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Marxism and the Concept of a Social Formation: An Immanent Critique of the Views of Jairus Banaji

Burns, Tony

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Abstract

Jairus Banaji associates the concept of a social formation (involving modal combination, or the articulation of modes of production) with "vulgar Marxism." This includes both the Marxism of the Second International and the structuralist Marxism of Louis Althusser. Banaji is critical of those Marxists who employ the concept because in his view they are insufficiently sensitive to the complexities of history. His reasons for thinking this may be subjected to an immanent critique. Such a critique attempts to show that, given an argument's starting assumptions, a different (perhaps even the opposite) conclusion from that which is drawn by its author is possible. Applying this idea to the work of Banaji, it can be demonstrated that his rejection of the concept of a social formation is not required by his own theoretical assumptions and that endorsement of the concept is consistent with them.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jan 9, 2021
Online Publication Date Jan 1, 2022
Publication Date Jan 1, 2022
Deposit Date Jan 27, 2021
Publicly Available Date Jul 2, 2022
Journal Science and Society
Print ISSN 0036-8237
Publisher Guilford Publications
Peer Reviewed Not Peer Reviewed
Volume 86
Issue 1
Pages 38-65
DOI https://doi.org/10.1521/SISO.2022.86.1.38
Keywords Sociology and Political Science
Public URL https://nottingham-repository.worktribe.com/output/5272222
Publisher URL https://guilfordjournals.com/doi/abs/10.1521/siso.2022.86.1.38
Additional Information Marxism And The Concept Of A Social Formation: An Immanent Critique Of The Views Of Jairus Banaji, Tony Burns. Copyright 2021. Copyright Guilford Press. Reprinted with permission of The Guilford Press

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