In this accomplished, sophisticated and up-to-date account of the state of critical social theory today, Craig Browne explores the key concepts in critical theory (like critique, ideology, and alienation), and crucially, goes on to relate them to major contemporary developments such as globalization, social conflict and neo-liberal capitalism. Critical theory here is not solely the work of Adorno, Horkheimer, Marcuse and Habermas. The book begins with the Frankfurt School but uses this as a base to then explore more contemporary figures such as: • Nancy Fraser • Axel Honneth • Luc Boltanski • Cornelius Castoriadis • Ulrich Beck • Anthony Giddens • Pierre Bourdieu • Hannah Arendt A survey of critical social theory for our times, this is an essential guide for students wishing to grasp a critical understanding of social theory in the modern world.
From The Critique of Objectification to The Reconceptualization of Alienation
There are few categories that were as affected by the twentieth century’s political and intellectual vicissitudes as that of the concept of alienation. The prominence that the concept of alienation had during the 1960s and 70s would be followed by its virtual disappearance from Critical Theory. However, there has recently been an international revival of interest in alienation and the critical potential of this category (Haber, 2007; Jaeggi, 2014; Rosa, 2010). The renewed interest is primarily a response to two interconnected factors. The first is some dissatisfaction with the predominance in Critical Theory of normative concepts derived from liberal political philosophy, like social justice, rights ...