The Tyranny of Relativism: Culture and Politics in Contemporary English Society

The Tyranny of Relativism: Culture and Politics in Contemporary English Society

by Richard Hoggart
     
 

The Tyranny of Relativism is an impassioned attempt by one of England's most distinguished critics to capture the feel of British culture at the end of the twentieth century: its moods, attitudes, and institutions. Richard Hoggart presents a double argument, suggesting first that cultural dilemmas stem from a long slide towards moral relativism, as

Overview

The Tyranny of Relativism is an impassioned attempt by one of England's most distinguished critics to capture the feel of British culture at the end of the twentieth century: its moods, attitudes, and institutions. Richard Hoggart presents a double argument, suggesting first that cultural dilemmas stem from a long slide towards moral relativism, as consumerism rather than authority increasingly determines the texture of life; and secondly, that despite its claims to the contrary, British Conservative governments have exploited these changes to their own ends.

Blunt and forthright, humorous and humane, Hoggart supports his themes by analyzing particular forms of change—in education at all levels, in the arts, mass and popular entertainment, in broadcasting, in the use of language, and in the uncertain base of "cultural studies" themselves. But he also shows how some social forces have worked against this monumental process: old-style checks and balances, the resistance of class sentiments, the uneasy sense of lost values. But in this series of cultural struggles, the intellectuals are noteworthy by their absence.

The great merit of The Tyranny of Relativism is its resistance to platitudes, and its fearless probing of thorny questions that go to the heart of Western cultural traditions for a new age. When Hoggart concludes by asking "where do we go now" no one should expect complacency. In The Tyranny of Relativism, Hoggart makes the reader appreciate the silent complicity of the intellectual class for the cultural rot of relativism characteristic of western culture today. The book is must reading for those engaged in cultural studies, European politics, literary criticism, and the sociology of knowledge.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"An awesomely magisterial look at the cultural state of English identity . . . there is something here to upset everybody." —Nicholas Lazard, The Guardian "Richard Hoggart is a national institution. The Tyranny of Relativism is 'good for you' ... a rebuke a day keeps complacency away." —Paul Barker, The Times Literary Supplement "An intensely democratic thoughtful rant." —Michael Cunningham, The Irish Times
Times Literary Supplement
Hoggart is a national institution. [This book] is 'good for you' [A] rebuke a day keeps complacency away.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781560009535
Publisher:
Transaction Publishers
Publication date:
01/01/1997
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
352
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.80(d)

Meet the Author

Richard Hoggart, as professor of modern English literature at Birmingham University, founded the Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies. He has authored or edited over twenty-five books, including Between Two Worlds: Politics, Anti-Politics, and the Unpolitical, The Uses of Literacy, and The Tyranny of Relativism, all available from Transaction.

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