Critical Theory traces its roots from Marxism, through the renowned Frankfurt School, to a wide array of national and cultural traditions. Raymond Morrow's book traces the history and outlines the major tenets of critical theory for an undergraduate audience. He exemplifies the theory through an analysis of two leading social theorists: J[um]urgen Habermas and Anthony Giddens. Unique to this volume is the emphasis on the link between Critical Theory and empirical research and social science methodology, often thought to be incompatible.

Introduction: What is Critical Theory?

Introduction: What is critical theory?

The hostility to theory as such which prevails in contemporary public life is really directed against the transformative activity associated with critical thinking. Opposition starts as soon as theorists fail to limit themselves to verification and classification by means of categories as neutral as possible, that is, categories which are indispensable to inherited ways of life. Among the vast majority of the ruled there is the unconscious fear that theoretical thinking might show their painfully won adaptation to reality to be perverse and unnecessary. (Horkheimer [1937] 1972a, p. 323)

La sociologie de la sociologie … est un instrument indispensable de la methode sociologique: on fait de la science—est surtout de la sociologie—contre sa formation autant qu'avec sa ...

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