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Chapter Summary

This introductory chapter of the book Looking for the Proletariat; Socialisme ou Barbarie and the Problem of Worker Writing situates Socialisme ou Barbarie in the context of anti-Stalinist Left politics immediately after World War Two. It uses elements drawn from the work of Pierre Bourdieu to highlight the ways in which the sociological conditions shaped and constrained the group. The members responded by instituting an internal process of critical engagement with Lenin and Marx that enabled Socialisme ou Barbarie to be an explicit collective self-creation. The chapter follows the fleshing-out of a version of Marxist Imaginary in pages of Socialisme ou Barbarie. It introduces problematic of worker writing and further centres on Socialisme ou Barbarie member Jacques Gautrat, who wrote a series of narratives about his experience at Billancourt for the journal between late 1956 and early 1957 under the name Daniel Mothé.

Keywords: Daniel Mothé; Jacques Gautrat; Marxist Imaginary; Pierre Bourdieu; Proletariat; Socialisme ou Barbarie; Worker writing



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