Baudrillard, Jean

born 1929, Riems, France

French sociologist, philosopher, and social critic.

He taught sociology at the University of Paris from 1966 to 1987. He is known for his theories of consumer culture and of the influence of contemporary electronic media, especially television. In a series of works in the 1970s, he applied ideas from semiotics to argue that consumer culture and especially advertising constitute a "code" of images and ideals in terms of which individuals construct their social identities. In works published during the 1980s and '90s, he argued that the exchange of words, images, and other symbols through increasingly pervasive electronic media created a new kind of reality, the "hyper-real," in which symbols become partly constitutive of the reality they serve to represent. An example, according to Baudrillard, is the television news, which reports about important events in the world but at the same time makes events important by reporting about them. In The Gulf War Did Not Take Place (1991), he contended that the mass-media portrayal of the 1991 war in the Persian Gulf had made that event "unreal." See also postmodernism.

* * *

▪ 2008

      French sociologist and cultural theorist

born July 29, 1929 , Reims, France

died March 6, 2007 , Paris, France
imparted theoretical ideas of “hyperreality” and “simulacrum” that influenced academia, especially in the United States, and spread into popular culture through the 1999 film The Matrix. After studying German at the Sorbonne, Baudrillard taught German literature in secondary schools (1956–66) , translated German literary and philosophical works, and published essays on literature in Les Temps Modernes. At the same time, he attended the University of Paris X at Nanterre, where he completed a dissertation in sociology, Le Système des objects (published 1968; The System of Objects, 1996), under the direction of Marxist historian Henri Lefebvre. Baudrillard taught (1966–68) in the sociology department at Nanterre, which was one of the centres of the 1968 student revolts, with which he was in sympathy. He then moved to the University of Paris IX (now the University of Paris at Dauphine), from which he retired in 1987. Baudrillard's early work—including The System of Objects, La Société de consommation (1970; The Consumer Society, 1998), and Pour une critique de l'économie politique du signe (1972; For a Critique of the Political Economy of the Sign, 1981)—combined Marxist political economy and a semiology influenced by Roland Barthes in the critique of everyday life in consumer society, in which, according to Baudrillard, things have symbolic value in addition to the Marxian use and exchange values. In Le Miroir de la production ou l'illusion critique du matérialisme historique (1973; The Mirror of Production, 1975) and L'Échange symbolique et la mort (1976; Symbolic Exchange and Death, 1993), Baudrillard broke with Marxism and turned to a poststructuralist account of postmodern society in which consumer and electronic images have become more real (hyperreal) than physical reality and in which simulations of reality (simulacra) have displaced their originals, leaving only “the desert of the real.” This idea was incorporated into The Matrix, in which the hero, Neo, hides contraband in a copy of Baudrillard's Simulacra and Simulation (1994; originally published as Simulacres et Simulation, 1981), and his onscreen mentor, Morpheus, quotes, “Welcome to the desert of the real.” Among Baudrillard's other major works were Oublier Foucault (1977; Forget Foucault, 1987), L'Effet Beaubourg: implosion et dissuasion (1977), De la séduction (1979; Seduction, 1990), Amérique (1986; America, 1988), based on a trip to the U.S., La Guerre du Golfe n'a pas eu lieu (1991; The Gulf War Did Not Take Place, 1995), and L'Esprit du terrorisme (2002; The Spirit of Terrorism: And Requiem for the Twin Towers). The first issue of The International Journal of Baudrillard Studies appeared in early 2004. Baudrillard was also an accomplished photographer, who asserted that “every photographed object is merely the trace left behind by the disappearance of all the rest.” A collection of his images and related essays, Jean Baudrillard: Photographies 1985–1998, was published in 1999.

* * *

▪ French author and philosopher
born July 29, 1929, Reims, France
died March 6, 2007, Paris
 French sociologist and cultural theorist whose theoretical ideas of “hyperreality” and “simulacrum” influenced literary theory and philosophy, especially in the United States, and spread into popular culture.

      After studying German at the Sorbonne, Baudrillard taught German literature in secondary schools (1956–66), translated German literary and philosophical works, and published essays in the literary review Les Temps Modernes. At the same time, he attended the University of Paris X at Nanterre, where in 1968 he completed a dissertation in sociology, Le Système des objects (The System of Objects), under the direction of Marxist historian Henri Lefebvre. Baudrillard taught (1966–68) in the sociology department at Nanterre, which was one of the centres of the May 1968 student revolts, with which he was in sympathy. He then moved to the University of Paris IX (now the University of Paris at Dauphine), from which he retired in 1987.

      Baudrillard's early work—including The System of Objects, La Société de consommation (1970; The Consumer Society), and Pour une critique de l'économie politique du signe (1972; For a Critique of the Political Economy of the Sign)—combines Marxist political economy and a semiotics (theory of signs) influenced by Roland Barthes (Barthes, Roland) in a critique of everyday life in consumer society, in which, according to Baudrillard, things have symbolic value in addition to values derived from Marxian use and exchange. In Le Miroir de la production; ou, l'illusion critique du matérialisme historique (1973; The Mirror of Production) and L'Échange symbolique et la mort (1976; Symbolic Exchange and Death), Baudrillard broke with Marxism to develop an account of postmodern society in which consumer and electronic images have become more real (hyperreal) than physical reality and in which simulations of reality (simulacra) have displaced their originals, leaving only “the desert of the real.” This phrase was quoted in the popular American science-fiction film The Matrix (1999), whose hero hides contraband in a copy of Baudrillard's Simulacra and Simulation (originally published as Simulacres et simulation, 1981). An accomplished photographer, Baudrillard asserted that “every photographed object is merely the trace left behind by the disappearance of all the rest.”

      Among Baudrillard's other major works are Oublier Foucault (1977; Forget Foucault); Amérique (1986; America), based on a trip to the United States; La Guerre du Golfe n'a pas eu lieu (1991; The Gulf War Did Not Take Place); Jean Baudrillard: Photographies 1985–1998 (1999), a collection of his images and related essays; and L'Esprit du terrorisme (2002; The Spirit of Terrorism: And Requiem for the Twin Towers). The first issue of The International Journal of Baudrillard Studies appeared in early 2004.

* * *


Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Baudrillard, Jean — (n. 1929, Reims, Francia). Sociólogo, filósofo y crítico social francés. Enseñó sociología en la Universidad de París de 1966 a 1987. Es conocido por sus teorías de la cultura de consumo y la influencia de los medios electrónicos de comunicación… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Baudrillard, Jean — See Postmodernist theory …   History of philosophy

  • Baudrillard — Jean Baudrillard Jean Baudrillard Naissance 27 juillet 1929 Reims Décès …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Jean Baudrillard — en juin 2004. Naissance 27 juillet  …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Baudrillard — Jean Baudrillard bei einem Vortrag in der European Graduate School im Juni 2004 Jean Baudrillard (* 20. Juli[1] 1929 in Reims; † 6. März 2007 in Paris) war ein französischer …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Jean Baudrillard — bei einem Vortrag in der European Graduate School im Juni 2004 Jean Baudrillard (* 27. Juli[1] 1929 in Reims; † 6. März 2007 in Paris) war ein französischer …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Jean Baudrillard — en 2004. Jean Baudrillard (Reims, Francia, 20 de junio de 1929 – París, 6 de marzo de 2007) fue un filósofo y sociólogo, crítico de la cultura francesa. Su trabajo se relaciona con el análisis de la posmodernidad y la filosofía del …   Wikipedia Español

  • jean — jeaned, adj. /jeen/ or, for 1, Brit. formerly /jayn/, n. 1. Sometimes, jeans. a sturdy twilled fabric, usually of cotton. 2. jeans, (used with a pl. v.) a. See blue jeans. b. pants of various fabrics, styled or constructed like blue jeans. Cf.… …   Universalium

  • Jean — Fr. /zhahonn/ for 1, 2; /jeen/ for 3, n. 1. born 1921, Grand Duke of Luxembourg since 1964. 2. a male given name, form of John. 3. a female given name. * * * (as used in expressions) Jean François Gravelet Jean Boulogne Jean Baptiste Poquelin… …   Universalium

  • jean — altjean o yin/alt (voz inglesa) ► masculino Pantalón de tela muy resistente, generlamente de color, con costuras vistas. También jeans o yins para referirse a una sola prenda. * * * (as used in expressions) Agassiz, (Jean) Louis (Rodolphe)… …   Enciclopedia Universal

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.