After postmodernism: reconstructing ideology critique by Herbert W. Simons, Michael Billig PDF

By Herbert W. Simons, Michael Billig

This interdisciplinary ebook addresses the most important questions posed via the postmodernist problem: Is it attainable to mirror and criticize in an age whilst each declare to fact is put lower than suspicion? Are social critics infected via an identical ideological distortions they establish in society? The textual content experiences various responses to such dilemmas and therefore examines how one can reconstruct social conception and critique following the postmodern assault at the conventional foundations of information. no matter if taking a look at political critique and praxis, feminist concerns, ideology or educating practices, the contributions are united via the necessity to floor a brand new theoretical and political place within the absence of the foundational certainties as soon as seasoned

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Rather, they are themselves causal entities, operating interactively with material conditions as part of the base. Just as ruling-class ideas are not fully determined, so also they are not fully determinative. In place of a single ruling class within any given society, there are multiple and competing factions. Moreover, ruling-class hegemony is never complete; there is always the opportunity for oppositional readings. Yet, as Gramsci emphasized, critical insights need to be incorporated into the construction of a counter-hegemonic culture if they are to be more than merely intellectual ideas.

In our present passage, like theirs before us, there is a hiatus between the word and the world. To find the word those words by which we can truly know ourselves and guide our collective affairs that is the challenge of the 'postmodern' to which we must respond. The Exhaustion of Modernism and the Postmodern Confusion Some have argued that there have been two great events in human history: first, the emergence of horticultural states about six thousand years ago and with this the appearance of what we call 'civilization'; second, the emergence of 'modern' societies with their industrial economies, territorial states and mass cultures.

The famous phrase about the ideas of the ruling class bursts with Page 2 confidence, as the writers claimed to have discovered the facts about 'every epoch'. Today, in an epoch when postmodern ideas are fast becoming the ruling fashion, such unqualified statements appear dated. They resemble the brass compasses and pith-helmeted uniforms which the European explorers of the last century took on their expeditions. Those explorers had few doubts about their mission to throw light into dark continents; nor about the suitability of their equipment to do so.

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