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Lars Heitmann & Jacob Blumenfeld

In: The SAGE Handbook of Frankfurt School Critical Theory

Chapter 36: Society as ‘Totality’: On the Negative-Dialectical Presentation of Capitalist Socialization

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Society as ‘Totality’: On the Negative-Dialectical Presentation of Capitalist Socialization
Society as ‘Totality’: On the Negative-Dialectical Presentation of Capitalist Socialization
Lars Heitmann Jacob Blumenfeld

The primacy of totality should also not be hypostatized. The totality reproduces itself again and again out of the details of social life, ultimately from individuals. If we attach such value to the totality of society, Mr. Dahrendorf, this is not because we are intoxicated with grand concepts, with the power and glory of the totality, but on the contrary, because in it we see the doom that, if I may cite myself, ‘the whole is the false’.1

The concept of society as a ‘totality’ is of the utmost importance in critical theory. This is particularly ...

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