chapter  10
Jean Baudrillard
Pages 6

Jean Baudrillard (b. 1929) was born in Reims in northeastern France. His grandparents were peasant farmers and his parents worked in civil service jobs. At the University of Nanterre, Baudrillard studied sociology under the Marxist Henri Lefebvre. From 1966 until his retirement in 1987, Baudrillard taught sociology at Nanterre. His earliest work was written from the Marxist perspective, but in subsequent texts his intellectual mentors often became the objects of his critiques, including figures such as Marx, Lefebvre, and Jean-Paul Sartre. Baudrillard’s early engagement with Marxist theory was later eclipsed by post-structuralist ideas in the 1970s. His work bears the traces of the theories and influence of both Roland Barthes, especially his work on modern mythologies, and of Marshall McLuhan’s claim that the medium is more important than the message.