Raymond Williams

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Raymond Williams_a Welsh media critic and one of the founding thinkers behind the popular field of cultural studies_believed that the traditional focus of biographies on individuals isolated these people from their communities. For this reason, Alan O'Connor looks at Williams and his time period, one of social change and crisis in Wales and England. Williams, the son of a railway worker, would have pursued university studies, an atypical act for a working-class boy, had the Second World War not disrupted his plans. So the unorthodox intellectual executed his work outside the university until 1960, decades after he originally intended to begin his studies. O'Connor then turns to Williams's studies of media, revealing his subject's life-long emphasis on the interchange between culture and democracy. He shows the ways in which these ideas were revolutionary, upsetting conservative thinkers of the time, and concludes with the same message of hope that Williams carried with him daily: In a period dominated by conservative forces, Raymond Williams still thought it worthwhile to struggle for small changes.

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Editorial Reviews

Robert W. McChesney
Alan O'Connor has written a timely introduction to Raymond Williams. Superbly written, accessible, and very useful. O'Connor highlights the many areas in which Williams's work remains valuable to us today.
Rodney Benson
O'Connor captures the complexity of Raymond Williams's voluminous oeuvre, and brings to life the intellectual and political debates that were its driving force. From Williams's dynamic, power-laden conception of culture to his subtle analyses of technology, this book provides a much-needed survey of this important thinker's contributions to the sociology of media and communication studies.
Paul Jones
A valuable introduction to Williams's work that is ideally suited to the needs of advanced-level students. While this book is focused on Williams's media work, Alan O'Connor's thorough knowledge of Williams's vast writings makes it a very good entry point to all of this key thinker's ideas. Crisply and engagingly written while highly informative.
John D.H. Downing
This is a terrific addition to our knowledge of Raymond Williams's contributions to understanding culture, media, and communication. Alan O'Connor has a deep, but non-hagiographic, appreciation of Williams's work, and he shares the fruits of his long years of study with us in a lively, accessible style. He also relates Williams to a wonderful array of other writers (Gramsci, Benjamin, Fanon, Said, and many others), thereby highlighting him against many of the most stimulating thinkers of the past hundred years.
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Product Details

Meet the Author

Alan O'Connor is associate professor of cultural studies at Trent University in Canada.

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Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Preface Chapter 2 1 Formation and Language Chapter 3 2 Institution Chapter 4 3 Cultural Form Chapter 5 4 Theory Chapter 6 5 Politics and Letters Chapter 7 Appendix A: "Television: News Values" Chapter 8 Appendix B: Raymond Williams and Anarchism Chapter 9 Select Bibliography Chapter 10 Index Chapter 11 About the Author

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