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➺ Poststructuralism: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) Free ➰ Author Catherine Belsey – Cravenjobs.co.uk

10 thoughts on “Poststructuralism: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions)

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  2. says:

    Is the author talking about linguistics now Or politics Or metaphysics Oh wait, it s popular culture No, it s ethics Or is it psychoanalysis Art theory Anthropology Or just literary criticism Normally I love multi tasking authors and theories of everything, but when I go through the above in just two pages, I know there s a problem there And yet this is exactly what I feel when I read poststructuralism related authors No, most of them don t like to be called poststructuralist Sadly, this very short introduction suffers the same problem.Belsey manages to be clearer than the thinkers she presents in the book, especially in Chapter 3 Difference and Desire Despite her and my best efforts, however, in the other chapters I felt sharply oscillating between Well, this is pretty obvious and Well, this doesn t make sense at all another feature that the book shares with the founding texts of poststructuralism.If a school of thought keeps its confused and obscure style even in the text of a very short introduction for lay people, it seems only fair to conclude once again that either these authors don t have anything substantial to say or they have discovered an esoteric truth that they cannot communicate If we remember how much they despise such truths, we re left with only one option.

  3. says:

    Poststructuralism A Very Short Introduction Very Short Introductions 73 , Catherine BelseyPoststructuralism changes the way we understand the relations between human beings, their culture, and the world Following a brief account of the historical relationship between structuralism and poststructuralism, this Very Short Introduction traces the key arguments that have led poststructuralists to challenge traditional theories of language and culture While the author discusses such well known figures as Barthes, Foucault, Derrida, and Lacan, she also draws pertinent examples from literature, art, film, and popular culture, unfolding the poststructuralist account of what it means to be a human being.

  4. says:

    succinct and to the point, without the use of extra difficult diction or over complicated explanations.a remarkable book in the series.

  5. says:

    For me, this book did what it said on the tin I ve skirted around PS in its different forms for a while now, when dabbling in semiotics and critical theory etc, and really wanted to know a little about what it s all about without burdening myself with a loaded textbook.It s not an easy subject I don t believe anyone who says they find it easy It challenges on quite a fundamental level a lot of the structures and common ideas on society and language This book barely skims the surface But what it is, is a menu See what takes your fancy, and then you can pursue those lines of enquiry yourself to read further.For me, I came away with a peeked interest in learning about Saussure, Foucault he sounds like fun and Derrida he sounds far too clever for me It also reignited a little love affair I had with Freudian teachings a while ago.In summary it does contain difficult language and ideas, because it s dealing with a subject that is built upon challenging language and ideas As short as it is, I wouldn t necessary consider it an easy read But if I wanted that, I d try a Dummies guide.

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    Recent events have reinvigorated my interest in the sociocultural factors that impact our sense of well being The quality and character of our national discourse has abruptly changed, and the psychological impact it has had on nearly everyone I encounter is profound.When the dominant cultural discourse is reflective of ones personal world view, and when the national practices and policies are progressing in the direction of ones values, and in the service of ones interests, the feeling is of basic safety and optimism, and the impulse is to a maintain the status quo, and or b increase the rate of progress When the dominant discourse is hostile to ones world view, and the national practices are in opposition to ones values and and interests, the feeling is well, pretty fuckin awful I don t know about y all, but I have been feeling pretty critical lately for better or worse and I have been craving some critical theory to hopefully lend acuity to my experience of the shit storm of wounding words and ideas that have been flying around the data sphere as of late.I read a bunch of critical theory in college, but that was a long time ago, and I have been in a very different head space for a good long time, and I wanted a little refresher So what the F is poststructuralism Poststructuralism is an intellectual movement, defined by its critical relationship to its predecessor, structuralism hence the name.Structuralism was a primarily European philosophical and linguistics movement one of modernities many ism s based on the work of Swiss linguist Ferdinand De Saussure, who along with Charles Sanders Pierce pronounced purse founded the field of semiotics i.e the study of signs and symbols and their use interpretation.Saussure is most known for his theory of The Sign which differentiates symbolic language into a signifier and b signified.A Sign refers to anything with symbolic value e.g a logo, word, glyph, rude hand gesture etc According to Saussure, signs only have meaning because we people collectively decide and agree that they have meaning For example The word Prince is a sign that refers to among other things the American singer songwriter, multi instrumentalist and record producer known for his flamboyant stage presence, extravagant dress, makeup and wide vocal range The Signifier refers to a sign s physical form such as a sound, printed word, or image as distinct from its meaning The signifier is in this example, the actual word Prince , the meaning of which is arbitrary i.e the word has no intrinsic meaning, it s just a sound, and it can mean what ever we want it to, as long as we agree.That particular example Prince was so arbitrary in fact, that the dude switched signifiers in mid career, from a word Prince to a freaky gender fucked squiggle, and implored us to refer to him as the artist formerly known as Prince And it sort of worked The Signified refers to the actual thing indicated by the signifier The signified in this example is the actual little purple dude who just recently went over the rainbow bridge to paisley paradise If you re familiar with Prince or the artist formerly know as , than you may be capable of decoding interpreting all of these signifiers and assembling them into meaningful structures The fundamental question at the heart of both structuralism and poststructuralism is Is meaning the cause or effect of language If your a structuralist, your answer would be the latter According to structuralists, we tend to naively relate to our experience as primary, and the langue we use to describe our experiences as secondary But the structuralists contend that the reverse is the actually case i.e that language determines experience.Roland Barthes was a French literary theorist, linguist and philosopher Barthes explored a diverse range of ideas important to the inception of poststructuralism.He s probably most know for this declaration of the death of the Author, and the birth of the reader Premodern and early modern literary criticism assumed that it was necessary to understand the intentions of the author in order to understand the meaning of a text Barthes argued that this tactic closed down or institutionalized the meaning of a text, and thereby mummified it Barthes advocated for flexibility in interpretation of texts, and argued for a direct experience of the text, and a fluid and dynamic, collective, interactive interpretation.Barthes argued that the readers interpretation was as valid if not than the authors Hence the death of the author and the birth of the reader One embarrassing AF example of this can be gleaned from another 90 s pop culture phenomenon and guilty pleasure Pearl Jam.Their song Alive was initially conceived of as melancholy and pessimistic But the fans interpreted the song as hopeful, and that eventually changed the meaning for everyone, including the band Jacques Derrida was like the rock Starr of poststructuralist critical theory He is best known for developing a form of semiotic analysis known as deconstruction That s right, he s the guy who launched that meme into the noosphere And when I say meme, I m not talking laugh out loud cats here I m talking industrial strength, rip a fissure in the fabric of western thought type shit.The deconstructavist approach entails smashing texts into bits and seeing where the meaning is Derrida contended that the further down the meaning hole you go, the less meaning you will find Definitions of words are made of words, which have definitions, which are made of words ad infinitum Deconstruction seeks to expose and subvert either or type binary oppositions that characterize thuggishly simplistic ways of thinking e.g presence absence, speech writing, subject object true false etc One of my favorite pieces of graffiti could be found at the Taqueria where I used to eat when I was in high school It read slogans limit thought I think think Derrida might add so do binary oppositions.Deconstructing Saussure Derrida ultimately criticizes the binary opposition of the signifier signified Derrida asserted that structuralism underestimated the primacy of written language Derrida asserts that writing is precisely the way we make construct sense And apparently dollars to if you consider the art of the deal.These arguments are particularly interesting in light of American constitutional law and politics.One side wants to claim to understand the intentions of the framers of the constitution, and rigidly adhere to them But only when it serves their interests The other side of interprets the text as fluid, dynamic and evolving But only when it serves their interests This seemingly frivolous battles over the meaning of texts have real world implications It feels worthwhile to resurrect the corpse of critical theory, in order to lift is the fog from the battlefield and sharpen the sword If nothing else it s fun to precisely articulate The fact that the emperor has no clothes, save for his line of branded ties Significant influences on poststructuralism include Marxism, psychoanalysis and existential philosophy and phenomenology Important poststructuralist authors include Michel Foucault, Judith Butler, and Jean Baudrillard They all critiqued aspects of structuralism and were considered to comprise poststructuralism s pantheon of heavyosity, although many of them rejected the moniker That s a pretty fussy crowd and I would expect nothing less Poststructuralist s created constructs and language to deconstruct language In so doing they stumbled on to some deep territory just beyond the reach of language.The thing the poststructuralist s were trying to do with language and thought i.e disassemble the masters house with the masters own tools, seems quixotic but is actually quite important.Critical theory pushed up against the edge of 3rd person perspectives, but could not surpass a certain boundary due to methodological constraints That boundary is where the social sciences begin.I m a therapist.I m always trying to use language to deconstruct and explore an emotion, memory, idea, belief or intention I also have a background in the arts In fact I was first introduced to pomo theory in art school in the 90 s.I m very interested in the vin diagram zone of overlap between the humanities and the social sciences Therapy is as much an art form as a science Therapy void of profundity is denatured Therapy void of validity is effete.European psychodynamic schools of psychotherapy are grounded in the humanities American cognitive behavioral schools of psychotherapy are grounded in scientific pragmatism.Postmodern theory is like a bridge between the two worlds.

  7. says:

    It is difficult to do a short introduction on poststructuralism but this very short introduction is better than some of the other subjects in the series I have read, and much better than the godawful introduction to postmodernism Oxford inexplicably allowed One of the problems with this subject is it assumes you know something about a number of other subjects before you even read it, like feminism, psychoanalysis, Marxism, literary criticism etc etc., but despite the fact that the author could have written detail, this being one of the shorter entries in even this short series, it still is a pretty good introduction.

  8. says:

    Useless shitty crap

  9. says:

    In five chapters the author presents us the multiple post structuralism theory From Saussure to Lyotard, including Levi Strauss, Althusser, Foucault, Barthes, Derrida, Lacan and Zizek Sex, Art, Politics, Literature and Ethics are some of the depicted themes Lewis Carroll s dialogue between Alice and Humpty Dumpty and the case of Abel s gender changing confronts the idea of meaning as given in advance After poststructuralism, meanings are not given, but can be changed or deconstructed Post structuralism doesn t deprive us of the power to change Power is movable There are conflicts and we choose sides Derrida s last works are about Ethics in a world without foundation truths Saussure s concept of signifier is the basis of differance not difference guiding the idea of a world without foundation truths Although Reason and the laws of nature can be taken as new forms of metaphysical foundations Poststructuralism theory thinks there is no ultimate absolute reality If value emanate from language and Language divides the world differently from culture to culture Then, no appeal to a grounding reality That is the question of XXI century values can change, since values are different from themselves This idea comes from Saussure s signifiers as difference And lacanian Psychoanalysis is in debt with Saussure as difference is central desire is always unconscious the first object is always lost to the subject The mother is not a person, but a structural position This maternal love object is lost in the Real From which the world of signifiers severs us.

  10. says:

    An interesting read, very accessible.This accessibility is likely the result of the books presentation of a historical development of the field of post structuralism, this is very much to the books credit as I definitely see from this book the merits of poststructuralisms concepts and claims, especially situated within its historical context.That said, as you might predict from the title A very short introduction , the book is constrained to a brief tour of the early days of this field of academia As such I do have my questions as to how the field of poststructuralism has responded to the new ideas, revelations and perhaps challenges from across disciplines.Fortunately, the book does recommend further reading resources and the fact that I am interested enough to ask questions and consider further study into this field is why I rate this book as 5.

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