Unravelling the Knots: Poststructuralism and Other “Post-isms

MacKenzie, Iain (2001) Unravelling the Knots: Poststructuralism and Other “Post-isms. Journal of Political Ideologies, 6 (3). pp. 331-345. ISSN 1356-9317. (The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided)

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Beginning with the assumption that there is confusion over what is meant by post-structuralism, and that this confusion is fostered by critics and supporters alike, I argue for an exclusive but not deadening definition of this apparently nebulous term. Using as my benchmark the minimum definition that post-structuralism is an attempt to go beyond the limitations of structuralism without regress to humanism I aim to specify this further by investigating competing accounts of three terms key to the literature surrounding 'post-isms': structure, difference, and criticism. Three conceptions of structure (linguistic, discursive, virtual), four conceptions of difference (dialectical, anti-dialectical, aporetical and empiricist), and three approaches to criticism (normative reconstruction and deconstruction, and ontological construction) are delineated with a view to producing a grid of analysis that will generate the exclusive definition required. It is argued that if post-structuralism is to escape structuralism without regress to humanism then it must deploy a virtual conception of structure, an empirical conception of difference and a constructivist approach to criticism. It is not the purpose of this paper to define the other possible points on the grid.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: J Political Science > JC Political theory
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Politics and International Relations
Depositing User: Alison Chapman
Date Deposited: 19 Dec 2007 18:35
Last Modified: 14 Jan 2010 14:00
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/914 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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