidia Damunt, who originally agreed to do some sketches but owing to the pressures of work had to pull out. Thanks, too, to all those students who have studied on my cultural studies courses. You have often been willing guinea pigs for my pedagogical experiments and delighted me with some very unforeseen results. Thanks to Eva Nicolás Villaescusa for all the moral support. Oh, and thanks to Gurdeep Mattu, at Sage, for helping me to lose a few exclamation marks!

    And so it is that the name ‘David Walton’ tends to function as a mask to disguise the input of many important people. Without them this book would have been a much more difficult and lonely adventure. Finally, it is customary to state that, despite all assistance received, all errors are entirely the responsibility of the author. True – but I'd add that, whatever the merits of this book may be, if I hadn't enjoyed so much help and support you'd be reading a very different and inferior book.

    Finally, just before putting the finishing touches to the book, I suffered a serious accident which put me out of action for six months. I'd like to thank my family, friends and work colleagues for helping to put me back on my feet.

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