Critical Theory and Family Health

The label of critical theory has been applied to several perspectives, including feminism, Marxism, some psychoanalytic approaches, and Frankfurt School Critical Theory (CT). While all of these perspectives are concerned with liberation from social inequality and domination, this entry focuses on CT. In contrast to orthodox Marxist approaches, CT stresses the importance of ideological beliefs as well as socioeconomic sources of inequality. In contrast to many feminist theorists, Frankfurt School theorists have commonly viewed the modern family as a (potential) source of protection and liberation as well as domination. Although psychoanalysis was a major source of ideas for the first generation of Frankfurt School theorists, subsequent CT scholars have stressed societal over personal psychological sources of oppression. This entry begins with a brief sketch of ...

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