Stuart Hall

Evans, Jessica (2017). Stuart Hall. In: Turner, Bryan S.; Kyung-Sup, Chang; Epstein, Cynthia P.; Kivisto, Peter; Ryan, J. Michael and Outhwaite, William eds. The Wiley Blackwell Encyclopedia of Social Theory. Oxford, UK: Wiley-Blackwell.



Stuart Hall, leading public intellectual and campaigner in the British New Left, was a progenitor of the field of cultural studies, influential critic of the Thatcher governments, and a central voice in discussions of postcolonial identity. As Director of the Birmingham Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies and Professor of Sociology at The Open University, Hall shifted a generation of sociologists towards the politics of representation and its role in the conceptualisation of identity formed through difference.

Hall’s engagement with Althusser and Gramsci led to a critique of ‘Thatcherism’ the popular authoritarianism of which was anticipated in his investigation of the deviant figure of the black mugger in Policing the Crisis (1978). Stuart Hall pioneered an inquiry into the symbolic, ideological and political work ‘race’ is made to do at particular historical conjunctures along with a definition of multiculturalism foregrounding the dependency of ‘Englishness’ on its colonial history.

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