On 27 May 2006, we met Tony Bennett. He was in for a 3-day international symposium entitled "Cultural Studies and Institution", beginning on 26 May 2006 in Lingnan University, Hong Kong. On the first day of the conference, Bennett, the Professor of Sociology at the Open University, UK and a Director of the Economic and Social Science Centre for Research on Socio-Cultural Change (CRESC), presented a paper about the relations between institutional and cultural practices and some findings of the Cultural Capital and Social Exclusion project that he and a team of co-researchers at the Open University and the University of Manchester have been conducting – a project drawing on the work of Bourdieu to examine the relations between cultural practices and inequalities in contemporary Britain. With the tight conference programme, we arranged to interview Bennett over lunch and tea breaks on 27th May.
We have come to know about Bennett's concern about culture and society from his book Culture: A Reformer's Science (Allen and Unwin 1998). In the book, he describes work in cultural studies as having "interdisciplinary concern" and cultural studies as "supply[ing] an intellectual field in which perspectives from different disciplines might (selectively) be drawn on in examining particular relations of culture and power" (1998:27). In our interview, Bennett talked about his experience at the Open University and about how cultural studies functions as a 'disciplinary mixer' that mixes with different disciplines in many different ways in the university and in Britain. Bennett also shared with us his views about the usefulness of cultural researches and how the relations between culture and society have become his enduring concern.
LIANG, Island; PANG, Panger; LEUNG, Po; and LAW, Muriel (2006) "An interview with Tony Bennett," Cultural Studies@Lingnan, 2. Retrieved from http://commons.ln.edu.hk/mcsln/vol2/iss1/16/