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Postmodern Theory and Politics: perspectives on citizenship and social justice

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article


Journal publication date1996
JournalInnovation: The European Journal of Social Science Research
Number of pages19
Original languageEnglish


In this paper we consider some contributions made by postmodern perspectives to theoretical and political questions of citizenship and social justice. Postmodern theory is often dismissed as a distraction from pressing questions of material inequality and economic and political exploitation. In the paper we distinguish between 'ludic' or 'spectral' postmodernisms and 'oppositional' or 'resistance' postmodernisms. We suggest that the latter provide theoretical resources for analysing the cultural construction of inequalities and struggles around social inclusion and exclusion. The paper is divided into three sections: in the first, three dominant narratives of modernization are addressed and their implications for concepts of citizenship and social inclusion noted; in the second, some postmodern challenges to these narratives are explored in order to disclose some of the key problems with modern paradigms of citizenship and social justice; in the third section we outline two postmodern approaches to the analysis of social struggles and their contributions to debates about citizenship. ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR; Copyright of Innovation: The European Journal of Social Sciences is the property of Routledge and its content may not be copied or emailed to multiple sites or posted to a listserv without the copyright holder's express written permission. However, users may print, download, or email articles for individual use. This abstract may be abridged. No warranty is given about the accuracy of the copy. Users should refer to the original published version of the material for the full abstract.