Download e-book for kindle: Althusser and the Renewal of Marxist Social Theory by Robert Paul Resch

By Robert Paul Resch

ISBN-10: 0520060822

ISBN-13: 9780520060821

ISBN-10: 058507917X

ISBN-13: 9780585079172

The writings of the French Marxist thinker Louis Althusser and his affiliates have figured prominently within the improvement of up to date social concept. The Althusserian tuition of Structural Marxism is a startlingly unique synthesis of Marxism and Modernism, which has produced a wide physique of paintings that extends around the human sciences and the arts to have interaction a large number of cultures, theoretical difficulties, and political matters. regardless of the indisputable fact that Althusser himself is widely known as an immense determine, the breadth, coherence, and achievements of Structural Marxism as a complete have long past principally unrecognized. during this, the main systematic and wide-ranging review of Structural Marxism in any language, Resch offers a entire and thematic advent to the paintings of Althusser, Nicos Poulantzas, Pierre Macherey, Etienne Balibar, Emmanuel Terray, Terry Eagleton, Gran Therborn, Rene Balibar, Perry Anderson, Pierre- Philippe Rey, Michel Pchaux, man Bois, and others. Resch's sympathetic and serious research demonstrates the large importance of Althusser's modernist renewal of Marxist social thought and its ongoing problem to post-Marxist pursuits similar to postmodernism and neo-liberalism.

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Because each of the levels is itself structured, the hierarchy represents the degree and the index of effectivity existing between the different structured levels present in the whole: it is the hierarchy of effectivity of a structure dominant over subordinate structures and their elements. . [I]n order to conceive the "dominance" of a structure over other structures in the unity of a conjuncture it is necessary to refer to the principle of the "determination in the last instance" of the non-economic structures by the economic structure; .

For Godelier, the dominant, multifunctional nature of kinship is in actuality "determined by the low level of productive forces, a low level of development which imposes the sexual division of labor and the cooperation of both sexes in order to subsist and reproduce their way of life" (Godelier 1977, 123). Godelier cautions against mistaking a "unity" of functions for a "confusion" of functions. Accepting the fact that a given structure may act as the support for a unity of several functions does not justify confusing the different structural effectivities of each function.

And we are dealing with huge numbers: in France or Britain . . " (Althusser 1976, 48). The only coherent way to think of the masses as a "subject" is to transpose the latter category onto the field of social classes and their structured relations: the class struggle as the motor of history. Conceiving things in terms of a "motor" rather than a "subject" eliminates the question of who makes history and foregrounds the idea of class struggle, a concept whose adequacy has yet to be demonstrated, but one that at least forces us to speak in terms of process (classes do not precede class struggle but are the outcome of class struggle) and the material basis of that process (class struggle exists only within determinant structures, values, and institutions).

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Althusser and the Renewal of Marxist Social Theory by Robert Paul Resch

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