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Baudrillard, Jean (1923–2007)

Jean Baudrillard was a French post-structuralist theorist. From his initial engagement with sociological thought in the 1960s—studying under and later working alongside Henri Lefebvre at the Université de Paris X, Nanterre—he later emerged as one of the most formidable thinkers of his age. Much of Baudrillard's early work concerned consumption and the media. His later, more abstract work bore the imprint of this early focus, as he sought to understand the way in which the modern zeal for order, rationality, and (supposedly) solid, reliable reality has “turned back” on itself. Everything modernity sought to repress—the imaginary, fate, illusion, destiny—has returned to haunt it, generating a world of uncertainty and paradox that is infinitely far from the world the architects of modernity envisaged.

Baudrillard's earliest books—The ...

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