A Marxist-Humanist perspective on Stuart Hall’s communication theory

Theory and Society 52 (6):995-1029 (2023)
  Copy   BIBTEX


At the end of his life, Stuart Hall called for the reengagement of Cultural Studies and Marxism. This paper contributes to this task. It analyses Stuart Hall’s works on communication and the media.The goal of the paper is to read Stuart Hall in a manner that can inform the renewal of Marxist Humanism and the development of a Marxist-Humanist theory of communication. This involves reconstructing elements of Hall’s approach, criticising certain aspects of his work, and through this engagement developing new theory elements.The article’s analysis of Stuart Hall’s theory of communication and the media is conducted in four steps. First, the paper reengages and re-evaluates what Hall called the two paradigms of Cultural Studies: Structuralism and “Culturalism”/Humanism. It discusses the role of human agency in society. Second, the paper engages with Hall’s and Althusser’s notions of articulation and sets the notion of articulation in relation to the concept of communication. Third, it discusses the relationship between communication and work in the context of Hall’s works. Fourth, the article revisits and engages with Hall’s encoding/decoding-model in the context of digitalisation.This paper grounds a dialectical concept of communication that is based on the dialectic of articulating and articulatedness, the dialectic of work and communication, as well as the dialectic of communication in the public sphere and society’s power forcefields. It shows how a critical, dialectical theory of communication benefits from engagement with Stuart Hall’s works. The present work argues with, for, against, and beyond Stuart Hall in order or productively draw on ideas that emerge from this engagement.



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 91,998

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

The humanist controversy and other writings, 1966-67.Louis Althusser - 2003 - New York: Verso. Edited by François Matheron.
Technology, Domination, Liberation: Marxism to Postmodernism.James Todd Sarokin - 1995 - Dissertation, University of California, Irvine
Stuart Hall and the Marxist Concept of Ideology.Jorge Larrain - 1991 - Theory, Culture and Society 8 (4):1-28.
Media and Power After Stuart Hall.Gerard Goggin - 2016 - Cultural Studies Review 22 (1).
A view of a death: On communism, ancient and modern.John A. Hall - 1998 - Theory and Society 27 (4):509-534.
World humanist congress, 2014.E. Needham & Stuart - 2015 - Australian Humanist, The 116:1.
Status of Communication Perspective in Social Sciences.Kęstutis Kirtiklos - 2012 - Santalka: Filosofija, Komunikacija 20 (1):50-60.


Added to PP

23 (#682,859)

6 months
18 (#141,331)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Citations of this work

No citations found.

Add more citations

References found in this work

Eclipse of Reason.Max Horkheimer - 1948 - Philosophy 23 (87):368-369.
From the humanism of critical theory to critical humanism.Oliver Kozlarek - 2021 - European Journal of Social Theory 24 (2):246-263.
Marxism and Literature.Raymond Williams - 1977 - Philosophy and Rhetoric 13 (1):70-72.

Add more references