quote-culture

“[…] culture is ordinary: […] there is not a special class, or group of men, who are involved in the creation of meanings and values, either in a general sense or in specific art and belief. Such a creation could not be reserved to a minority, however gifted, and was not, even in practice, so reserved: the meanings of a particular form of life of a people, at a particular tie, seemed to come from the whole of their common experience, and from its complicated general articulation. And if this is indeed so, that meanings and values are widely, not sectionally created (and the example the one used in the first instance was that of language, which is no individual’s creation, although certain individuals extend and deepen its possibilities), then one had to talk about the general fact of a community of culture, and to assert the need for a common culture as a critique of what was imposed, what was done to that general condition in the structure of particular societies. In talking of a common culture, then, one was saying first that culture was the way of life of a people, as well as the vital and indispensable contributions of specially gifted and identifiable persons, and one was using the idea of the common element of the culture – its community – as a way of criticizing that divided and fragmented culture we actually have.”

Raymond Williams in The Idea of a Common Culture (1968)