Contemporary China, Anachronistic Marxism?
This article explores two related questions. First, why has Marxist
social theory been in sharp decline? Second, is Marxism still of value
as a source of explanatory insights in the contemporary period? The
author addresses the first question in terms of Marxism's decline as a
specific resource in the study of China and as a general mode of
analysis within social science and he provides a number of
interconnected reasons, based primarily in the sociology of knowledge.
These reasons for decline allow the argument to be made that Marxism
still has something to offer because none of the reasons necessarily
entails that Marxist concepts need lack explanatory relevance. This
leads into the second question where the author explores how the
realist movement in philosophy has been used by Marxists to provide an
analytical underpinning that is compatible with Marx's work and where
the author also discusses some aspects of contemporary China in terms
of Marxist ways of thinking. These are then placed in an international
context. The argument is part of a wider project to develop an applied
philosophy of area studies.
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