Item description for Cultural Theory: The Key Thinkers (Routledge Key Guides) by Andrew Edgar & Peter Sedgwick...
Featuring over eighty essays, Cultural Theory: The Key Thinkers is a seminal guide to the literary critics, sociologists, historians, artists, philosophers and writers who have shaped culture and society, and the way in which we view them. Ranging from Arnold to Le Corbusier, from Eco to Marx, the entries offer a lucid analysis of the work of influential figures in the study of cultural theory, making this the perfect introduction for the student and general reader alike.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 0.75" Width: 5.5" Height: 8.25" Weight: 0.85 lbs.
Release Date Feb 1, 2002
ISBN 0415232813 ISBN13 9780415232814
Availability 0 units.
More About Andrew Edgar & Peter Sedgwick
Peter Sedgwick and Andrew Edgar are both lecturers at the University of Wales, Cardiff. They are the authors of Key Concepts in Cultural Theory, also published by Routledge.
Andrew Edgar has an academic affiliation as follows - Centre for Applied Ethics, Philosophy Section, University of Wales, P..
Andrew Edgar has published or released items in the following series...
Reviews - What do customers think about Cultural Theory: The Key Thinkers (Routledge Key Guides)?
Not a Useful Resource: Dated and Eurocentric Sep 28, 2005
Cultural Theory: The Key Thinkers contains about 90 short (1-5 page) essays on various "key thinkers." By doing so, it purports to provide: "a comprehensive overview of the key terms, arguments, and theories relating to issues in cultural theory."
This description is false. The book is not comprehensive and does not provide any sort of overview. There is not even an Introduction.
The basic problem appears to be that instead of thinking of "Cultural Theory" in any sort of comprehensive fashion, the editors skew towards continental philosophy. There is also little engagement with the important thinkers of the last 20 years, which limits the usefulness of the volume.
More specifically, the coverage of class-related cultural theory is perhaps adequate (if Eurocentric and dated), but there is almost no space devoted to cultural theory dealing with race, gender, sex, sexuality, (post-)colonialism, or the body.
Along these lines, there are, for example, there are no entries, of any length for (to pick just a few): Homi Bhabha, Judith Butler, W.E.B. DuBois, Paul Gilroy, Donna Haraway, bell hooks, Chandra Talpede Mohanty, Janice Radway or Slavoj Zizek.
I was particularly disappointed with the coverage of feminism. A total of five feminist (as described in the book's glossary) thinkers merit entries: Cixous, Irigaray, Kristeva, Le Doeuff, and Nussbaum. This is inadequate to the point of absurdity and illustrates the apparant continental bias of the editors. (Three French feminists, a Bulgarian who moved to Paris in 1965, and one American, Martha Nussbaum. The rest of the world apparently has nothing "key" enough to say).
Two of the longest essays (5-7 pages) are those for Aristotle and Plato. Within the limited set of thinkers included (check the Table of Contents), I find the essays themselves to be very uneven. Many are fine, but others are inadequate (e.g. Louis Althusser), or badly written/edited (e.g. Matthew Arnold, p. 12).
Even if this sort of thing is the sort of thing you want, there are better resources. Not recommended.