The world of American cinema is so far-reaching a topic that it deserves, and often receives, volumes of its own. Hollywood (in Los Angeles, California), of course, immediately comes to mind, as do the many great directors, actors and actresses it continues to attract and produce.But then, one also thinks of the many independent studios throughout the country, the educational and documentary series and films, the socially relevant tradition in cinema, and the film departments in universities...

The whole sentence is simple, but I can't understand "the socially relevant tradition in cinema". What kind of tradition are they talking about? It's very important because I translate this text.


I understand the socially relevant tradition in cinema to mean "the tradition of making films that have social relevance." Perhaps that meaning would be clearer if we put so-called scare-quotes around the phrase:

the "socially relevant" tradition in cinema.

It's a kind of label, or shortcut, used in informal, somewhat careless, conversation. Compare:

That director is into the whole "socially relevant" thing.

A less informal version would be

the "social relevance" tradition in cinema

the socially relevant tradition in cinema is also something of a misfit in the paragraph, which seems to be making a distinction between large-budget studios and smaller independents. Hollywood has sometimes made socially relevant films.

  • 1
    OP's source text appears to have been written by a Russian schoolchild, so it wouldn't be surprising if it contained some dubious assertions. Mar 16 '18 at 15:54
  • Most American high-school students don't write as well ;-) Mar 16 '18 at 17:01

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