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A Dictionary of Critical Theory (Oxford Quick Reference) 1st Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0199532919
ISBN-10: 0199532915
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author


Ian Buchanan is Chair of Critical and Cultural Theory at Cardiff University.
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Product Details

  • Series: Oxford Quick Reference
  • Paperback: 528 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; 1 edition (June 25, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0199532915
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199532919
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 1.3 x 5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #562,915 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Oxford's A Dictionary of Critical Theory by Ian Buchanan explains key theoretical terms in a concise yet informative manner. It also renders an intelligent contextual overview of influential figures that changed the course of history. The dictionary is accessible to a myriad range of non-specialized readers as well as versed academics. Its direct and unpretentious language offers lucid explanations without over-simplifying complex theoretical concepts. The accuracy of dates and information provided within its entries makes the dictionary a reliable source.

The comprehensiveness of the dictionary lies in its interdisciplinarity and multidisciplinarity. Its interdisciplinary aspect delineates theoretical terms that destabilize rigid lines between many academic disciplines such as literature, psychology, political science, economics, philosophy etc. It merges cross-cultural knowledge into a new comprehensible whole. The dictionary's multidisciplinary aspect draws from multiple disciplines (without blurring their boundaries) to redefine specific terms beyond normative thinking.

The dictionary engages non-specialized readers by highlighting terms that are directly relevant to their subjective daily experiences. The term "McDonaldization," for example, helps them view the fast-food chain from a different perspective. Viewing a mundane act, which is buying food from McDonald's, from a sociological standpoint attracts non-specialized readers.

The dictionary guides its readers to the original references that the terms are derived from. It also mentions coined terms in their source language next to the English- translated entries. Polylingual speakers will enjoy reading the original terms within parenthesis.
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Format: Paperback
This dictionary crosses disciplines and helps the reader to make important connections.
Its style is lucid and clear - precise without being simplistic & includes good references for further detailed research.
An excellent reference for everyone - from the critical theory newbie through to the seasoned veteran.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is long -- very long -- on biography and short on concepts. It's strictly for people who have heard the phrase and haven't the time or don't care to make the effort to read Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy's entry on the subject: plato.stanford.edu/entries/critical-theory/. A much better book newly published this year by Routledge is "Critical Theory, the Key Concepts." The author, Dino Franco Felluga, included an introduction which will orient you. Be sure to read it before you enter the wonderland of critical theory. It's as disorienting as Alice's experience after falling down the rabbit hole.
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I am doing my Ph.D. in English literature. This book has been of great help to me. Of course, it is not the first dictionary of critical theory I have had; however, I find its comprehensible language, its full coverage, and more importantly, its recommended further sources on the entries quite incomparable. It is also updated enough.
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