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.
Chapter 6: Social Freedom and Social Autonomy
Honneth’s (2014) conception of social freedom is largely consistent with his positions in the debate with Fraser. There are, however, several noteworthy theoretical modifications, such as the lesser orientation towards conflict and agency. These changes are sufficient to constitute an important divergence from Honneth’s earlier recognition perspective. This is despite his later explication of the ‘We’ perspective of various spheres of social freedom, principally those of the market economy, the democratic polity, and the private sphere, being an application of the intersubjective approach of recognition theory. In principle, the changes in Honneth’s theoretical approach should be viewed positively. Notably, the account of social freedom is more substantive than the earlier theory of recognition; it specifies ...