The Value of Culture
January 6, 2013 3:52 PM   Subscribe

The Value of Culture is a five part BBC radio series by Melvyn Bragg (which can be downloaded as a podcast) which explores the modern concept of 'culture' from its roots in mid-19th Century Britain, specifically Matthew Arnold's Culture and Anarchy and Edward Burnett Tylor's Primitive Culture (vol. 2), and exploring the discourse and uses of the concept until the present day. There are five episodes, each a little over forty minutes long, focusing in turn on Arnold and the roots of the concept of culture, Tylor and the anthropological conception of culture, C. P. Snow and the 'Two Cultures' debate, mass culture and culture studies, and then ending with a debate on the value of culture today.
posted by Kattullus (11 comments total) 64 users marked this as a favorite
Oh, this is great.

When I exercise at home, I use In Our Time as a soundtrack. That way, I'm interested in what I'm listening to without having to fear busting a gut mid-push-up.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 3:56 PM on January 6, 2013

I listened to most of these while I was driving to work this week. Highly recommend them.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 5:20 PM on January 6, 2013

Looks interesting, thanks.
posted by Miko at 6:51 PM on January 6, 2013

Thanks, I love Melvyn Bragg! Even when I am not 100% onboard with him, like in the "written word" series, I still enjoy it. (I still wish he was related to Billy Bragg, though.)
posted by wenestvedt at 8:10 PM on January 6, 2013

Thanks for this. A shame that it only has 4 comments but a crap infographic and a piece by Will Self about Americans have over 100, but that's the culture of the internet I suppose!
posted by debord at 8:02 AM on January 7, 2013

Yeah, that final discussion program had me on the brink of yelling at my iPod a few times, but I wouldn't have had the words to use until I listened to the first four episodes.
posted by Kattullus at 12:05 PM on January 7, 2013

Another In Our Time fan here. Looking forward to this.
posted by doctornemo at 3:52 PM on January 7, 2013

I've subscribed to In Our Time for a while and I find I never listen to it. It's mainly because of the presentation/production style - it gets monotonous, and after a while I have a hard time attending to what sounds like a drone. I listen at my desk a lot, or while out walking or running, and what I'll realize is that 10 minutes have gone by and I haven't actually taken in the information.

It's nothing against the content, and I love ideas podcasts and smart people, it's a stylistic thing. Unfortunately, this has it too. If I were in my car I bet it would be easier to track. It might be just me, but I don't have the same issue with most other podcasts. It's something about Bragg's voice in combination with the production.
posted by Miko at 4:43 PM on January 7, 2013

For years and years, back when I really struggled with insomnia, I used In Our Time as a sleeping aid. I found the discussions soothing and easy to drift off from. Then I'd usually listen to it again while walking to work and I'd only really encode the information presented on this second listen. Now that I have become "genre literate" in the way In Our Time operates, I find it much easier to take it all in on a first listen but I also never fall asleep to it either.
posted by Kattullus at 4:57 PM on January 7, 2013

This may be a stupid question, but is there a way to download the previous episodes? When I start attempting to subscribe to the podcast, I only get the final episode.
posted by johnasdf at 9:18 AM on January 9, 2013

Is there no option to download all of them? I am able to do that in iTunes.
posted by Kattullus at 4:51 PM on January 11, 2013

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