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.
The End of Immanent Critique?
It is often suggested that critical social theory depends on the methodology of immanent critique (Antonio, 1981). In its simplest terms, immanent critique delineates ‘the difference between how men and things are and how they could be’ (Habermas, 1982: 231; Adorno, 1973b: 167). When it is framed by such a distinction, immanent critique can only either be incomplete or a methodology that is abandoned; it could be misapplied but not really refuted. The possible end of immanent critique has two main sources: internal developments within critical theory eventuated in Habermas’ abandoning immanent critique in favour of other methodologies (Habermas, 1971; 1976; 1984; 1987a; 1987b). He claimed that the altered ideological constellation of late-capitalism suspends its ...