Jodi Dean

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Jodi Dean is the Chair of the Political Science Department at Hobart and William Smith College. She is the author or editor of 5 previous books including Empire's New Clothes: Reading Hardt and Negri (Routledge 2003).


Identity Politics

I have long been critical of identity politics. My first book (from my old Habermasian days) was oriented around a critique of identity politics. My later affection for Laclau and Mouffe was tempered by a critical stance toward their emphasis on the making of political identities, on the centrality of the construction of a political identity in political struggle. Part of what I like in Zizek is his critique of multiculturalism and identity politics as relying on the subordination, displacement, and even erasure of class as the primary antagonism: class is not an identity category but a marker of the fundamental split around and through which societies actively construct themselves.

Decline of Symbolic Efficiency

I link the decline of symbolic efficiency with the decline of the availability not only of categories of identity through which to organize but also the absence of conditions of possibility for the formation of collective political identities under neoliberalism.

External Links

I Cite - Jodi Dean's weblog