Introduction: Modern British culture

Michael Higgins, Clarissa Smith, John Storey

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingForeword/postscriptpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


What does it mean for us to study a national culture? As we will see in the pages to come, it means looking across and reflecting upon a range of the practices and activities that contribute towards the shared experience of community and 'nation'. In part our endeavour calls upon an understanding of the various cultural and political institutions within which culture is organised and regulated, but, perhaps even more, it demands we comprehend something of the transience and excitement of everyday experience. In Britain, cultural activities are shaped by their histories and their traditions, but they also have a dynamic relationship with the present. A comprehensive account of British culture should therefore be alert to the forces that give living, thinking and playing in Britain form and character, while presenting an enthusiastic account of how this national culture changes along with the population and the world at large.                                                                                                                                  The Cambridge Companion to Modern British Culture offers just such an introduction to culture in twenty-first-century Britain. It brings together seventeen critical and insightful essays by some of the leading academics in British intellectual life. The subjects and issues the chapters cover are purposively varied, reflecting the diversity and debates that circulate in discussions of modern British culture. What emerges is a dynamic collection that brings together a number of aspects of living in and thinking about British culture. This is, therefore, a Companion designed to provide a fascinating and informative overview of modern British culture. However, the reader will also learn that British culture is not singular. Like most modern national cultures it is characterised by diversity and difference.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Cambridge Companion to Modern British Culture
EditorsMichael Higgins, Clarissa Smith, John Storey
Place of PublicationCambridge
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)9780511780776
ISBN (Print)9780521864978, 9780521683463
Publication statusPublished - 19 Aug 2010
Externally publishedYes


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