From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
Post-structuralism refers to the intellectual developments in continental philosophy and critical theory which were outcomes of twentieth-century French philosophy. The prefix "post" refers to the fact that many contributors such as Jacques Derrida, Michel Foucault, and Julia Kristeva were very critical of structuralism. In direct contrast to structuralism's claims of culturally independent meaning, post-structuralists typically view culture as inseparable from meaning.
Post-structuralism is difficult to define or summarize. There are two main reasons for this. First, it rejects definitions that claim to have discovered absolute 'truths' or facts about the world. Second, very few people have willingly accepted the label 'post-structuralist'; rather, they have been labeled as such by others. Therefore no one has felt compelled to construct a 'manifesto' of post-structuralism. Thus the exact nature of post-structuralism and whether it can be considered a single philosophical movement is debated. Indeed, it has often been pointed out that the term is not widely used in Europe (where most supposedly "post-structuralist" theory originates) and that the concept of a post-structuralist theoretical paradigm is largely the invention of American academics and publishers.
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