Critical theory represents and predicts interdisciplinary research in both the humanities and social sciences and employs Marxist, neo-Marxist, and continental philosophical paradigms to the study of social forces, ideologies, histories of consumerism, and critiques of capitalism.

Historical Foundations of Critical Theory

Critical theory, in comparison to traditional theory, is historically conceived as intellectual discourse that promotes reason, rationality, and intelligible structures of consciousness and subjectivity in contemporary society. Historically, the Frankfurt School in Germany has been a leading source of critical theory. Walter Benjamin, Theodor W. Adorno, Max Horkheimer, Herbert Marcuse, and Erich Fromm were among the leading critical theorists who comprised the Frankfurt School’s first generation of scholars. The Frankfurt School arose in the 1920s as a network of scholars and scholarship that represented a 20th-century ...

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