This chapter deals with Ranciére's first writings, following his rupture with Althusserian Marxism, whose post mortem is drawn in the 1974 book-length essay, Althusser's Lesson. Ranciére's disillusionment with the orthodoxy of his time coincided with his involvement in the movements following the 1968 student and workers' revolts. The egalitarian spirit fuelling these movements led to a radical challenge of all social hierarchies. Ranciére's research in that decade sought to apply this radical egalitarian acumen at the point where “logos”, as the catchphrase for all the forms of reasoned discourse (from the arts and sciences to political deliberations), meets with the institutions of social life. This led him in particular to concentrate his research on “the workers' dream in nineteenth century France” (the sub-title of The Nights of Labour, the master work of that period). By recovering the theoretical and poetical writings, the organizational plans and political manifestos, the hopes and complaints of the nineteenth-century proletarians, Ranciére aimed to achieve a double aim: on the positive side, to demonstrate the capacity of the dominated to use the resources of logos, their ability to articulate their own thoughts and feelings on the basis of their specific experiences; on the negative side, to unveil the boundaries and divisions that are projected from the social into the intellectual realms, and that prevent the dominated from having their discourses count as meaningful and significant.
|Title of host publication||Jacques Rancière|
|Subtitle of host publication||Key concepts|
|Place of Publication||Durham, UK|
|Number of pages||8|
|ISBN (Print)||9781844652327, 9781844652334|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Jan 2010|