Questions of Cultural Identity

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Stuart Hall, Paul du Gay
SAGE Publications, Jun 6, 1996 - Social Science - 198 pages
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Why and how do contemporary questions of culture so readily become highly charged questions of identity? The question of cultural identity lies at the heart of current debates in cultural studies and social theory. At issue is whether those identities which defined the social and cultural world of modern societies for so long - distinctive identities of gender, sexuality, race, class and nationality - are in decline, giving rise to new forms of identification and fragmenting the modern individual as a unified subject.

Questions of Cultural Identity offers a wide-ranging exploration of this issue. Stuart Hall firstly outlines the reasons why the question of identity is so compelling and yet so problematic. The cast of

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About the author (1996)

Stuart Hall was born and raised in Jamaica and arrived in Britain on a Rhodes scholarship to Oxford in 1950. In 1958, he left his PhD on Henry James to found the New Left Review, which did much to open a debate about immigration and the politics of identity. Along with Raymond Williams and Richard Hoggart he established the first Cultural Studies programme at a British university in Birmingham in 1964, bringing the study of popular culture into the understanding of political and social change.

After spending more than four decades as one of the UK’s leading public intellectuals, Hall retired from formal academic life in 1997 and since then has continued to devote himself to questions of representation, creativity and difference. He became the chair of two foundations, Iniva, the Institute of International Visual Arts, and Autograph ABP, which seeks to promote photographers from culturally diverse backgrounds, and championed the opening of Iniva’s new Rivington Place arts complex in east London in 2007.

Paul du Gay is a Senior Lecturer in Sociology at The Open University

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