Doing Cultural Theory is a textbook and a toolkit that teaches the basics of cultural theory, unpacks its complexities with real-life examples, and shows readers how to link theory and practice.

Key Features

Offers accessible introductions to how cultural studies has engaged with key theories in structuralism, poststructuralism and postmodernism; Teaches straightforward ways of practicing these theories so students learn to think for themselves; Uses ‘Practice’ boxes to show students how to apply cultural theory in the real world; Guides students through the literature with carefully selected further reading recommendations

Other textbooks only show how others have analyzed and interpreted the world. Doing Cultural Theory takes it a step further and teaches students step-by-step how to do cultural theory for themselves.

Poststructuralism: Roland Barthes and Jacques Derrida

Poststructuralism: Roland Barthes and Jacques Derrida

Learning Goals

  • To understand poststructuralism (and deconstruction in particular) not as a complete departure from structuralism, but as an extension and critique of Saussure's theory of the sign.
  • To see how facets of Roland Barthes’ writings can prepare the way to understanding key ideas in deconstruction.
  • To grasp a number of key (anti-)concepts in Jacques Derrida's work.
  • To become aware of the basic steps of Derrida's deconstruction of the privileging of speech over writing to appreciate how it works in practice.


The key concepts introduced in this chapter are: poststructuralism, the death of the author, intertextuality, deconstruction, ‘différance’, difference and deferral, trace, structure, the transcendental signified, the metaphysics of presence, logocentrism and phonocentrism.


The following two chapters build on the ...

  • Loading...
locked icon

Sign in to access this content

Get a 30 day FREE TRIAL

  • Watch videos from a variety of sources bringing classroom topics to life
  • Read modern, diverse business cases
  • Explore hundreds of books and reference titles