The world’s worst writing

7 Feb, 2021 at 11:22 | Posted in Economics | 1 Comment
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Image result for scientific mumbo jumboEach year Philosophy and Literature, an academic journal, runs a bad-writing contest to celebrate “the most stylistically lamentable passages found in scholarly books and articles” … Here are the 1998 results. The journal found it hard to suppress its delight that “two of the most popular and influential literary scholars in the US are among those who wrote winning entries.”

“The move from a structuralist account in which capital is understood to structure social relations in relatively homologous ways to a view of hegemony in which power relations are subject to repetition, convergence, and rearticulation brought the question of temporality into the thinking of structure, and marked a shift from a form of Althusserian theory that takes structural totalities as theoretical objects to one in which the insights into the contingent possibility of structure inaugurate a renewed conception of hegemony as bound up with the contingent sites and strategies of the rearticulation of power.”

Judith Butler, professor at UC Berkeley

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  1. I do think it’s rather unfair to pull out such a dense sentence from its context. Any attempt to deal fairly with the complicated legacy of Althusser is welcome. For example, I think his concept of over-determination can still be used productively, especially by people who are alive to the unpredictability, instability and complexity of capitalist economies.


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