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The Linguistic, Cultural and Historical Turns Essay (Critical Writing)

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In his work, McDonald points at causes of a modern focus on the historical turn and on the whole process leading to accentuating the role of history. According to McDonald, “new historicism” is a logical consequence of developing historical approaches to making “intellectual investigations” (McDonald 1). The author points at the tendency to care about history and explains this historical turn with the fact that researchers realized the “power of history” (McDonald 5).

As a result, it is more important to focus on the “historicizing process” than on stable notions (McDonald 10). Thus, the author’s conclusions are associated with determining different paths for history and social sciences and with explaining reasons.

Eley’s work is also written about the historical turn but in the social context. Eley explains the importance of focusing on history while pointing at “history’s ability to deal with the big questions” (Eley 497). The author pays attention to discussing transformations of social history and cultural history in order to state that the reorientation of modern historians is important to explain changes in societies from the perspective of the historical turn. From this point, Eley closely connects the ideas of social history and cultural history.

Bradley and Fenton focus on the cultural and linguistic turn in the context of changes in visions of economy, race, and gender. The first argument is that culture and economy are interrelated, and it is risky to follow only a cultural or only economic approach (Bradley and Fenton 113). The cultural turn typical for Postmodernism is not good for societies. The cultural shift is also observed in race relations (Bradley and Fenton 117). Moreover, gender and linguistic turns become interrelated during Postmodernism, when the notion of gender changed in texts, and when Madonna appeared to be the “liberated femininity” (Bradley and Fenton 126). Thus, culture is closely connected with gender and race questions in the era of Postmodernism.

Neoliberalism

Discussing neoliberalism, Nonini focuses on controversies associated with the idea. Nonini states that, on the one hand, “racial stigmatization” and violence are the background of neoliberalism (Nonini 164). On the other hand, neoliberalism is associated with globalization and a multiracial approach (Nonini 167). That is why, neoliberalism is complex because neoliberals in the United States attempt to support global competition and promote regional markets, to manage diversity, and ignore racism and violence. Nonini’s arguments can be discussed as a critique related to modern neoliberalism.

In his turn, Munck discusses the association between neoliberalism and politics. Munck discusses the “market-based society” and states that the political impact matters informing the economic progress (Munck 61). Still, Munck states that it is important to distinguish between actual and ideal neoliberalism in order to be able to find the democratic alternative to neoliberalism in a society where citizens are mainly discussed as consumers (Munck 68). In this context, Munck attempts to refer to the role of politics in finding the way ‘out of’ neoliberalism.

In his work, Clarke provides an effective discussion of the key concepts associated with neoliberalism. Thus, neoliberalism is presented as a product of the development of economics and as the ideology for “isolated individuals” (Clarke 50). Furthermore, neoliberalism is the “theology” of capitalism based on the economic rules (Clarke 51). That is why, Clarke focuses on discussing such main concepts as private interests, consumption, competition, and innovative methods of production (Clarke 55). In this case, neoliberalism seems to be a complex theory and a practical approach followed in the field of modern economics.

Works Cited

Bradley, Harriet, and Steve Fenton. “Reconciling Culture and Economy: Ways Forward in the Analysis of Ethnicity and Gender”. Culture and Economy after the Cultural Turn. Ed. Larry Ray and Andrew Sayer. London: Sage Publications, 1999. 112-134. Print.

Clarke, Simon. “The Neoliberal Theory of Society”. Neoliberalism: A Critical Reader. Ed. Alfredo Saad-Filho and Deborah Johnston. London: Pluto Press, 2005. 60-69. Print.

Eley, Geoff. “From Cultural History to the History of Society”. The Politics of Method in the Human Sciences: Positivism and Its Epistemological Others. Ed. George Steinmetz. Durham: Duke University Press, 2005. 496-507. Print.

McDonald, Terrence. “Introduction”. The Historic Turn in the Human Sciences. Ed. Terrence McDonald. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1996. 1-14. Print.

Munck, Ronaldo. “Neoliberalism and Politics, and the Politics of Neoliberalism”. Neoliberalism: A Critical Reader. Ed. Alfredo Saad-Filho and Deborah Johnston. London: Pluto Press, 2005. 50-59. Print.

Nonini, Donald. “American Neoliberalism, “Globalization,” and Violence”. Globalization, the State, and Violence. Ed. Jonathan Friedman. Walnut Creek: AltaMira Press, 2003. 163-180. Print.

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"The Linguistic, Cultural and Historical Turns." IvyPanda, 21 Mar. 2021, ivypanda.com/essays/the-linguistic-cultural-and-historical-turns/.

1. IvyPanda. "The Linguistic, Cultural and Historical Turns." March 21, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-linguistic-cultural-and-historical-turns/.


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IvyPanda. 2021. "The Linguistic, Cultural and Historical Turns." March 21, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-linguistic-cultural-and-historical-turns/.

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IvyPanda. (2021) 'The Linguistic, Cultural and Historical Turns'. 21 March.

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