Download Against Essentialism: A Theory of Culture and Society by Stephan Fuchs PDF

April 11, 2017 | Cultural | By admin | 0 Comments

By Stephan Fuchs

I have had Stephan Fuchs for 2 periods on the college of Virginia. not just is he an excellent professor, but in addition an outstanding author. opposed to Essentialism provides his perspectives on cultural structures in as transparent a way as is feasible given the complexity of the topic. it is a booklet that are meant to be required examining for sociology classes, yet is maybe a bit deep in the event you have by no means taken a social conception path.

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Sample text

One could not describe a niche without referring to its inhabitants. No organism lives “in the world” at large. When a species becomes extinct, the world loses not only this species, but also itself, or that part of itself that once was the world for this species. An observer can be anything and anyone observed as a unit of observing by itself or other observers. Physicists say an observer is anything equipped to take measurements, or to register something and react to it, or not. If an observer does react, he can do so only in his own terms, though these can change over time with evolution or learning.

This much is true about the old Althusserian adage that ideologies are “lived,” not just “believed” (McCarthy 1996:42). To be sure, for another observer who observes this observer, these frames come into view as local and historical constructs, not evident and universal constants. But again, that second observer also cannot observe anything without his own tacit and implicit certainties. “Ideology,” then, belongs to the core of a cultural network, which houses its specific invisibilities and modes of observing.

Markets are the surface of a deeper reality of production; ideologies “reflect” this surface and so conceal the underlying structural realities of industrial capitalism. Since the proletariat experiences this deeper level firsthand, it can see through ideological fabrications and advance, with a little help from its intellectual friends, the truth of historical materialism against the ideological fictions of bourgeois liberalism. Classical Marxist theory splits into three separate strands. The first is Hegelian Critical Theory, which equates ideology with instrumental and administrative reason and the “repressive desublimation” (Marcuse 1964:56–58) of late capitalist culture industries.

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