Althusserian Marxism

Althusserian Marxism

a structuralist version of Marxism fashionable especially in the 1970s, based on the ideas of Louis ALTHUSSER. Promoted in England by the Marxist journal the New Left Review, Althusser'S work influenced many theorists, including Stuart HALL, and Hindess and Hirst (1975). A notable criticism of the approach is E. P. THOMPSON’s The Poverty of Theory (1978). In opposing Althusser's dogmatism with ‘humanism’, however, Thompson exhibits his own kind of dogmatism in resisting arguments for structural analysis. Previous supporters of Althusserian Marxism now look to sociological theory to provide a recognition of the importance of both STRUCTURE AND AGENCY, having failed to find this in Althusser's work (for a general discussion see T. Benton, 1984, The Rise and Fall of Structural Marxism). See also STRUCTURALISM.