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Reframing socialism from the fifties to the fin-de-siècle : the intellectual odyssey of André Gorz


Reframing socialism from the fifties to the fin-de-siècle : the intellectual odyssey of André Gorz

Levy, Andrea Terry (1998) Reframing socialism from the fifties to the fin-de-siècle : the intellectual odyssey of André Gorz. PhD thesis, Concordia University.

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This study traces the intellectual trajectory of French social thinker André Gorz from the post-war period to the present. It canvasses the evolution of Gorz's philosophical, and political concerns, from his participation in the development of existential Marxism in the 1950s and his elaboration of a strategy of revolutionary reformism in the 1960s, through his role in the genesis of French political ecology in the 1970s, and his advocacy, in the 1980s and 90s, of a civilization of free time. The dissertation seeks to situate Gorz's ideas in the changing social and intellectual conjuncture in which they germinated and matured, paying particular attention to his response to the twin crises of ecological degradation and structural unemployment which became a focus of political attention in the mid-1970s in France and throughout western Europe. It traces some of the key intellectual influences upon Gorz's thinking in the successive periods under study, including the philosophy of Jean-Paul Sartre, the tradition of radical trade unionism in Italy, and the ideas of Ivan Illich. It looks in turn at the impact of Gorz's own ideas on elements of the left in France and abroad. Forming a leitmotif of the study is Gorz's changing conception of the age agency of social transformation--from his confidence in the revolutionary potential of the "new working class" to his hopes for the "non-class of non-workers" as a prefiguration of a new movement of social change subversive of the work-based society. Gorz emerges in this investigation as a progenitor of New Left social theory and as the living legacy of that body of ideas at a time when many European, North American and above all, French intellectuals abandoned interest in radical social and political thought. An attempt is made to analyze the numerous contradictions and reversals In Gorz's lifetime of thinking on the left, and to engage critically with many of the questionable presuppositions and lacunae apparent in his work. At the same time, Gorz's oeuvre is presented as a pioneering and valuable endeavour to forge a revitalized left response to the changing social and economic conditions of the advanced capitalist countries in the last half century.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > History
Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Authors:Levy, Andrea Terry
Pagination:viii, 536 leaves ; 29 cm.
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:Ph. D.
Program:Dept. of History
Thesis Supervisor(s):Ingram, Norman
ID Code:636
Deposited By: Concordia University Library
Deposited On:27 Aug 2009 17:13
Last Modified:18 Jan 2018 17:14
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