For theory and literature to evolve parallel to the subject matter which it associates, it recurrently progresses through admittance of variably incremental, yet critical, entries. This is the nature of modernism. This thesis reflects on one important point in the life of modernism, the advent at which society is first formalized and assimilated into theory: the origin of social theory, a point indisputably influential to twentieth century philosophy, but just eclipsed by one of that century's most noticeable theoretical features. The past century saw the rise and fall of a universalizing framework called structuralism. Informing the disciplines, especially the social sciences, on unearthing matters of the unconscious, structuralism occupied a place of knowledge-generation in a world entering its atomic youth. The heirs of this framework are the poststructuralists, and my paper applies poststructuralism to pre-structural social theories. The purpose of this activity is to articulate the value dormant in these dated theories by recontextualizing their abstracted elements for a world ready to use them. The developed world has acquired a postmaterial status in regard to the necessities of survival, as Inglehart explains, while the developing world burdens to address materialist concerns in close contingency to cultural and traditional concerns. This opens up the discussion to a greater postmodern debate, one involving politics, economic status, cultural difference, and more. The international stage has consolidated a considerable level of liberty, but the semantics are often neglected in light of the success of convention. The purpose of this thesis is then to make an interdisciplinary, holistic attempt to reconstruct, exposing the relevance and potential of the deconstructed.
Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)
College of Arts and Humanities
Irani, Darius F., "A Pre-structural Center: Deconstructing Classical Social Theory" (2020). Honors Undergraduate Theses. 818.