The SAGE Handbook of Frankfurt School Critical Theory expounds the development of critical theory from its founding thinkers to its contemporary formulations in an interdisciplinary setting. It maps the terrain of a critical social theory, expounding its distinctive character vis-a-vis alternative theoretical perspectives, exploring its theoretical foundations and developments, conceptualising its subject matters both past and present, and signalling its possible future in a time of great uncertainty. Taking a distinctively theoretical, interdisciplinary, international and contemporary perspective on the topic, this wide-ranging collection of chapters is arranged thematically over three volumes: Volume I: Key Texts and Contributions to a Critical Theory of Society Volume II: Themes Volume III: Contexts This Handbook is essential reading for scholars and students in the field, showcasing the scholarly rigor, intellectual acuteness and negative force of critical social theory, past and present.
Chapter 38: Society and History
Society and History
The connection between society and history1, or more strictly, between the theory of society and the theory of history, is an essential one when it comes to analysing and presenting the fundamental, defining features of modern social formations. In these formations dynamism, change and acceleration go hand-in-hand with the fact that the forms adopted by social structures and relations lose their naturalness. ‘Society’ itself turns into an object of reflection and enables social theory(ies) to emerge. At the same time, the acceleration of the changes and transformations involved is at the root of what could be called historical consciousness of temporal becoming and social evolution. Within this framework, the idea of a ...