Contribution of Raymond Williams to Cultural Studies
Williams in the construction of a cultural Studies
The Marxist tradition has been built by different currents and interpretations of Marx’s work with consequences in the political practice of revolutionary movements around the world. The debate between the different visions within Marxism has been the fruit of deep academic studies (Llobera, 1980, Gouldner, 1983, Thwaytes Rey, 2010). In general terms, all characterize the existence of two predominant currents: the economist and that of critical or humanist Marxism.
The economist trend was dominant throughout much of the twentieth century in academic circles and in the political arena. According to this vision, broadly the main contribution of Marxism is to identify the determinant role of the economic factor in different social formations, and therefore, also the role of the struggle in that plane to establish a new social system. However, throughout the twentieth century different intellectuals and militants disputed that vision of Marxism. The Italian Antonio Gramsci and the British E.P. Thompson and Raymond Williams constitute at the theoretical level one of the main references of the criticism to the economism and the historical determinism within the Marxist theoretical and political currents. In turn, these authors had the ability to create new categories to understand the phenomena in different places and historical times, contributing to the construction of a critical Marxism.