Abstract.CBS FO[1]

Postmodern constructivism, neoliberal cultural hegemony and culturalism
in Latin America
Pablo Cristoffanini
Aalborg Universitet
Postmodern constructivism (PMC) has brought significant changes to the way
we think about culture, identity and the subject in academic discourse and
everyday culture.
As is well known, the targets of the postmodern critique of the Enlightenments
project have been the subject conceived with a coherent identity and Marxist
conceptions of identity as a sense of belonging to a group based on
socioeconomic conditions. As opposed to the Marxist approach, postmodern
constructivism has privileged ethnic and sexual identities, partly because they
do not necessarily involve anti-capitalist critique.
Part of the central thesis of this article is that postmodern constructivism
contains tensions and incongruencies like:
a) Despite its self-conception as a progressive cultural and political
movement, PMC because of its radical anti-essentialism has difficulties to
explain and defend consistently and substantially human rights and the rights
of the oppressed or minority ethnic groups to preserve important parts of their
culture and language
b) In Latin America, and possibly in other parts of the world, PMC facilitated
ideas and expressions that have paved the way for neoliberal cultural
c) Postmodern constructivism with its culturalism and relativism makes it
difficult or impossible to provide a substantial criticism of the abuse of national
or ethnic identities.