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Althusser and Structuralism

Alison Assiter
The British Journal of Sociology
Vol. 35, No. 2 (Jun., 1984), pp. 272-296
DOI: 10.2307/590235
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/590235
Page Count: 25
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Althusser and Structuralism
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Abstract

'Structure', social structure' and, recently, 'structuralism' are terms that are frequently used in sociology. Louis Althusser's work is often mentioned as being both structuralist and Marxist. In this article I first raise, and attempt to answer, the question: 'What is structuralism?', and then I go on to argue that Althusser is not both structuralist and Marxist simultaneously. I conclude, therefore, that, at least as far as Althusser's work is concerned - and his writings are often taken to be paradigmatic of structuralist Marxism - it is misleading to lump together structuralism and Marxism.

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