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Baudrillard, Jean

STEVEN CONNOR


Subject Literature

DOI: 10.1111/b.9780631207535.1997.x


Extract

(1929-) Jean Baudrillard has moved from being a sociologist of consumer society to being the most notorious and immoderate of the thinkers associated with P ostmodernism . The account he develops of contemporary mass culture and the mass media is far-reaching and extravagant in its claims, and has had an. important influence across a number of disciplines, especially C ultural STUDIES, F ilm , and L iterary CRITICISM. It would probably also be true to say that the very flamboyance and hyperbole of Baudrillard's writing, especially from the 1980s onwards, which has brought him in almost equal measure such widespread adulation and notoriety, has also prevented that work from receiving the serious and sustained critical attention which it deserves. Baudrillard's writing career began, like that of many French theorists since the 1960s, with a complex argument with M arxism , an argument which is given particular impetus by the euphoria and defeat of the events of May 1968. The shape of Baudrillard's social theory is determined by the trajectory of his disaffiliation from M arxism . In a series of books which appeared between 1968 and 1973, Baudrillard undertakes to free social analysis from the narrow determinism of a Marxism that reduced C ulture to the secondary effect of economic factors and relations. In Le Systeme des Objects (1968) and La Société de Consommation (1970), ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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