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Professor Derek Robbins - Author

About the Author

Books by Professor Derek Robbins

The Anthem Companion to Pierre Bourdieu

The Anthem Companion to Pierre Bourdieu

Author: Professor Derek Robbins Format: Hardback Release Date: 05/08/2016

Cultural Relativism and International Politics

Cultural Relativism and International Politics

Author: Professor Derek Robbins Format: Hardback Release Date: 01/12/2014

The political and academic worlds are fractured by two competing discourses: the universalism of human rights and cultural relativism. This fracture is represented by the deep separation of cultural analysis and theories of international politics. Derek Robbins in a brilliant interrogation of European thinkers from Montesquieu to Pierre Bourdieu seeks to replace cultural relativism with cultural relationism as a step towards reconciling Enlightenment universalism and anthropological insistence on cultural difference. Inter alia he reflects on the tensions between political and social science and takes up the challenge from Raymond Aron to construct a sociology of international relations. A dazzling achievement. - Bryan S. Turner, The Graduate Center, CUNY Through historical studies of some of the work of Montesquieu, Comte, Durkheim, Boas, Morgenthau, Aron and Bourdieu, Derek Robbins examines the changing and competing conceptualisations of the political and the social in the Western European intellectual tradition. He suggests that we are now experiencing a new `dissociation of sensibility' in which political thought and its consequences in action have become divorced from social and cultural experience. Developing further the ideas of Bourdieu which he has presented in books and articles over the last twenty years, Robbins argues that we need to integrate the recognition of cultural difference with the practice of international politics by accepting that the `field' of international political discourse is a social construct which is contingent on encounters between diverse cultures. `Everything is relative' (Comte) and `everything is social' (Bourdieu), not least international politics.

French Post-War Social Theory International Knowledge Transfer

French Post-War Social Theory International Knowledge Transfer

Author: Professor Derek Robbins Format: Hardback Release Date: 09/11/2011

Derek Robbins has shown once again that he is one of the few Anglophone scholars with an exceptionally profound and impressively comprehensive knowledge of the history of modern European social thought. This book is a must for anybody interested in twentieth-century French social theory. The coverage is wide-ranging; the information provided is authoritative; complex ideas are presented in an accessible language; key controversies are explained in an eloquent and thought-provoking fashion; and, perhaps most importantly, seemingly abstract tensions between intellectual positions are put into historical context. - Dr Simon Susen, City University London Detailed, timely and original this book explores the trans-cultural transmission of social theory. Derek Robbins presents us with a chronological commentary on the intellectual production of five French social thinkers (Aron, Althusser, Foucault, Lyotard, Bourdieu) and on the English reception of their texts. The book: Sets up a Bourdieusian investigation of the habitus of the five thinkers and, comparatively, of the national sub-fields of intellectual discourse. Enables an inter-active generation of enquiry based on the primacy of individual experience. Challenges the social sciences to abandon their grand narratives and to advance the cause of social democratic inclusion. Reconciles the legacies of the work of Bourdieu and Lyotard in order to advance practically a socio-analytic recognition of dissensus or difference. By representing modern classics of French social thought in socio-political context, this in-depth study encourages all social researchers to reflect on their use of social theories in their practice. Derek Robbin's companion website to French Post-War Social Theory can be found here www.derekrobbins.com/international-knowledge-transfer

J. F. Lyotard

J. F. Lyotard

Author: Professor Derek Robbins Format: Hardback Release Date: 07/04/2004

The association between Lyotard and postmodernism is so strong that it threatens to eclipse his seminal contributions to aesthetics, politics, education, religion and phenomenology. The Postmodern Condition was widely acclaimed as the bible of postmodernism and Lyotard was unwillingly elevated by his readers to a position of almost papal authority. Yet the twenty seven books published in his lifetime, to say nothing of the lectures, articles and other interventions, reveal a complex, multi-dimensional thinker who cannot be confined by the label 'postmodernist'. Profoundly influenced by the inhumanity of the second world war, Lyotard began his career in Algeria where he fell under the influence of this historian, Pierre Sourys who introduced him to the Socialisme ou Barbarie group which included Cornelius Catroiadis, Claude Lefort and Jean Laplanche. With roots in Trotskyism, this group embarked on a critique of the Soviet command state and, through this, of the general validity of Marxist explanation. Lyotard's sojourn in Algeria also refined his hostility to colonialism and the myth of Western superiority. It is from this moment that the beginnings of Lyotard's disillusionment with 'grand narratives' can be traced. Lyotard broke with Socisalime ou Barbarie in 1963. However, his experiences clearly predisposed him to join the Mouvement du 22 mars in 1968 and influenced his turbulent relations with the Universisty of Nanterre concerning questions of the curriculum and student rights. Later he became a noted supporter of the various critical minority movements that developed in the wake of 'the events' of 1968. This collection, edited by a noted expert on French social and cultural theory, reveals Lyotard's questing and clear eyed critical intelligence in all of its profound cogency. The characteristic themes of the heterogeneity of language, the tyranny of imposed authority, the future of democracy, the contradictions of justice and the virtues of the post-modern imagination which re-radicalized a generation in the 1980s and '90s are all thoroughly explored here. Lyotard's relation to Kant, Marx and a range of contemporary thinkers including Adorno. Said, Kuhn, Habermas, Foucault and Derrida is elucidated with great clarity. What emerges most forcefully is Lyotard's extraordinary generosity of thought. His approach enjoined a responsibility to scrutinize any context in which power is exercised in the name of an organization or an ideal. Lyotard redefined the meaning of intellectual dissent and in doing so, suggested an important range of political and cultural responsibilities in the postmodern world. This collection, prepared five years after the death of its subject, allows readers to make sense of this major thinker, especially in the light of critical reassessments of his life and work.

Pierre Bourdieu

Pierre Bourdieu

Author: Professor Derek Robbins Format: Hardback Release Date: 13/01/2000

Derek Robbins provides the first complete assessment of the sociological achievements of one of the key European sociologists of the 20th century. Bourdieu has made decisive contributions to theory, method and professional practice. All are discussed here, providing an unparalleled distillation of Bourdieu's work. The collection: offers a systematic understanding and evaluation of Bourdieu's sociology; demonstrates the relation of Bourdieu to wider research traditions in the social sciences; faithfully represents Bourdieu's multidisciplinarianism; explains why Bourdieu is a key 20th century sociologist. The collection is edited by one of Europe's leading commentators on Bourdieu. The four volumes stand as the benchmark work on a sociologist who has left an indelible mark on the 20th century and whose legacy will be intensively debated into the next millenium.

Bourdieu and Culture

Bourdieu and Culture

Author: Professor Derek Robbins Format: Hardback Release Date: 22/12/1999

An accessible and readable introduction to Bourdieu's work, this book places him in intellectual and historical context, and shows how Bourdieu is best understood as a cultural analyst. It traces his development from his early work on education to his relationship to cultural sociology and cultural studies. The book also gives detailed examples, drawn from Bourdieu's own work, to show how he makes sense of contemporary culture. Robbins guides the reader authoritatively through Bourdieu's wide-ranging body of theoretical and analytical work and offers a framework within which the most recent aspects of that work can be understood.

Bourdieu and Culture

Bourdieu and Culture

Author: Professor Derek Robbins Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 20/12/1999

An accessible and readable introduction to Bourdieu's work, this book places him in intellectual and historical context, and shows how Bourdieu is best understood as a cultural analyst. It traces his development from his early work on education to his relationship to cultural sociology and cultural studies. The book also gives detailed examples, drawn from Bourdieu's own work, to show how he makes sense of contemporary culture. Robbins guides the reader authoritatively through Bourdieu's wide-ranging body of theoretical and analytical work and offers a framework within which the most recent aspects of that work can be understood.

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