Deconstruction is a form of philosophical and literary analysis, derived mainly from work begun in the 1960s by the French philosopher Jacques Derrida, that questions the fundamental conceptual distinctions, or "oppositions," in Western philosophy through a close examination of the language and logic of philosophical and literary texts. In polemical discussions about intellectual trends of the late 20th-century, deconstruction was sometimes used pejoratively to suggest nihilism and frivolous skepticism. In popular usage the term has come to mean a critical dismantling of tradition and traditional modes of thought. William Simon writes, "Just as the seeming universalism of gender (with its ability to naturalize a wide range of social practices and yet encompass and bracket great social differences) has been subjected to radical deconstructions, age appears vulnerable to similar deconstructive criticisms. The resulting uncertainty is reflected in the increasing ambiguity surrounding what is considered age-appropriate costuming, postures, and behaviors."
- Simon, William (February 1994). "Deviance as history: The future of perversion". Archives of sexual behavior 23 (1): 1-20.