Williams's term for one of three categories of cultural forms or codes that coexist within a society at any particular moment in history, the dominant form reflecting currently prevailing cultural institutions, traditions, styles, movements, social forces, values, practices, and identities. The dominant culture and its institutions seek to incorporate aspects of rival forms in order to maintain their hegemony. Williams advanced the concept of coexisting forms in order to avoid stark periodicity of historical ‘epochs’ and to emphasize the simultaneous presence in society of dynamic and contradictory cultural processes. See also cultural materialism; emergent forms; residual forms.
Subjects: Media Studies.