Journal of Communication Inquiry
About: Journal of Communication Inquiry is an academic journal published by SAGE Publishing. The journal publishes majorly in the area(s): Journalism & Politics. It has an ISSN identifier of 0196-8599. Over the lifetime, 941 publications have been published receiving 17564 citations. The journal is also known as: JCI.
Papers published on a yearly basis
TL;DR: Dollimore as discussed by the authors argues that critical theorists should strive to understand the contradictions within our lives and our literature and explore the daemonic power of the subjects that offend our sense of tradition.
Abstract: but the threat they bring to artistic culture. From his opening mockery of the literary establishment’s tendency to theorize the world in terms of desire or gender to his disapproval of those who venerate art while denying its validity in the same breath, Jonathan Dollimore has created an easily understood, albeit at times too theoretical, synthesis of the literary and the experiential in Sex, Literature and Censorship. His arguments on critical theory do not necessarily reject the concept of theory; rather, he argues that critical theorists should strive to understand the contradictions within our lives and our literature and explore the daemonic power of the subjects that offend our sense of tradition.
TL;DR: Gramsci's work does not offer a general socialscience which can be applied to the analysis of social phenomena across a wide comparative range of historical societies as discussed by the authors, and therefore has a direct bearing on the question of the adequacy of existing social theories, since it is precisely in the direction of complexity of existing theories and problems that his most important contribution is to be found.
Abstract: The aim of this collection of essays1 is to facilitate ‘a more sophisticated examination of the hitherto poorly elucidated phenomen of racism and to examine the adequacy of the theoretical formulations, paradigms and interpretive schemes in the social and human sciences…with respect to intolerance and racism and in relation to the complexity of problems they pose.’ This general rubric enables me to situate more precisely the kind of contribution which a study of Gramsci’s work can make to the larger enterprise. In my view, Gramsci’s work does not offer a general social science which can be applied to the analysis of social phenomena across a wide comparative range of historical societies. His potential contribution is more limited. It remains, for all that, of seminal importance. His work is, precisely, of a ‘sophisticating’ kind. He works, broadly, within the marxist paradigm. However, he has extensively revised, renovated and sophisticated many aspects of that theoretical framework to make it more relevant to contemporary social relations in the twentieth century. His work therefore has a direct bearing on the question of the ‘adequacy’ of existing social theories, since it is precisely in the direction of ‘complexifying existing theories and problems’ that his most important theoretical contribution is to be found. These points require further clarification before a substantive resume and assessment of Gramsci’s theoretical contribution can be offered.
TL;DR: The post-marxist and post-structuralist are two categories of postmarxists as discussed by the authors, defined as "postmarxism" and "poststructuralism" respectively.
Abstract: ion? Hall: I think they are quite heroic, in the new book, to say that until one can express these new positions in the form of a rigorously articulated general theory, one is still too bogged down in the pragmatics of local examples, conjunctural analysis, and so on. I don’t operate well at that level, but I don’t want to deny the importance of what is sometimes called &dquo;theoretical practice,&dquo; It is not an autonomous practice, as some Althussereans have tried to talk about it, but it does have its own dynamic. At many important points, Capual is operating precisely at that level; it is a necessary level of abstraction. So the project itself is not wrong. But in carrying it out, they do tend to slip from the requirement to recognize the constraints of existing historical formations. While they are very responsible-whether you agree with them or not-about recognizing that their position does have political consequences, when they come down to particular political conjunctures, they don’t reintegrate other levels of determination into the analysis. Instead, they take the abstractions which have been developed and elaborated, in a very rigorous and conceptual way at a high philosophical level, and insert them into the here and now. You don’t see them adding, adding, adding, the different levels of determination; you see them producing the concrete philosophically, and somewhere in there is, I think, the kind of analytic slippage I am talking about That’s not to say that it’s theoretically impossible to develop a more adequate set of political positions within their theoretical framework, but somehow, the route they have taken allows them to avoid the pressure of doing so. The structuring force, the lines of tendency stemming from the implantation of capital, for example, simply disappears. Question: Two other terms becoming common in cultural theory are &dquo;postmarxism&dquo; and &dquo;poststructuralism.&dquo; Both have, at various times, been used to describe your work. Can you describe your relation to these categories? Hall: I am a &dquo;post-marxist&dquo; only in the sense that I recognize the necessity to move beyond orthodox marxism, beyond the notion of marxism guaranteed by the laws of history. But I still operate somewhere within what I understand to be the discursive limits of a marxist position. And I feel the same way about structuralism. My work is neither a refusal nor an apologia of Althusser’s position. I refuse certain of those positions, but Althusser certainly has had an enormous influence on my thinking, in many positive ways that I continue to acknowledge, even after he has gone out of fashion. So &dquo;post&dquo; means, for me, 59 going on thinking on the ground of a set of established problems, a problematic. It doesn’t mean deserting that terrain but rather, using it as one’s reference point. So I am, only in that sense, a post-marxist and a poststructuralist, because those are the two discourses I feel most constantly engaged with. They are central to my formation and I don’t believe in the endless, trendy recycling of one fashionable theorist after another, as if you can wear new theories like tee-shirts. Question: It is clear that cultural studies is enjoying a new measure of success in the United States. I wonder how you feel about these recent successes to institutionalize and codify cultural studies. Hall: I would like to perhaps make a distinction between the two terms that you use. I am in favor of institutionalization because one needs to go through the organizational moment-the long march through the institutions---to get people together, to build some kind of collective intellectual project. But codification makes my hackles rise, even about the things I have been involved in. People talk about &dquo;the Birmingham school&dquo; (The Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies at the University of Birmingham--ed.) and all I can hear are the arguments we used to have in Birmingham that we never were one school; there may have been four or five but we were never able to unify it all, nor did we want to create that kind of orthodoxy. Now let me say something, perhaps controversial, about the American appropriation of all that was going on at Birmingham, and cultural studies in general, for I see some interesting presences and absences. For instance, I fmd it interesting that formal semiotics here rapidly became a sort of alternative interpretive methodology, whereas I don’t think anybody in England ever really believed in it as a complete method. When we took on semiotics, we were taking on a methodological requiremenl you had to show why and how you could say that that is what the meaning of any cultural form or practice is. That is the semiotic imperative: to demonstrate that what you were calling &dquo;the meaning&dquo; is textually constituted. But as a formal or elaborated methodology, that was not what semiotics was for us. In America, taking on semiotics seemed to entail taking on the entire ideological baggage of structuralism. Similarly, I notice there is now a very rapid assimilation of the Althusserean moment into literary studies but without its marxist connotations. And I notice the same thing about Gramsci’s work. Suddenly, I see Gramsci quoted everywhere. Even more troubling, I see Gramscian concepts directly substituted for some of the very things we went to Gramsci to avoid. People talk about &dquo;hegemony&dquo; for instance as the equivalent of ideological domination. I have tried to fight against that interpretation of &dquo;hegemony&dquo; for twenty years. Sometimes, I hear a similar kind of easy appropriation when people start talking about cultural studies. I see it establishing itself quite rapidly on the foundations of existing academic departments, existing intellectual divisions, and disciplinary curricula. It becomes a kind of &dquo;received knowledge,&dquo; instead of having a real critical and deconstructive edge to it. But I don’t know what you do about that; I don’t know how you refuse success. I think that in America, cultural studies is sometimes used as just one more paradigm. You know, there are fifteen around, so this time I will say that I have a cultural studies approach... I understand why that happens because, in a sense, there is a perspective there, despite its eclecticism and relative openness. It has always been trying to integrate itself into a perspective. That’s inevitable whenever you try to get people to do research collectively because they have to collaborate while trying to answer specific questions. So there is a thrust toward codification inevitably, as the project develops and generates work. Let me put it this way: you have to be sure about a position in order to teach a class, but you have to be open-ended 60 enough to know that you are going to change your mind by the time you teach it next week. As a strategy, that means holding enough ground to be able to think a position but always putting it in a way which has a horizon toward open-ended theorization. Maintaining that is absolutely essential for cultural studies, at least if it is to remain a critical and deconstructive project. I mean that it is always selfreflectively deconstructing itself; it is always operating on the progressive/regressive movement of the need to go on theorizing. I am not interested in Theory, I am interested in going on theorizing. And that also means that cultural studies has to be open to external influences, for example, to the rise of new social movements, to psychoanalysis, to feminism, to cultural differences. Such influences are likely to have, and must be allowed to have, a strong impact on the content, the modes of thought and the theoretical problematics being used. In that sense, cultural studies cannot possibly thrive by isolating itself in academic terms from those external influences. So in all those ways I think there are good reasons, not just personal predilections, for saying that it must remain open-ended. It is theorizing in the postmodern context, if you like, in the sense that it does not believe in the finality of a finished theoretical paradigm. Editor’s Note: This article is drawn from interview sessions with Hall conducted by S. Elizabeth Bird, Marilyn Smith, Patrack O’Brien and Kuan-Hsing Chen (on postmodernism) at the University of lowa School of Journalism and Mass Comnsunication in September, 1985, and by Cary Nelson, Lawrence Grossberg and others (on articulation) at the University of Illinois Unit for Criticism and Interpretive Theory in August, 1985. Transcriptions were made by Kuan-Hsing Chen and Michael Greer.
TL;DR: In the past two or three decades, marxist theory has been going through a remarkable, but lop-sided and uneven revival as discussed by the authors, and it has come once again to provide the principal pole of opposition tobourgeois &dquo; social thought.
Abstract: In the past two or three decades, marxist theory has been going through a remarkable, but lop-sided and uneven revival. On the one hand, it has come once again to provide the principal pole of opposition to &dquo;bourgeois&dquo; social thought. On the other hand, many young intellectuals have passed through the revival and, after a heady and rapid apprenticeship, gone right out the other side again. They have &dquo;settled their accounts&dquo; with marxism and moved on to fresh intellectual