Catalogue description TRACT Publication

This record is held by Birmingham: Archives, Heritage and Photography Service

Details of MS 4000/5/2/5
Reference: MS 4000/5/2/5
Title: TRACT Publication

The tapes are arranged as follows:


MS 4000/5/2/5/1-3 Charles Parker talks to Peter Abbs Mar 1972


(editor of 'TRACT') and Barbara


Abbs for his article in TRACT 3


'Towards A People's Culture'


Spring, 1972

Held by: Birmingham: Archives, Heritage and Photography Service, not available at The National Archives
Language: English
Administrative / biographical background:

TRACT emerged as a new quarterly publication in October 1971 to address educational and cultural issues. Each TRACT concentrates on one issue by one author. The first editorial by Peter Abbs and John Adams in TRACT No1 'The Politics of Imagination' October 1971 declared that:


'Whether we are directly involved in education or not, the pressures of contemporary life are so relentless that we are all liable to overlook the need for fundamental values and aims. As a result we find everywhere a tendency to place means before ends, methods before purposes, techniques before content. Tract is opposed to this tendency.


Tract exists to assert and to build up a philosophy which places the person as person at the centre


of society, and, more particularly, at the centre of education. Tract is thus committed to the development of the whole man, his imagination as much as his reason, and with the development of the whole man in relation to society'


Charles Parker wrote the third in the series of journals TRACT 3 'Towards A People's Culture' which examined the responsibilities of the mass media. Charles Parker explored in great detail his belief in the importance of the vernacular and folk song in the preservation and survival of the community, a vernacular identity and a common culture. TRACT 3 discusses people sharing in a folk song or a story telling as a communal experience and that although the mass media do portray such events he wrote that their portrayal is


'...from the wrong standpoint. It is conducted from the standpoint of an exploiting middle-class which has no concern for the people....The result is a cosmopolitan mush not a common culture'.


The recordings in this series are of Charles Parker talking to Peter Abbs (editor of TRACT) and Barbara Abbs for his article in TRACT 3. There is a full typescript transcript of the recordings at MS 4000/1/6/7 along with correspondence, notes and copies of TRACT Nos 1,2,4,6,9,10-11 and 15.

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