The radical subject and its critical theory: An introduction

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Dinerstein argues that a new radical subject that is unrecognisable with old analytical tools is in the making. This radical subject is plural, prefigurative, decolonial, ethical, ecological, communal and democratic. A critical theory should demonstrate those qualities, too. She reflects on the shortcomings of theory in understanding these changes by arguing against the resistance of social scientists, most of themcritical theorists, to learn about this radical subject and to interrogate concepts, methodologies and epistemologies used to grasp radical change. Unlike both a social science obsessed with facticity and policy, and a critical theory obsessed with negative praxis, the new radical theory explored in this book seeks to critique capital-coloniality by means of the affirmation of life. Affirmation is not positive thinking or affirmationism. It is a form of theorising that, driven by ‘hope’, ventures beyond the given offering epistemological, theoretical and empirical openings that reflect a prefigurative and ‘experiential critique’ that is already taking place at the grass roots. The chapter also presents the work of the contributors to the book and the process of theorising without parachutes.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSocial Sciences for an Other Politics
Subtitle of host publicationWomen Theorizing Without Parachutes
EditorsAna Cecilia Dinerstein
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)9783319477763
ISBN (Print)9783319477756
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2017


  • Affirmation
  • Critical theory
  • Experiential critique
  • Hope
  • Possibility
  • Radical subject
  • Theorising
  • Venturing beyond

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)


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