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Post-structuralism is a kind of philosophy and way of looking at media. The "Post-" in Post-structuralism means "comes after." "Structuralism" is another kind of philosophy.[1][2] Most of post-structuralism is about saying that structuralism is wrong.

The people we call Post-structuralists who wrote about structuralism all had different ideas. A common idea among them was not liking how some structuralists thought the whole world could be thought of as symbols that are opposite to each other. They thought that things in life and in media are more complex than that, so that thinking "this is the opposite of that" was silly. A lot of the time, the post-structuralists said that the things that we think of as the ends of a binary were really made up by other people, and were not really useful or true.

Structuralism says that we can see human culture as a structure that looks like language. It also says that this is not reality, but we can use a "third order" that makes a bridge between the two. A post-structuralist might say that to build meaning out of that, you have to make a mistake and think that the definitions of things are good and don't change. Post-structualists might also say that the structuralist theory is above and not a part of these structures they are writing things about.

Post-structuralist writers write about how structuralism is too stiff and is wrong to put things in categories.

Writers that have been called post-structuralists include: Roland Barthes, Jacques Derrida, Michel Foucault, Gilles Deleuze, Félix Guattari, Judith Butler, Jean Baudrillard and Julia Kristeva, although some did not want to be called "post-structuralist."


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  1. "Post-structuralism". Mt. Holyoke University. Archived from the original on May 13, 2021. Retrieved April 14, 2021.
  2. Bernard E. Harcourt (March 17, 2007). "An Answer to the Question: 'What IsPoststructuralism?". University of Chicago.