chapter  5
Cultural Change
Pages 6

In this chapter we examine how the above processes influenced cultural change and the dynamic relationships between different cultures. First, however, it is necessary to clarify the meaning of culture. It is, of course, a term which has many meanings (Williams 1981), some of which are extremely broad and cover the whole way of life; others are more narrowly focused on the production of cultural artefacts and practices associated with them (Marwick 1991). The study of British cultures began in the 1950s with the work of Richard Hoggart (1957) and Raymond Williams (1958), Professor of Literature at Cambridge University and of Welsh origin. The interest in cultural change was continued in the 1970s by Stuart Hall and his colleagues at the Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies (CCCS) at the University of Birmingham. Their study of the plurality of cultures was characterised by Marxist analyses using categories of social class and ideology (Clarke et al. 1979), gender and youth and subcultures (Hall and Jefferson 1976; Hebdige 1979). However, the CCCS did not include analyses of ethnic cultures or questions of ‘race’ or geographical region. The new cultural geography, which developed in the UK in the 1980s (Cosgrove and Jackson 1987), located culture in the everyday and not just in distant

studies of symbolic landscapes (Cosgrove 1985), the spatial constitution of specific cultures, the politics of culture and the influence of gender, sexuality and ethnicity (Jackson 1994). In the 1990s, geographers have turned their attention to topics such as consumption (Bell and Valentine 1997), youth cultures (Skelton and Valentine 1998), place and individual identities (Crang 1998).