Keywords: A Vocabulary of Culture and Society  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Keywords: A Vocabulary of Culture and Society is a book written by the Welsh Marxist academic Raymond Williams, and published in 1976 by Croom Helm.

Originally intended to be published along with the author's 1958 work Culture and Society, this work examines the history of more than a hundred words that are familiar and yet confusing: Art; Bureaucracy; Culture; Educated; Management; Masses; Nature; Originality; Radical; Society; Welfare; Work; and many others.

The approach is cultural rather than etymological. Sometimes the origins of a word cast light on its meaning, but often one finds that it originally meant something quite different. Or that there has been a fierce political struggle over the 'correct' meaning.

A revised an expanded edition of Keywords was published by Fontana in 1983. In 2005 Blackwell published New Keywords: A Revised Vocabulary of Culture and Society, an attempt to update Williams' text.

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