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This reader traces the history of cultural studies, from its early formation to its subsequent international development. It registers a series of critical interventions and includes examples of current work. Classic statements of the culturalist, semiological and post-modernist perspectives contrast with seminal material, some of which is less well-known, illustrating the impact of feminism, the politics of sexuality, ethnicity and race. The three main sections - foundations, difference and identity, meaning and power - each have a contextualizing introduction and detailed recommendations for further reading. The texts have been selected with a view to their accessibility and relevance to general themes in the study of contemporary culture. They provide appropriate starting points for classroom discussion and debate.