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The Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies (1963 - 2002)

Related: Cultural Studies - popular culture theory

People: Dick Hebdige - Stuart Hall

In 1964, Richard Hoggart established the Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies at Birmingham. Hoggart was followed by Stuart Hall, Richard Johnson and Jorge Larrain. The CCCS launched the study of subcultures. In 2002 the CCCS was closed. [2004]


The Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies (CCCS) was a research centre at the University of Birmingham. It was founded in 1963 by Richard Hoggart, its first director. Its object of study was the then new field of cultural studies.

The Centre was the locus for what became known as the Birmingham School of Cultural Studies, or, more generally, British cultural studies. Birmingham School theorists such as Stuart Hall emphasized the reciprocity in how cultural texts, even mass-produced products are used, questioning the valorized division between "producers" and "consumers" that was evident in cultural theory such as that of Theodor Adorno and the Frankfurt School.

The curriculum was closed in 2002.

Some areas studied by the Birmingham Center and those associated with it include subculture, popular culture, and media studies. The Birmingham Center for Cultural Studies, and the theorists associated with it, tend to take an interdisciplinary approach to the study of culture, incorporating diverse elements such as Marxism, post-structuralism, feminism, and critical race theory, as well as more traditional methodologies such as sociology and ethnography. The Birmingham Center studied representations of various groups in the mass media and evaluated the effects and interpretations of these representations on their audience.

It is notable for producing many key studies and researchers. Stuart Hall, who became the centre's director in 1968, developed his seminal Encoding/Decoding model here.

Empirical researchers included David Morley and Charlotte Brunsden, who produced The Nationwide Project at the Centre. Dorothy Hobson's research about the reception of Crossroads was based on her MA dissertation. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Centre_for_Contemporary_Cultural_Studies [Jan 2006]

Cultural studies

The most well-known academic program in cultural studies in Anglophone countries exists at the Centre (lately Department) for Contemporary Cultural Studies (CCCS), which was established at the University of Birmingham in England in 1963 under the directorship of Richard Hoggart. Initially part of the Department of English, the Centre became independent in 1972 during the directorship of Stuart Hall, whose term lasted from 1969 to 1979. Previously, Hall was the inaugural editor of Britain's New Left Review. It was during the 1970s that over 60 Stencilled Papers and 10 issues of the journal Working Papers in Cultural Studies (founded in 1971) were brought out. This journal was absorbed into a CCCS-Hutchinson Company book series that published in the closing years of the decade the collectively edited Resistance through Rituals: Youth Sub-Cultures in Post-War Britain (1976), On Ideology (1978), Women Take Issue (1978), Working Class Culture (1979), and especially Culture, Media, Language: Working Papers in Cultural Studies, 1972-79 (1980), which amounted to a CCCS reader, complete with an introductory account of the Centre by Stuart Hall. At the peak of this pioneering period in the 1970s, the Centre had 5 faculty members and 40 graduate students. By decade's end other university programs in cultural studies were set up in England, primarily at polytechnical institutes. With the founding in England of the Cultural Studies Association in 1984, the whole contemporary movement toward establishing cultural studies in the academy attained a significant moment of maturation. --Vincent B. Leitch (Published in Johns Hopkins Guide to Literary Theory and Criticism, eds. Michael Groden and Martin Kreiswirth [Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1994]: 179-82.)

Birmingham School

British Cultural Studies, or the Birmingham School (named for its founding University of Birmingham (UK) Centre for Cultural Studies) is a broad-ranging interdisciplinary approach that has existed for several decades, running more or less parallel to AS, fulfilling some of its functions but differing in significant ways. The school has made major contributions to literary and historical theory, the ethnography of urban sub-cultures, popular culture and media studies, women's studies, and to ethnic studies, among other areas. In its current incarnation, it is perhaps best represented by Stuart Hall who combines theoretical models and insights drawn from marxism, post-structuralism, critical race theory and feminism with tools drawn from the disciplines of sociology, history, ethnography, and media studies. Hall also follows the school's tradition of aiming his scholarship as directly as possible into current arenas of political contestation. Through the work of people like Stuart Hall, Raymond Williams, Dick Hebdige, Angela McRobbie, and others, British Cultural Studies has long influenced individual AS scholars. --T.V. Reed http://www.wsu.edu/~amerstu/tm/cultstud.html [Jul 2004]

Dick Hebdige [...]

Former alumno of the CCCS.

Origins of the Centre

In an inaugural address entitled ``Schools of English and Contemporary Society'' (1963), Richard Hoggart, the first director of the Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies (CCCS), University of Birmingham, attacked the narrowness of the way English literature was being taught in Great Britain and outlined an approach to what he ``provisionally called Literature and Contemporary Cultural Studies'' -- an approach which he claimed had ``something in common with several existing approaches, but [was] not exactly any one of them'' (Hoggart, 1970b, p. 254). --via http://www.wlu.ca/~wwwpress/jrls/cjc/BackIssues/18.1/schulman.html [Jul 2004]

Jorge Larrain

Hoggart was followed by Stuart Hall, who was the director from 1968 to 1979, when Richard Johnson became the head of the Centre. Jorge Larrain, a long-time lecturer in sociology at Birmingham University, now heads the cultural studies program.--via http://www.wlu.ca/~wwwpress/jrls/cjc/BackIssues/18.1/schulman.html [Jul 2004]

Current Address

http://www.socsci.bham.ac.uk/ [Jul 2004]

CCCS Publications - Stencilled Papers by CCCS

Remaining copies of the old series of Stencilled Papers from the Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies are still being sold, but in some cases we are down to 3 or 4 copies and must photocopy to produce further copies.


No. 1 - A 'Reading' of Marx's 1857 Introduction to the Grundrisse - by Stuart Hall, 1973. 73p-price Code - L

No. 2 - Theories of Social Stratification -by Adrlan Mellor, 1972, 21pp - Price Code - K

No 6 - Introduction to the Structural Analysis of the Narrative, by Roland Barthes, 1973, pp 34 - Price Code - Y

No. 32 - Framing the Arts: The Role of the Cultural Institution - by John Clarke, 1975, llpp - Price Code - 3

No. 44 - Critique of Community Studies and its Role in Social Thought - by Fieldwork Group, 1976, 20pp - Price Code - J

No.49 - Exposition and Critique of Julia Kristeva. by Allon White, 1977, pp 21 - Price Code - Y

No. 46 - Translation of Pierre Bourdieu The Culture Field and the Economic Field' - by Richard Nice, 1977, 16pp - Pricc Code - J

No. 47 - Issues and Problems in the Decentralising of Cultural Planning - by Michael Green, 1977, 52pp - Price Code - L

No. 51 - Gramsci's Writing on the State and Hegemony, by Bob Lumley, 1977, 54pp - Price Code - K

No. 55 - Mass Observation - A Short History, by Tom Jeffery, 1978, pp 72 - Price Code - Y

No. 56 - Three Problematics: Elements of a Theory of Working Class Culture, by Richard Johnson, 1979, pp 64 - Price Code - Z

No. 61 - The Cultural Study of Music: A Theoretical and Methodological Introduction - by Dick Bradley, 1980, 69pp - Price Code - L

No. 74 - What is Cultural Studies Anyway? - By Richard Johnson, 1983, 48pp- Price Code - L

No. 79 - Working for the Best Ethnograpy - By Bob Hollands, 1985, 35pp - Price Code - Y


No. 52 - Social Democracy, Education and the Crisis - by CCCS Education Group, 1977, 73pp Price Code - L

No. 57 - Government Youth Training Policy and its impact on Further Education - by Merilyn Moos, 1979, 65 pp - Price Code -L

No. 64 - Some Uses of English: Denys Thompson and the Development of English in Secondary Schools - by BIian Doyle, 1981, 45pp - Price Code - K

No. 73 - Cumculum Innovation in F.E.: A Case Study - by James Avis, 1983, 34pp - Price Code - K

No. 80 - Ideologies of Adult Literacy: Politics and Practice - by Mariette Clare, 1985, - 60pp - Price Code - Z

No 72 - Fighting over Peace: Representatians of CND in the Media, October 1981 - by CCCS Media Group, 1982, 90pp - Price Code - L

No. 78 - Television and the North - by Esther Adams, 1985, 58pp - Price Code- K

No. 85 - 'Life's more fun with your Number One Sun' Interviews with some Sun Readers, By Mark Pursehouse, 1987, 35pp - Price Code - L


No. 24 - Reggae, Rastas and Ruddies: Style and the Subversion of Form, by Dick Hebdige, 1974, pp 44 - Price Code - Y

No. 58 - Multicultural Fictions - by Hazel V. Carby, 1979, 30pp - Price Code- K

No 62 - On the Political Economy of Black Labour and the Racial Structuring of the Working Class in England - by Andy Green, 1979, 5lpp - Price Code - K

No. 66 - Common Sense Racism and the Sociology of Race Relations, by Errol Lawrence, 1981, pp 60, Price Code - Z

Race and the Provincial Press: Report to UNESCO, by Chas Critcher, 215 - Price Code - Z


No. 12 - The Politics of Popular Culture, by Bryn Jones, 1972, pp 5 - Price Code - J

No. 13 - Symbolism and Practice: The Social Meaning of Pop Music, by Paul Willis, 1974, pp 40 - Price Code - Y

No. 14 - Politics and Popular Culture: Culture and Sub-Culture - by John Clarke and Tony Jefferson, 1974, lOpp - Price Code - J

No. 16 - The Hippies: An American Moment, by Stuart Hall, 1968, 36pp - Price Code - Y

No 17 - Down these Mean Streets - The Meaning of Mugging, by Tony Jefferson and John Clarke, 1973, pp 25 - Price Code Y

No. 18 - Working Class Youth Cultures - by Tony Jefferson and John Clarke, 1973, 25pp - Price Code - K

No. 20 - The Style of the Mods, by Dick Hebdige, 1971, pp 12 - Price Code- K

No. 21 - The Kray Twins: A Study of the System of Clogure, by Dick Hebdige, 1974, pp 68 - Price Code - Z

No. 22 - The Teds: a Political Resurrection - by Tony Jefferson, 1973, 14pp - Price Code - J

No. 23 - The Skinheads and the Study of Youth Culture - by John Clarke, 1974, 21pp - Price Code - K

No. 25 - Sub-Cultural Conflict and Criminal Performance in Fulham - by Dick Hebdige, 1974, 89pp - Price Code - L

No. 28 - Parent and Youth Culture, by Brian Roberts, 1973, pp8 - Price Code - J

No. 29 - Football since the War: Study in Social Change and Popular Culture - by Chas Critcher, 1974, 32pp - Price Code - K

No. 35 - Mugging and Law 'n' Order, by Tony lefferson et al, 1975, pp 52 - Price Code Z

No. 37 - Newsmaking and Crime (paper at NACRO conference)- by John Clarke, 1975, 18pp - Price Code- J

No. 41 - The Three Rs - Repression, Rescue and Rehabilitation - by John Clarke, 1975, 22pp - Price Code J

No. 42 - Football Hooliganism and the Skinheads - by John Clarke, 1973, 21pp - Price Code - J

No 60 - Popular Literature in the Third Reich: Observations on the 'Groschenroman' - by Helga Ryan, 1978, 78pp - Price Code - L

No. 71 - Defending Ski Jumpers: A Critique of Theories of Youth Subculture, by Gary Clarke, 1982, pp 39 - Price Code- Y


No. 27 - Transition from School to Work Bibliography - by Paul Willis, 1973, 12pp - Price Code - J

No. 33 - Human Experience and Material Production: Shop Floor Culture - by Paul Willis, 1975, 19pp - Price Code - J

No. 38 - The Main Reality: Transition School/Work; SSRC Report - by Paul Willis, 1975, 85pp - Price Code - L

No. 43 - How Working Class Kids get Working Class Jobs, by Paul Willis, 1975, pp 17 - Price Code - K

No. 54 - Women and Work Bibliography - by Janice Winship, 1978, 81pp - Price Code - L


No. 19 - Perfonnance and Meaning: Women in Sport, by Paul Willis, 1974, pp ~6 - Price Code - K

No. 30 - The Family in a 'permissive society', by Andrew Tolson, 1975, pp 11 - Price Code- J No. 31 - Images of Women in the Media - by Helen Butcher etal, 1974, 34pp - Price Code - Y

No 53 - Jackie: An Ideology of Adolescent Femininity,, by Angela McRobbie~ 1978, pp 57 - Price Code - Z

No. 59 - Advertising in Women's Magazines 1956/74 - by Janice Winship, 1980, 65pp - Price Code - L

No. 65 - Women Becomes an Individual: Femininity and Consumption in Women's Magazines 1954/69 - by Janice Winship, 1981, 44pp - Price Code - K

No. 69 - Cultures of Femininity: Romance Revisited, by Chris Griffin, 1982, pp 21 - Price Code - K

No. 70 - The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: Images of Young Women in the Labour Market, by Chris Griffin, 1982 ppl8 - Price Code - J

No. 76 -Young Women and Work: The Transition from School to the Labour Market for young Working Class Women, by Chris Griffin, 1984, pp 56 - Price Code - K

No.77 - Doris Lessing and Women's Appropriation of Science Fiction - by Mariette Clare, 1984, 52pp - Price Code - L

No. 84 - Woman is Nature is Woman: Media Exploitation of the Greenham Metaphor - by Rebecca Slough, pp 41 - Price Code - K


No. 63 - Fads and Fashions - by Chas Critcher et al., 1977, 52pp - Price Code - K

CSPl - The Meaning of the Lochness Monster: by Paul Lester, 1976, pp 42 - Price Code L

CSP2 - Breeders for Race and Nation: Women and Fascism in Britain Today - By Women and Fascism Group, 1978, 32pp - Price Code - K

Sporting Fictions - Proceedings of a workshop on media, literature and sport held at the Univeristy of Birmingham in 1981 jointly organised and sponsored by the Department of Physical Education and CCCS, 1982, 437pp Price - Z

161 Media Studies Working Papers for 16+ Media Studies, Edited by Christopher Points - 6.00


Birmingham University



  1. Resistance Through Rituals: Youth Subcultures in Postwar Britain (1976) - Stuart Hall [Amazon US] [FR] [DE] [UK]
    This book is a must read for students of fashion, subculture, identity, and pop culture. Although the style of writing and some of the conclusions read as somewhat "old-fashioned", it was ground-breaking work at the time, one of the first serious scholarly treatments of youth and pop culture. More importantly, many of its arguments are still very relevant and need to be reconsidered in contemporary literature. The collection also discusses many styles which are all but forgotten to a younger audience and the variety British styles in the 60s is an education in itself for people who often think of past decades as having a particular "look". Excellent sociological analysis blended with ethnographic description. --A reader from Newfield, amazon.com

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