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Social and cultural geography, cultural politics

posted on 2023-06-07, 17:14 authored by Simon RycroftSimon Rycroft
Cultural politics is an important concept to the new cultural geography which emerged in the1980s and adopted a notion of culture as a politically contested social construction. The discipline opened itself up to a broad conception of culture that included more popular and resistant forms of cultural practice. To understand these practices the work of the now defunct Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies (CCCS) at the University of Birmingham in England was utilised. The CCCS argued that cultural politics formed the key process that explained the connection between cultural change and change in the broader political economy. They studied a series of post-war subcultures and countercultures and explored the ways in which these groups tended to coalesce around a particular style, such as items of clothing or musical genre and made them mean something exclusive to the social group. That style would eventually be incorporated back into hegemonic or dominant culture, a process which both put an end to the culture of resistance but also changed the character of hegemonic culture. Geographers have worked with and adapted this notion of cultural politics in studies of the ways in which space, place and environment are central to the formation and operation of cultural politics amongst resistant and dominant social groups.


Publication status

  • Published


Elsevier Science



Book title

International encyclopaedia of human geography



Department affiliated with

  • Geography Publications

Full text available

  • No

Peer reviewed?

  • Yes


Rob Kitchin, Nigel Thrift

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