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Abstract: French thinkers such as Lacan and Derrida are often labelled as representatives of 'poststructuralism' in the Anglophone world. However in France, where their work originated, they use no such category; this group of theorists - 'the poststructuralists' - were never perceived as a coherent intellectual group or movement. Outlining the institutional contexts, affinities, and rivalries of, among others, Althusser, Barthes, Foucault, Irigaray, and Kristeva, Angermuller - drawing from Bourdieu's concepts of cultural capital and the academic field - insightfully explores post-structuralism as a phenomenon. By tracing the evolution of the French intellectual field after the war, Why There is No Poststructuralism in France places French Theory both in the specific material conditions of its production and the social and historical contexts of its reception, accounting for a particularly creative moment in French intellectual life which continues to inform the theoretical imaginary of our time.
"Angermuller is deft in cross-cutting between developments in French intellectual life and their often very partial, biased or distorted reception-history outside France. His shrewdly selective deployment of concepts from Bourdieu offers a number of striking insights into the formative conditions of (so-called) 'French Theory' and its uptake among critics and commentators in other national/cultural traditions. It is certainly the most comprehensive and thoroughly researched study of its kind to date and unlikely to be superseded as a standard work on the subject." Christopher Norris, Distinguished Research Professor of Philosophy, Cardiff University, UK
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