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John W. Wylie

In: Approaches to Human Geography

Chapter 27: Poststructuralist Theories, Critical Methods and Experimentation

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Poststructuralist Theories, Critical Methods and Experimentation
Poststructuralist theories, critical methods and experimentation
John W. Wylie
Introduction

Poststructuralist methods are above all critical methods. That is, they enable a perspective from which we can make critical assessments of, for example, existing social institutions, cultural beliefs and political arrangements.

But straightaway we need to be careful in making such a claim. First, poststructuralist thought, writing and practice are characterized by a profound suspicion of bald statements and simple explanations for things. Poststructuralism is profoundly suspicious of anything that tries to pass itself off as a simple statement of fact, of anything that claims to be true by virtue of being ‘obvious’, ‘natural’, or based upon ‘common sense’. As a philosophy and a set ...

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