poststructuralism

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Related to Post-structuralism: deconstruction, Post-modernism

poststructuralism:

see deconstructiondeconstruction,
in linguistics, philosophy, and literary theory, the exposure and undermining of the metaphysical assumptions involved in systematic attempts to ground knowledge, especially in academic disciplines such as structuralism and semiotics.
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poststructuralism

a widely influential intellectual movement in France from the 1960s onwards, deriving from STRUCTURALISM but reinterpreting the latter's main assumptions about LANGUAGE and society as signifying systems. As such, poststructuralists utilized while also challenging the ascendancy of key structuralist theorists including SAUSSURE and LÉVI-STRAUSS. In the course of a root-and-branch questioning of traditional modes of philosophical and linguistic theorizing, they also challenged other major social theories, notably MARXISM. The major theorists most usually associated with poststructuralism are DERRIDA and FOUCAULT (see also LACAN). Central aspects of previous linguistic theory ‘deconstructured’ by poststructuralism, especially by Derrida, include:
  1. a questioning of the implications of linguistic conceptions of DIFFERENCE, seen especially in Derrida's challenge to what he regards as SAUSSURE's still ‘metaphysical’ presuppositions about the SUBJECT and LANGUAGE, the priority given to speech‘ over ‘writing’ – see DECONSTRUCTION;
  2. a view that writing, too (see TEXTS), is also questionable as a source of any ‘grounding’ for objectivity or culture, the major reason for this being that, in addition to the ‘arbitrary’ connection between SIGNIFIER AND SIGNIFIED (as for Saussure), the relation between signifiers (via ‘differences’) is equally suspect, given that signifiers are always 'slipping under other signifiers‘, with no final definition possible.
References in periodicals archive ?
It will be argued that this piece of legislation is ultimately essentialist and suffers from the same adherence to supposedly objective gender criteria of male and female which stand in contrast to non-binary conceptions of gender articulated by post-structuralism which, it will be argued, presents a more accurate representation of the means by which gender identity is presented in the case of transsexuality.
While Post-Structuralism is certainly not the only way to analyze discourse, it should at least be addressed in more than two footnotes.
Picchione also warns scholars of the dangers of post-structuralism, deconstructionism, and reader-response criticism, which "riduce ogni ricerca epistemologica alla sfera della retorica" (402).
And, contrary to structuralist philosophy and some forms of post-structuralism, that which lies outside of symbolic signification is not inaccessible to speaking subjects.
It is a veritable minefield for applications of psychoanalysis, structuralism, post-structuralism, neo-historicism, hermeneutics and reader response theory.
For instance, Sam Slote, addressing structuralism, deconstruction, and post-structuralism, highlights relevant aspects of Saussure and Derrida in language that neither presumes a mastery of their theories, nor attempts to educate the reader toward that mastery.
Post-structuralism is able to move "beyond" emancipation in a manner that resists such difficulties, through a "genealogical, deconstructive approach" that firmly grasps the discursive knowledge dimensions of considering peace, and provides the space for "multiple ontologies of peace as discourse .
AaA conversation with the genial, mischievous Rabbath -- who references Derrida, Barthes and Foucault with alarming regularity, and who navigates the treacherous terminology of postmodernism and post-structuralism with flippant ease -- is a mind-bending exercise.
One should note that occasionally the author uses the terms "modern" and "postmodern," when "structuralist" or "post-structuralist" are preferable; one can hardly escape being postmodern as it is an epochal condition, while structuralism and post-structuralism constitute intellectual trends.
As a critical response to structuralist theories, post-structuralism disrupted seemingly stable categories such as male and female, power and dominance, rational and emotional (Lye, 1996).
I'm more sympathetic when Sutherland blames literary theory, especially post-structuralism, for the decline of evaluative criticism; I refer interested readers to Ronan McDonald's useful recent book, The Death of the Critic.

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