Reaching for Control: Raymond Williams on Mass Communication and Popular Culture

  • Jim McGuigan


The critique of mass communication and the struggle for popular culture are recurrent themes in Raymond Williams’s work, though in certain respects elusive and slippery, dispersed as they are across a wide range of theoretical, historical, critical and polemical writing from the 1950s until his death in 1988. What is the meaning of this couplet — ‘mass communication’/‘popular culture’ — in Williams’s very complex and politically engaged discourse? It is tempting to see them simply as the positive (‘popular culture’) and negative (‘mass communication’) terms of a binary opposition: the culture produced by ‘the people’ from below and the culture imposed upon them from above. Yet nothing in Williams’s discourse could ever be read as so simple, categorical, or fixed. Minimally, there is an interaction and, maximally, a crucial site of contestation.


Popular Culture Cultural Production Capitalist Society Mass Communication Labour Party 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jim McGuigan

There are no affiliations available

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