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Today, Jürgen Habermas (b. 1929) is the best known representative of critical theory or the Frankfurt School. At the center of his theory of modernity is the explication of a twofold concept of society combining action and system theory. Two forms of integration correspond to these paradigms in social theory: social and system integration (Habermas 1981:223ff.). Mechanisms of social integration refer to orientations of actors constituting the societal order of values, norms, and communicative process. In contrast, market exchange and power as mechanisms of system integration transcend the orientations of actors and integrate nonintended contexts of action through functional networks. Whereas socially integrated interaction remains at least intuitively understandable for actors and can therefore be captured meaningfully, system integrated contexts lie beyond the self-explication of ...

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