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Post-structuralism is a body of work that followed in the wake of structuralism, and sought to understand a world irrevocably dissected into parts of systems, as in deconstruction.

Post-structuralists are most clearly distinct from their structuralist predecessors in their rejection of structuralism's reductivist methodology. They challenge the structuralist claim to be a critical metalanguage by which all text can be translated, arguing that a neutral omniscient view outside the realm of text is impossible. Instead, they pursue an infinite play of signifiers and do not attempt to impose, or privilege, one reading of them over another. Appropriately, within the discipline of post-structuralism there are few theories in agreement, but all take as their starting point a critique of structuralism. Post-structuralist investigations tend to be politically oriented, as many of them believe the world we think we inhabit is merely a social construct with different ideologies pushing for hegemony.

Key post-structuralists are the philosopher Jacques Derrida, the historian Michel Foucault, Roland Barthes (at least the later works) and, arguably, Jean Baudrillard.

See also

postmodernism -- structuralism -- recursionism

de:Poststrukturalismus he:פוסט סטרוקטורליזם zh:後結構主義

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