Who is Slavoj Zizek (Jizek)?June 26, 2021
(Pronounced: Slavoy Jijek) (born 21 March 1949 Ljubljana, Slovenia)
Slovenian Marxist sociologist, philosopher and cultural critic. He was born in Ljubljana, Slovenia (which was then part of Yugoslavia). He received his PhD in Philosophy in Ljubljana and studied Psychoanalysis at the University of Paris. He states that he was not subjected to much pressure in socialist Yugoslavia because he was respected by Western countries. In 1990 he was the candidate of the Liberal Democratic Party of Slovenia for the Presidency of the Republic of Slovenia.
Žižek is famous for using the work of Jacques Lacan to reread popular culture. He writes on numerous topics including; ideology, fundamentalism, tolerance, political correctness, globalization, subjectivity, human rights, Lenin, myth, internet, postmodernism, multiculturalism, post-Marxism, David Lynch and Alfred Hitchcock. Movies that the thinker liked and recommended ranged from Hero to Ivan the Terrible. He is an important name of contemporary philosophy that cannot be ignored.
Žižek is a senior researcher at the Institute of Sociology, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia. He also teaches as visiting professor at the universities listed here: The University of Chicago, Columbia, London Consortium, Princeton, The New School, The European Graduate School, The University of Minnesota, The University of California, Irvine and The University of Michigan. He currently works as an international director at the Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities Birkbeck, University of London.
Žižek married in 2004 to 26-year-old Argentine model Analia Hounie, previously married to Renata Salecl.
Žižek’s early career was hampered by the political environment of 1970s Yugoslavia. In 1975, he was denied a place at the University of Ljubljana after his master’s thesis was deemed politically dubious. He served in the Yugoslav Army in the years that followed and eventually became close to a group of Slovenian scholars with a theoretical focus on Jacques Lacan’s psychoanalytic theory.
Žižek’s international recognition as a great social theorist lasted until 1989, when his first book, The Sublime Object of Ideology, was published in English. Žižek’s most widely discussed book, The Ticklish Subject (1999), openly pits him against deconstructionists, Heideggerians, Habermasians, cognitive scientists, feminists, and what Žižek describes as New Age “obscurantists.”
One of the problems in determining Žižek’s work and thoughts is that he changes his theoretical position very often between his books, sometimes even within different pages of the same book (for example, whether Lacan is a structuralist or a post-structuralist). For this reason, some who criticize him accuse him of inconsistency and lack of intellectual level. However, Ian Parker argues that there is no “Žižekian” system of philosophy because Žižek, with all its inconsistency, is trying to help us think more deeply about what we want to receive from a single author and what we want to believe in him (Parker, 2004). , Žižek himself advocates for Jacques Lacan to constantly renew his theories, arguing that the attitude of a philosopher should not be to act as the Big Other who tells us the world, rather than to question our own ideological presuppositions. For Žižek, the philosopher is more of a critic than someone trying to answer questions.
Most recently, Žižek wrote a text to accompany Bruce Weber’s photographs, which were included in a catalog for Abercrombie & Fitch. When asked whether it would be appropriate for a great intellectual to write advertising copy, Žižek told the Boston Globe: “If I were asked to choose between doing this type of work to make money, or having to kiss ass for a privileged place as a full-time American academic. I would enjoy choosing to write in places like this!”
He is regarded as an ardent and colorful lecturer who is not ashamed of his negative statements. The three-part documentary ‘The Pervert’s Guide to Cinema’ was broadcast on the UK channel More4 in July 2006.
Žižek’s ideology is a peculiar materialism. While theorizing within the tradition of dialectical materialism, he makes connections with contemporary theories of ontology and epistemology, emphasizing the discontinuities and contradictions within the existing systems of thought. Like Deleuze and Alain Badiou, Žižek articulates a theory that claims both the materialist basis of consciousness and the ‘autonomy and usefulness’ of thought.
Žižek’s latest book, The Parallax View, is his most profound work of ontological interpretation ever. Žižek makes comparisons of different aspects of ontology in terms of idealist and materialist interpretations. One of the comparisons in this sense between idealism and materialism is