Richard Hoggart: The Uses of Literacy

(2157 words)
  • Charlotte Stevens (The Open University)

Richard Hoggart’s The Uses of Literacy (1957) is a book of two halves. Hoggart had initially planned to write a guide to different aspects of popular culture hence he began writing what became the second half of the book. However, the desire to locate popular culture within his readers’ lives led him to write the first half; it is here that we discover Hoggart’s broad definitions of the working classes, his explorations of their customs, relations and attitudes.

The first half (“An ‘Older’ Order”) is essentially autobiographical, based upon Hoggart’s memoir of growing up as a working-class boy in Leeds during the 1920s and 30s. In an interview with John Corner, Hoggart speaks of …

Please log in to consult the article in its entirety. If you are a member (student of staff) of a subscribing institution (see List), you should be able to access the LE on campus directly (without the need to log in), and off-campus either via the institutional log in we offer, or via your institution's remote access facilities, or by creating a personal user account with your institutional email address. If you are not a member of a subscribing institution, you will need to purchase a personal subscription. For more information on how to subscribe as an individual user, please see under Individual Subcriptions.

Stevens, Charlotte. "The Uses of Literacy". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 12 July 2006
[, accessed 27 November 2015.]