Main Idea – Answers the question “what is culture?” Culture is just ordinary things in society and way of life for a people. Culture is composed of two distinct parts: 1. the ingrained, known meanings, and 2. new observations that are tested.
“High culture” is not really culture. It is only a way to maintain class divisions.
Contradicts Marx’s notion of the ignorant masses and how their exclusion from art and learning is contributing to a dying culture. In response, Williams rejects the dialectic of high/low culture as a construct that only further reinforces class divisions. Culture, according to Raymond Williams, is ordinary and simply the way of life of a whole people.
Critique/Notes – Links to Bordieu’s notion of “distinction.” High culture reinforces class divisions and keeps the elite in power.