'A book which all students of the human sciences will find useful, both for its range of engagements and its pedagogic ambitions. To be read and to be enjoyed' - Nigel Thrift, University of Bristol This book is the essential roadmap to the key concepts which frame our understanding of society and culture. From cybernetics to quantum theory, from ideology to power, from aesthetics to mimesis, this book spans a range of disciplines to provide an insight into the current scientific and intellectual state of society. Written by the author of the international bestseller Fifty Key Contemporary Thinkers (Routledge, 1994) this ambitious pedagogical and intellectual project dazzles with insight and the breadth of knowledge presented. Each entry provides a history and current meaning of the concept in question. It then outlines its place in the work of a key author, while also offering an interpretation of the term's significance, both current and classical. Concepts are organized in alphabetical order, complete with references for further research, making this the essential reference for students throughout the social sciences and humanities.
ABJECTION Among the earlier meanings of abjection are ‘wretchedness’ and extreme debasement.
This term would not, in all probability, have become popular in art and psychoanalytic circles, were it not for the publication of Powers of Horror by Julia Kristeva in 1982. In that work, Kristeva outlines a psychoanalytic theory of the subject where there is a pre-symbolic ...