- Subject index
Social theory is a core area in Sociology degrees. This book attempts to lead students through the key thinkers and key ideas. The organizational principle is to focus on theoretical writing which is relevant for understanding the contemporary world. So the book asks what continuing use do theories of the Enligthenment, classical German sociology, Marxism and phenomenology have for making sense of our social world.
Chapter 8: Critical Turn: The Frankfurt School
Critical Turn: The Frankfurt School
‘Critical theory’ is the term given to the approach developed by a group of radical intellectuals at the Institute for Social Research housed in the German city of Frankfurt; hence they are also known as ‘the Frankfurt School’. Rejecting ‘traditional philosophy’, the critical theorists were not ready to abandon philosophy to social theory or science. For them philosophical argument and cultural critique could potentially keep the door of freedom wedged open in the face of the worst catastrophe afflicting humanity: fascist atrocity. Initially attracted to Marx's critique of political economy, they increasingly looked to the industrial organisation of mass culture and media for an explanation for the non-revolutionary character of the working class in Europe ...