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Frederic Jameson is an American Marxist scholar and cultural theorist who is best known for his book "Postmodernism, or, The Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism".

Born in 1934 in Cleveland, Ohio, Jameson studied at Haverford College, Yale, and the universities of Aix-Marseille, Munich, and Berlin. Since 1986 he has been on the faculty of Duke University in North Carolina, and is presently Distinguished Professor of Comparative Literature there, where he directs the Graduate Program in Literature and the Center for Cultural Theory.

It is said that Jameson helped to "popularize" postmodernism, which he says corresponds to a phase of late capitalism. In many ways his work carries on from the Frankfurt School.

Central ideas of Jameson:

  1. Commodification of culture.
  2. Increases in culture and cultural outlets; formation of the culture industry.
  3. A breakdown in the distinction between culture and the society that produces it. (E.g., the Beatles had control of their music, but today Madonna is just an economic entity.)
Jameson sees postmodernity in negative terms; for example, postmodern architecture is a product of "invisible" capitalism and continuing need for commodification. He says that loss of meaning in postmodern style means we lose our way, don't know where we are and then become lost in capitalism the same way as we would get lost in a shopping mall.

Books by Frederic Jameson:

Sartre: The Origins of a Style
Marxism and Form: Twentieth Century Dialectical Theories of Literature
The Prison-House of Language: A Critical Account of Structuralism and Russian Formalism
Fables of Agression: Wyndham Lewis, the Modernist as Fascist
The Political Unconscious: Narrative as a Socially Symbolic Act
The Ideologies of Theory, Essays 1971-1986
Postmodernism and Cultural Theories
Late Marxism: Adorno, or, The Persistence of the Dialectic<

Signatures of the Visible
Postmodernism, or, The Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism
The Geopolitical Aesthetic: Cinema and Space in the World System
The Seeds of Time
Brecht and Method

The Cultural Turn
sources: K.I.S.S. of the Panopticon ( http://carmen.artsci.washington.edu/panop/home.htm ) and Eddie Yeghiayan, University of California at Irvine Critical Theory Resource site ( http://sun3.lib.uci.edu/~scctr/online.html )

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