Discuss a cultural text of your choice in relation to representation and ideology.

Essay by sazzleUniversity, Bachelor's May 2003

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A cultural text can be anything from film to music, or art to books, such things only become a text after they have been decoded through critical interpretation. Each individual interprets text differently and it is through such things that we can experience culture. What exactly is culture though? The word culture comes from the Latin to mean 'tend and grow on land.' Over the years it has come to mean other things, we can see this by looking at the dictionary which shows us there are eight different meanings to the word culture and it is the more traditional meaning which is put near the end of this list, making way for new and more important meanings. It is the first four meanings which are of most importance to us; "1. the ideas, customs and art produced or shared by a particular society. 2. a particular civilization at a particular period.

3. activity or interest in the arts in general. 4. knowledge of refinement resulting from an interest in the arts." The text I have chosen to study, looks at a group of people and how their lives were affected by the industrial revolution, an extremely influential movement in history. Raymond Williams, an early pioneer in the field of cultural studies shows us how industry among other things has produced a developing culture. In his book 'Culture and Society,' he highlights five key words, industry, democracy, art, class and culture. He states that "the changes in their use, at this critical period bear witness to a general change in our characteristic ways of thinking about our common life," and therefore these changes bring about a new meaning in the word culture as well as producing new cultures themselves. He says that two general responses emerge from culture,