Bad Marxism
Capitalism and Cultural Studies

Hutnyk, John
Publisher:  Pluto
Year Published:  2004
Pages:  251pp   ISBN:  0-7453-2266-2
Resource Type:  Book
Cx Number:  CX8511

Cultural Studies commonly claims to be a radical discipline. This book thinks that's a bad assessment. After an introduction critiquing the so-called 'Marxism' of the academy, Hutnyk provides detailed critical analyses of the approaches and theorists of cultural studies.

The claim of this book is that Cultural Studies presents a Marxism that is only loosely recognizable from its original form. Various theorists of the academy are said to have misunderstood Marx's theory, or manipulated it to serve their own purposes. Hutnyk analyzes these thinkers and their versions of Marxism to point the way to an open, pro-party and pro-critique Marxism. Cultural Studies has used and abused its roots, according to Bad Marxism.

Hutnyk's third book follows The Rumour of Calcutta (1996), in which the theme was the problem of multi-representational ethnography, and Critique of Exotica (2000), on multiculturalism.

The book is divided into four parts and subdivided into 12 chapters. After an introduction, the first part focuses on James Clifford and Bronislaw Malinowski and their introduction of fieldwork to anthropology, but argues that it is urgent that activism follow research. Subsequent chapters focus on thinkers such as Jacques Derrida, Michael Hardt, and Antonio Negri drawing the flaws out of what Hutnyk believes is their misconstrued version of Marx.

After criticizing all of these theories, he presents his own in the conclusion. He decides that academic Marxism and critical thinking no longer have much to do with the actual mobilization and application of anti-capitalism. The conclusion of the book proposes an expanded Cultural Studies that can criticize subjects such as war, capitalism and geo-politics. Hutnyk advocates a return to orthodox Marxism with such alterations.

[Abstract by Mia Manns]

Table of Contents


Introduction: Cultural Studies as Capitalism

Part 1 Clifford's Ethnographica

1 Clifford and Malinowki
2 Fort Ross Mystifications

Part 2 derrida@marx.archive

3 Fever
4 Spectres
5 Struggles

Part 3 Tales from the Raj

6 On Empire
7 Difference and Opposition
8 The Chapatti Story

Part 4 Bataille's Wars: Surrealism, Marxism, Fascism

9 Librarian
10 Activist
11 Anthropologist
12 Provocateur

Conclusion: The Cultivation of Capital Studies


Subject Headings

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