New in paperback. Hardcover was published in 2009. This book is about the claims of Cultural Theory as a particular kind of intellectual ethos or discipline.
What is the point of cultural theory? Do we even know what it is? This book is at once an introduction to, and, broadly, a defence of modern cultural theory understood as a particular constellation of inquiry, one that may be all the more important in our postmodern times the more seemingly irrelevant it is to current fashions.Focusing on the work of Theodor Adorno, Pierre Bourdieu and Michel Foucault the book argues that in spite of their differences these authors shared particularly 'modern' understandings of culture, creativity and human agency; understandings centred on the ideas of critical autonomy and creativity of thought. Even though all three were committed to scholarly empirical research, for them the function of cultural theory was not just to describe the world positivistically 'as it is' (or was) but to cultivate the conditions for ethical autonomy in their readerships by opening up ways for thinking differently and exposing the fetishisms and blockages that hinder that task. -- .
Table of Contents
Preface and acknowledgements viii
Introduction 1 (13)
Culture - an antinomical view 14 (21)
Adorno as educator 35 (32)
Foucault and the ethics of subjectivity 67 (36)
Bourdieu, ethics and reflexivity 103 (37)
A note on postmodern cultural theory 140 (14)
Conclusion 154 (11)