Roland Barthes as a Political Thinker
The analysis of Roland Barthes’ texts demonstrates that professional and amateur interests of the thinker went beyond semiotics, literature, sociology. He had a keen interest in history, politics, philosophy, and language. In his life, Barthes was not known as a political thinker — only now his legacy is beginning to be interpreted through the prism of political science. For example, R. Barthes proposed an important, interesting and new interdisciplinary approach to the understanding and theorizing of policy (e.g. the distinction between policy (le politique) and politics (la politique)). Thanks to Barthes’ interest in the notion of politics and thanks to his interdisciplinary approach, phenomenon of the apolitical becomes more understandable.
His critical arguments about the ways of development and the future of the left and the right, the role and place of the intellectuals in society (democratic and authoritarian), gender equality, politics of language, conformism under democracy, etc. are still topical in the current debate. In addition, many of the concepts and approaches of R. Barthes were later adopted by gender research theorists.
Thus, the celebration of the centenary of the birth of the thinker prompted the discovery of new directions and interests of the semiologist, and demonstrated the importance of an interdisciplinary study of social and political phenomena. Finally, this article notes the influence of a personal, intimate factor on research. In particular, the topic of taboo and the importance of homosexuality in the life and studies of the thinker is addressed.
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