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Title: How are George Orwell's writings a precursor to studies of popular culture?
Authors: Roberts, JM
Keywords: George Orwell;Language;Nomad;Pleasure;Popular culture;Social class
Issue Date: 2014
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Citation: Journal for Cultural Research, 18(3): pp. 216 - 232, (2014)
Abstract: George Orwell is known as an acclaimed novelist, essayist, documentary writer, and journalist. But Orwell also wrote widely on a number of themes in and around popular culture. During (2005)However, even though Orwell's writings might be considered as a precursor to some well-known themes in studies of popular culture his contribution to this area still remains relatively unacknowledged by others in the discipline. The aim of this article is simply, therefore, to provide a basis to begin to rethink Orwell's contribution to contemporary studies of popular culture. It does so by demonstrating some comparable insights into culture and society between those made by Orwell and those found in the work of Bakhtin, Bourdieu, and Deleuze. These insights are also related to four main areas of discussion: debates in contemporary cultural studies about the contested pleasures of popular culture and experiences; the relationship between language and culture; how social class needs to be defined not just economically but also culturally; and how one might escape cultural relativism when writing about popular culture. The article concludes by suggesting that Orwell is a precursor to contemporary studies of popular culture insofar that some of the cultural themes he explores have become established parts of the discipline's canon.
ISSN: 1479-7585
Appears in Collections:Dept of Social Sciences Media and Communications Research Papers

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