• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

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.

System Integration and Social Disintegration
System Integration and Social Disintegration
Introduction

The Critical Theory of the Frankfurt School originated during a period of the protracted crisis of capitalism and its critique reflected the diminishing prospects of an emancipatory transformation. Critical Theory consequently sought to expose the connections between the rationalization of modernity and the social pathologies of capitalist reification. This concern with the dialectics of rationalization remains a constitutive dimension of the programme of Critical Theory. Habermas sought to revise the theory of reification with the explanatory thesis of the ‘internal colonisation of the lifeworld’ (Habermas, 1987a). My analysis of contemporary reification draws on the framework of Habermas’ thesis, but it radically revises this conception in light of the contradictory tendencies of globalization and the subjective ...

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