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.
In this work, I have sought to develop the social theory framework of Critical Theory. Critical Theory is shaped by its historical orientation and a recognition of its grounding in the social context. The challenges that these considerations pose have been met through revised conceptions of Critical Theory’s key categories and a complementary explanatory approach that discloses the contradictions that underlie the conflicts of capitalist society. The notion of the dialectic of control was deployed in order to delineate the relationships that social actors seeking to realize autonomy have to these structural contradictions and the dynamics of conflicts to instantiate a just social order. I have focused on three contradictions: the conflict between globalization and democracy, the paradox of compelled but thwarted participation, and ...