The Culture Industry and its Critics: The English Way

  • Oded HeilbronnerEmail author


The article suggests a close reading of an opposition towards the concept and theory of capitalist culture and culture industry. That opposition rose during the 1970s in the UK among left intellectuals and social critics. They were deeply affected to a large extent by European – Marxist intellectuals such as Althusser and Gramsci, and Englishmen from the New Left group such as E. P. Thompson and Raymond Williams. The group centered at the University of Birmingham established and was operated in The Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies. The group reevaluated the term “culture” as a central component of the Gramscian term “cultural hegemony”. Highly influenced by the political and social atmosphere in 1970s’ Britain, they learned the processes in which hegemony tries to impose various ways of life (i.e. culture) on the subalterns, but at the same time they display flexibility to let them live in accordance with their ways of life, and even show tolerance towards opposition, protest, cultural subversion and demonstrations of independence by lower classes, as long as they do not imperil their control of means of production.


Culture industry England 1970s Gramsci Birmingham school The centre for contemporary cultural studies Left-intellectuals 


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© Springer Fachmedien Wiesbaden GmbH, ein Teil von Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Shenkar CollegeRamat GanIsrael

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