Richard Hoggart, The Uses of Literacy

Charlotte Stevens (The Open University)
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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 “try[ing] to write about the [...] working-class culture I had known; [...] the only one I

2155 words

Citation: Stevens, Charlotte. "The Uses of Literacy". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 12 July 2006 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=15068, accessed 05 March 2024.]

15068 The Uses of Literacy 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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