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1. (post-Marxism) The development of radical reworkings of Marxism from the late 1970s, arising in reaction to classical Marxist materialism, economism, historical determinism, anti-humanism, and class reductionism and influenced by poststructuralism and postmodernism, notably in the rejection of grand narratives (including classical Marxism itself). These emerged in the late 1970s, associated with theorists such as Lyotard, Baudrillard, Foucault, the Argentine political theorist Ernesto Laclau (b.1935), the Belgian political theorist Chantal Mouffe (b.1943), and Stuart Hall. From the 1980s, post-Marxism was increasingly inflected by such cross-currents as feminism and postcolonialism. It is an anti-essentialist approach in which class, society, and history are no longer treated as unitary, universal, pre-discursive categories. Multiple subject positions are constituted dynamically in discourse in relation to class, gender, race, and nationality. Consequently, there is no uniform class consciousness. Post-Marxist theory has also been influenced by the Gramscian concept of hegemony. Ideology and culture are seen as relatively autonomous of the economic base. See base and superstructure; cultural materialism; relative autonomy.

2. (post-Marxism) Sometimes loosely referring to an abandonment of Marxism by many former Marxists, particularly after the collapse of Soviet communism in Eastern Europe in 1989–91, when the Marxism which had animated cultural studies in the 1960s and 1970s was widely disavowed.

Subjects: Media studies

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