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Paul Blackledge

4 Modes of production and social transitions Introduction One of historiography’s fundamental problems is that of periodisation: the question of how, if at all, it is possible scientifically to delineate between various epochs in history. It has been argued that modern sociology in general, and Marxism in particular, evolved in part to explain one such perceived transition between two distinct historical epochs: the emergence of modern capitalist society out of its pre-modern, pre-capitalist, precursor.1 The Marxist variant of this controversy, the debate over

in Reflections on the Marxist theory of history
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British media as a discursive system
Laurens de Rooij

media affects not only the local receiver and the perception they have of the item described in the report, but an increasingly information-literate global populace has access to information that transcends their local production. This is also reflected in the participant data. In turn, this affects the mode of production, with large institutions investing in media outlets that can cater to foreign or global markets. Kraidy adds to this: Post-Fordist practices and systemic forces account for the fact

in Islam in British media discourses
Author: Paul Blackledge

The recent emergence of global anti-capitalist and anti-war movements have created a space within which Marxism can flourish in a way as it has not been able to for a generation. This book shows that by disassociating Marxism from the legacy of Stalinism, Marxist historiography need not retreat before the criticisms from theorists and historians. It also shows that, once rid of this incubus, Marx's theory of history can be shown to be sophisticated, powerful and vibrant. The book argues that Marxism offers a unique basis to carry out a historical research, one that differentiates it from the twin failures of the traditional empiricist and the post-modernist approaches to historiography. It outlines Marx and Engels' theory of history and some of their attempts to actualise that approach in their historical studies. The book also offers a critical survey of debates on the application of Marx's concepts of 'mode of production' and 'relations of production' in an attempt to periodise history. Marxist debates on the perennial issue of structure and agency are considered in the book. Finally, the book discusses competing Marxist attempts to periodise the contemporary post-modern conjuncture, paying attention to the suggestion that the post-modern world is one that is characterised by the defeat of the socialist alternative to capitalism.

Paul Blackledge

’ the ‘concrete in the mind’ was through a process of ‘rising from the abstract to the concrete’, then it is plain that his writings will include a series of abstract postulates, which, if taken out of the context of the totality of oeuvre, will lend themselves to ahistorical parody.8 This, unfortunately, despite its great power, is the trap into which Cohen’s book falls: for he defends an interpretation of historical materialism according to which revolutionary transitions from one mode of production to another occur with a functional necessity.9 Cohen locates Marx

in Reflections on the Marxist theory of history
John M. MacKenzie

some anthropologists (notably Thayer Scudder and Stuart Marks working in Zambia) have noted the significance of both gathering and hunting among agriculturalists, but historians have generally studied African societies in terms of their principal mode of production. The coexistence of a range of productive processes, each important in the overall pattern of African subsistence, has been largely ignored

in The Empire of Nature
Conflict and crisis, 1918–45
Ben Silverstein

, as both white labour and white capital felt themselves unable to gain a permanent foothold in the Territory. But it was also a crisis of a colonial formation that relied on the continued exploitation of ‘native labour’. Jeff Collman has argued that prior to the Second World War ‘Aborigines and white settlers managed to sustain linked but functionally autonomous domestic economies … . The conflict between their modes of production and their wider social interests was not yet manifest.’ 7 This chapter argues instead that by the 1930s a sense of conflict and crisis

in Governing natives
Michael Leonard

‘poor’ modes of production in Garrel’s later underground films, revealing an aesthetic and ethical affinity with the Italian avant-garde Arte Povera . These three tendencies intersect Garrel’s underground period as he searched for a radical film style within the context of the dashed hopes of May 68. After the revolution: Le Lit de la vierge (1969), La Cicatrice intérieure (1972) The diversity of filming locations in Le Lit de la vierge (Morocco, Egypt and Italy) and La Cicatrice intérieure (Iceland, New Mexico and Brittany) reflects Garrel’s nomadic

in Philippe Garrel
Understanding perceptions of Muslims in the news

This book considers how the coverage of Islam and Muslims in the press informs the thoughts and actions of non-Muslims. As media plays an important role in society, analysing its influence(s) on a person’s ideas and conceptualisations of people with another religious persuasion is important. News reports commonly feature stories discussing terrorism, violence, the lack of integration and compatibility, or other unwelcome or irrational behaviour by Muslims and Islam. Yet there is little research on how non-Muslims actually engage with, and are affected by, such reports. To address this gap, a content and discourse analysis of news stories was undertaken; verbal narratives or thoughts and actions of participants were then elicited using interviews and focus groups. The participant accounts point towards the normativity of news stories and their negotiated reception patterns. Individual orientations towards the media as an information source proved to be a significant factor behind the importance of news reports, with individually negotiated personal encounters with Muslims or Islam further affecting the meaning-making process. Participants negotiated media reports to fit their existing outlook on Islam and Muslims. This outlook was constructed through, and simultaneously supported by, news reports about Muslims and Islam. The findings suggest a co-dependency and co-productivity between news reports and participant responses. This research clearly shows that participant responses are (re)productions of local and personal contextuality, where the consequences of socially constructed depictions of Islam and Muslims engage rather than influence individual human thoughts and actions.

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Author: Matthew Pateman

Joss Whedon explores the televisual texts that have been worked on by Whedon, from his earliest days as a writer on Roseanne to this involvement with S.H.I.E.L.D. In doing so it engages in and challenges a range of important questions about these works, but also about the broader recent history of television in the USA and the UK, and the studies of it. The Part I looks at three periods of Whedon’s career (up to the end of season 3 of his iconic Buffy the Vampire Slayer; the years covering the full run of Angel; and the time between the ending of Angel and the present day). Looking at changing modes of production, distribution and viewing, this section offers Whedon in the context of the recent history of television, as well as locating his contribution to other media such as comic books, internet series and films. It also looks at his involvement in liberal politics and assesses the politics of his shows.

Part II provides readings of each of his most important television shows through the lens of his narrative choices. These range from the importance of the exposition scene in Buffy to questions about the very possibility of serial narrative in Firefly; the significance of narrative complexity in Angel and the empty slate narrative of Dollhouse.

Throughout, it uses textual analysis, historical assessment, scholarly sources, as well as my own unique correspondence with Whedon collaborator Jane Espenson, and the exceptional store of draft scripts for the episodes that she wrote. A transcript of the correspondence is included as an appendix.

Ian Aitken

lost their raison d’être; and that is why multifarious crises arise everywhere, and we have hardly begun to initiate their clarification. On the other hand, as regards film in this context, a particular confusion can arise. Film is intrinsically a genre that is more immediate than others, and, consequently, in its technical mode of

in Lukácsian film theory and cinema