Poststructuralism is a loosely connected set of reflections on and extensions and critiques of structuralism that emerged mostly in France in the mid-1960s. Poststructuralism does not advocate a wholesale rejection of the premises and arguments of structuralism; rather, poststructuralist thought is best viewed as a sequel to the structuralist works of Ferdinand de Saussure and Claude Lévi-Strauss. It is most often associated with the work of thinkers such as Roland Barthes, Hélène Cixous, Gilles Deleuze, Jacques Derrida, Michel Foucault, Luce Irigaray, Julia Kristeva, and Richard Rorty, although few of these theorists apply the term to their work. Poststructuralism is known primarily for its critiques of humanism, essentialism, and foundationalism; its rejection of the search for absolute meanings and lawlike generalizations; its decentering of the ...

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