Journal article about base/superstructure and ideology in the works of Stuart Hall, Georg Lukács, and Raymond Williams.

Christian Fuchs. 2023. The Problems of Base/Superstructure and Ideology in the Works of Stuart Hall, Georg Lukács, and Raymond Williams. The Communication Review. Online First, DOI:

We live in times of deep crisis. General crises of society often are accompanied by ideological struggles. Given this context, it is important that social theory reinvigorates the analysis of ideology. For doing so, it makes sense to engage with classical theories of ideology. This paper contributes to this task. It asks: How are the economic and the non-economic related? What is ideology? This article deals with the base/superstructure problem and the problem of ideology via an engagement with selected aspects of Stuart Hall’s, Georg Lukács’s and Raymond Williams’s works. The commonality of Hall’s, Lukács’s and Williams’s thoughts that makes a joint engagement with their works feasible is that they all three dealt with aspects of culture from a critical theory perspective and are in one way or another representatives of Cultural Marxism. While Lukács’s works and Cultural Studies are often presented as conflicting approaches, this paper shows that concerning the question of how the economic and the non-economic are related and how we can think of ideology, the approaches of Lukács, Williams, and Hall complement each other, which allows critical theories of culture to draw on all three approaches and to combine elements from them in a synergistic manner. There are parallels between Williams’, Hall’s, and Lukács’s solutions to the base/superstructure problem. Williams argues that the economic exerts pressures on and sets limits to the non-economic. Hall writes that the economic determines the non-economic in the first instance. Lukács argues that the economic circumscribes subjectivity and the non-economic

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