Antonio Gramsci examines the influential work of the great Italian thinker. Renate Holub seeks to reclaim Gramsci from classical Marxism, and instead places him in the broad European critical context--alongside the Frankfurt School, phenomenology, and sociolinguistics. This book points to Gramsci's affinities with the cultural theories inscribed in the critical theory of the Frankfurt School (Horkheimer, Bloch, Brecht, Benjamin). It also establishes affinities between Gramsci's linguistic and phenomenological forms of knowledge.
Placing Gramsci in this broader context evokes the immense conceptual and methodological complexity of his work, a complexity Holub discusses in terms of "differential pragmatics." It is this very complexity which is, the author claims, relevant today when constructing our own critical theories. Faced with the transnationalization of capital, the centralization of monetary and economic power, and the decentralization of production processes, a critical theory today must investigate, in the context of information technology, the possibilities of alternative positions to such an order. Gramsci's methodological itineraries are more useful, this book argues, than other critical theories in developing ways of seeing and doing that are commensurate with the complexities of this era.