Culture is something that WE are all IN.
January 17, 2008 - Basic Understanding of Culture
Raymond Williams Readings
Study of Culture in Relationship to Individual Lives - to Subjectivity
Favela Rising movie Trailer - culture doesn’t have to be political or resistant all the time
(this trailer is) but it can be about creation, development that moves us.
Emerson - “Common things are the route the sublime.”
We make culture with the common & everyday.
We all share, we all make.
Keywords is history of the word culture:
in 16/17th century culture is about cultivating a crop/civilization
18th century about cultivating the mind - from fertilization/cultivation of crops, it was
used as a verb
19th century - culture becomes a noun, a thing, we don’t create it(though some do), it’s
Around this time it starts to correspond with high or low class (Class
associations - elite formation)
Herder - opposes idea that culture is universal.
He found there were different types of
Culture was human not material/industrial.
3 categories for the usage of Culture:
noun: intellectual, spiritual, and aesthetic development
noun: a way of life of a people, a nation, etc
works and practices of intellectual / artistic activity. painting, etc.
Culture Is Ordinary
- radically altered the way people viewed culture, he legitimated made it
something that was involved in everyday lives
About individual experience that becomes a social experience
Ordinary for Williams is of working/common people
Culture is always traditional & creative & it’s always individual & collective
We are not born with culture, we make it through labor
Williams rejected two types of models of culture:
Tea House People = high class but not cultured
Superior Prigs = clinging to a culture to improve their own identity
EX: Good Will Hunting Clip (Bar Scene) devaluing working class
by showing them how they are inferior through knowledge
Wants to bring culture back to ordinary by referring to two teachings by Marx &
Core of Marx is that culture is understood in relation to the means of pro-
duction (results in the process of capitalism).
class, we are ruled by economic power, Superstructure on top which has
consciousness, ideology, legal, religion, philosophical, political, cultural.
Always in relationship with each other, in conflict. Ruling class controls