span404-What is Culture? Williams

Posted by: | January 17, 2009 | Comments Off on span404-What is Culture? Williams

Williams- “A culture is common meanings, the product of a whole people, and offered individual meanings, the product of a man’s whole committed personal and social experience” (Williams, Pg. 15). Williams argues that culture is indeed very ordinary due to the way in which it is taken for granted by people. He discusses how Marxism argues culture is dying and the masses are ignorant, influenced by the development of the industrial state and how it “deliberately cheapens our human responses, making art and literature into desperate survivors…” (Williams, Pg. 16). Despite being a member of the communist party for a year and a half, Williams rejects how Marxism views society and insists that the essence of culture lies within its people. He also notes how culture is constantly changing and evolving as people change and evolve. In Williams’ rural homeland he sees a powerful sense of culture with a strong democratic ideology, one that has not yet been encapsulated by the capitalist doctrine. Personally I do agree with most of Williams’ arguments although I found the article a little disjointed at times. Maybe that i just me not understanding the writing completely but after finishing the essay I do definitely get a sense of exactly the direction Williams is heading in. He feels the industrial revolution is thought of as a culture-vulture but in fact culture lies within the people, and those people are still strongly connected to the arts and other characteristics of a vibrant culture.


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