Key Thinkers from Critical Theory to Post-Marxism (SAGE Politics Texts series)

Key Thinkers from Critical Theory to Post-Marxism (SAGE Politics Texts series)

Simon Tormey

Language: English

Pages: 240

ISBN: 076196763X

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

This book is the first comprehensive guide and introduction to the central theorists in the post-marxist intellectual tradition. In jargon free language it seeks to unpack, explain, and review many of the key figures behind the rethinking of the legacy of Marx and Marxism in theory and practice. Key thinkers covered include Cornelius Castoriadis, Jean-Francois Lyotard, Deleuze and Guattari, Laclau and Mouffe, Agnes Heller, Jacques Derrida, Jurgen Habermas and post-Marxist feminism. Underlying the whole text is the central question: What is Post-Marxism? Each chapter covers a key thinker or contribution and thus can be read as a stand alone introduction to the principal aspects of their approach. Each chapter is also followed by a summary of key points with a guide to further reading.

















supplying answers to such questions, or even suggestive models of the kind we see in the work of others considered here. In their defence, however, it might be argued that to pose such questions and to demand models is to remain within the very imaginary that their work is designed to unsettle. Political theory is a question of thinking about how we get from where we are now to some other place. How do we imagine that our world could be reconfigured in a way that is more just or democratic? It is

Critical Theory to Post-Marxism but at most given to believe, a fundamental distinction in the passage from traditional, feudal, theocratic societies to modern secular societies. In short we had become ‘pagans’: unconvinced of the necessity, let alone the desirability, for some bedrock of certainty beneath our contingently held opinions and beliefs. In The Postmodern Condition the historical account of the decline in the basis of belief is underpinned by Wittgenstein’s later philosophy and a

undertake the double shift as breadwinners and home-makers. We might also note the link between the circulation of commodities and the sexualised imagery of women. The 121 Tormey-3404-Ch-05.qxd 5/17/2006 1:09 PM Page 122 Key Thinkers from Critical Theory to Post-Marxism upshot of this discussion is not to suggest that Barrett’s position(s) ought to be rejected: rather that her earlier ‘strong’ Post-Marxist position could have been strengthened rather than abandoned. Whilst it is true that

women’s roles. This section examines two types of ‘strong’ Post-Marxist feminism, namely, ‘feminist standpoint theory’ and ‘materialist feminism’, although ‘multi-systems’ (e.g. hooks, 2000: 161) explanations and ‘postcolonial’ feminism (e.g. Mohanty, 1992) could equally be used as further examples of this category. Feminist standpoint theory By the late 1970s and early 1980s as different types of feminism were emerging based upon many experiences of what it meant to be a ‘woman’, feminists with

‘postmodern Marxist feminism’ (Hennessy, 1993: xiv) also reflected postmodern sensibilities, not so much as anti-humanism and fragmented subjectivities, but in her concern to analyse contemporary subjectivities as discursively constructed and in her rejection of a foundational grounding for feminist knowledges. Nevertheless, her materialist commitment led her explicitly to distance herself not only from Laclau and Mouffe (Hennessy, 1993: 22–5, 62), but also from Haraway, Landry and others who saw

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