Post-structuralism. A Very Short Introduction. October , What is Catherine Belsey is a post-structuralist herself. She writes the book in a . Poststructuralism: A Very Short Introduction traces the key arguments that have Catherine Belsey, author Chair of the Centre for Critical and Cultural Theory at. Poststructuralism: A Very Short Introduction by Catherine Belsey, , available at Book Depository with free delivery worldwide.

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Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Want to Read saving…. Want to Cery Currently Reading Read. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Preview — Poststructuralism by Catherine Belsey. Poststructuralism 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 aut Poststructuralism changes the way we understand the relations between human beings, their culture, and the world. 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.

Combining authority with wit, accessibility, and style, Very Short Introductions offer an introduction to some of life’s most interesting topics. Written by experts for the newcomer, they demonstrate the finest contemporary thinking about the central problems and issues in hundreds of key topics, from philosophy to Freud, quantum theory to Islam Paperbackpages. Very Short Introductions To see what your friends thought of this book, catherinw sign up. To ask other readers questions about Poststructuralismplease sign up.

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Poststructuralism: A Very Short Introduction

May 04, Foad rated it really liked it Shelves: View all 11 comments. Oh wait, it’s popular culture. Or is it psychoanalysis? Or just literary criticism?

And yet this is exactly what I feel intriduction I read poststructuralism-related authors. No, most of them don’t like to be called “poststructuralist”. Sa “Is the author talking about linguistics now? 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: 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” introductioj lay people, it seems only fair to conclude — once again — that poststructuraliwm these authors don’t have anything substantial to say or they have discovered an esoteric introdhction that they cannot communicate.

If we remember how much they despise such truths, we’re left with only one option. Dec 21, Paras2 rated it it was amazing.

Poststructuralism: A Very Short Introduction – Very Short Introductions

Jan 26, Nathan rated it really liked it. 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 more about ‘what it’s all about’ without burdening myself with a loaded textbook.


It’s not an easy subject. I don’t s 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 more 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. Jun 02, Ahmad Sharabiani marked it as to-read Shelves: A Very Short Introduction Very Short Introductions 73Catherine Belsey Poststructuralism changes the way we understand the relations between human beings, their culture, and the world.

While the author discusses such well-known fi Poststructuralism: Mar 25, Morgan Blackledge rated it really liked it. Recent events have reinvigorated my interest in the sociocultural factors that impact our sense vert 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 more reflective posttsructuralism ones poststruucturalism 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 Recent events have reinvigorated my interest in the sociocultural factors that impact our sense of well-being.

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 catyerine 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.

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. According to Saussure, signs only have meaning because we people collectively decide and agree that they have meaning. 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. 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 introducttion.

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 beleey with Prince or the artist formerly know asthan 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. 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.

Barthes argued that this tactic closed down or institutionalized the meaning of a text, and posstructuralism mummified it. Barthes advocated for flexibility in interpretation of texts, and argued for a more introductino experience of the text, and a more fluid and dynamic, more collective, more interactive interpretation.

Barthes argued that the readers interpretation was as valid if not more than the authors. 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.

One of my favorite pieces of graffiti could be found at the Taqueria catherime I used to eat when I was in high school. Derrida asserted that structuralism underestimated the primacy of written language. Derrida asserts that writing is precisely the way we make construct sense. ;oststructuralism 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.