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English as a VocationThe 'Scrutiny' Movement$
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Christopher Hilliard

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199695171

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199695171.001.0001

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Conclusion: The Project of Scrutiny

Conclusion: The Project of Scrutiny

(p.248) Conclusion: The Project of Scrutiny
English as a Vocation

Christopher Hilliard

Oxford University Press

The Scrutiny movement's history divides into three periods: roughly, 1930–40, 1940–65, and 1965 onwards. The movement was at its fullest extent in the middle period, and benefited from the distinctive conjuncture of the post-war period, a moment of cultural democratization and the persistence of older hierarchies and standards. As this double helix of democratization and deference unwound, the Scrutiny principle of ‘discrimination’ lost its external sanction. The decline of the movement after the early 1960s is also attributable to the way its cultural critique had been pushed more or less to exhaustion by the time the Birmingham Centre was founded. The conclusion takes stock of the divergent political positions informed by the Scrutiny tradition, and suggests that the movement matters for that diversity as well as for its impact on education and its role in bringing popular culture within the purview of the humanities in Britain.

Keywords:   iterary canon, democratization, Marxism, romanticism, Conservatism, Liberalism

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