2010-09-16 -- Historiography II (1)

2010-09-16 -- Historiography II (1) - Historiography II...

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Unformatted text preview: Historiography II: Postmodernism and its Discontents September 16, 2010 History 300 University of South Carolina Theories of Society • Hegelian, Marxian Dialectics – History as class synthesis or class struggle – Marxian progression – Class conflict as framework for broad surveys • Sigmund Freud’s Psychoanalysis – Psychohistory – History as sum of biographies • Emile Durkheim’s Structural-Functionalism – How actions serve to maintain a society’s norms Theories of Society • Structuralism – Claude Lévi-Strauss, – Anthropological/Literary tools adopted by historians – A society’s rules and works can be interpreted to reveal how members of that society reconcile (rather than discard) incompatible ideas and understandings – Jacques Derrida’s “post-structuralism” Pomo • Postmodernism: rejection of Truth – No higher or absolute truths – You can’t make universal judgments – Most models of society make these judgments • What’s wrong with the old models? – They’re productive – BUT, they cannot be disentangled from norms and ideals of the societies that produced them – (those norms and ideals tend to be arbitrary and fetishized) Michel Foucault (1926-1984) • French philosopher (also considered an historian, sociologist, literary expert, psychologist, etc) • Major influences: (see theories of society) – Especially structuralism – Marquis de Sade, utilitarian philosophy, existentialism, leftist politics • Definitive rejection of notions of Truth and Justice – Everything’s constructed – Everything boils down to power “Justice vs Power” (1971)...
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2010-09-16 -- Historiography II (1) - Historiography II...

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