Download PDF by S. Aronowitz: Against Orthodoxy: Social Theory and Its Discontents

By S. Aronowitz

ISBN-10: 1137388293

ISBN-13: 9781137388292

In opposed to Orthodoxy, the writer engages the most provocative thinkers of the twentieth century, together with Georg Lukacs, Antonio Gramsci, Herbert Marcuse, Karl Marx, Harry Braverman and Paulo Freire. All of those social and political theorists have been devoted to basic social swap, yet many have been pressured to acknowledge the trouble of attaining swap within the sleek international. This e-book demonstrates that each one of them reject traditional interpretations of the way radical switch can be attainable. What marks their solidarity is an attempt to handle capitalism's skill to include common well known alienation. for this reason they urge critical cognizance to problems with tradition, subjectivity, and education.

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Additional resources for Against Orthodoxy: Social Theory and Its Discontents

Sample text

For example, Williams never swerved from his conviction that the labor movement—the Labor Party as well as the unions— was the fundamental cultural institution of the working class, contrary to 1960s radical cant, according to which they have become bureaucratically and even oligarchically addled. Moreover, even as in the late 1970s many practitioners of cultural studies were beginning to challenge historical materialism’s faith in the redemptive character of the working class, and were discovering new agents— particularly women and working-class youth subcultures—for him, to the last, the workers remained the key to any possible emancipatory social transformation.

S. social science is, for the most part, unique in its desire to use methodology as natural science does, to ground its claims to truth. Although social inquiry always employs various techniques—­statistical, historical, ethnographic, for example—the effort to emulate what many consider the rigorous methodologies of the natural sciences continues within sociology, psychology, and other disciplines in the human sciences. Arguably the tendency toward privileging methodology is a symptom of the insecurity shared by most branches of the human sciences about the scientific status of their findings.

At one moment, Williams appropriates this shift in his definition of culture as “signifying practices,” thus preserving, not unwittingly, the distinction between the production of meaning and the objects to which it refers. Similarly, in the wake of Althusser’s frontal assault on Marxist orthodoxy’s separation of base and superstructure by acknowledging the determination of the economic, but only in the “last instance” (which, according to Althusser, never comes), Williams struggled to retain a class perspective despite his fairly tangled effort to show that determination was not a one-way street (the “superstructure determined aspects of the infrastructure as well as being determined by it”).

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