9780190692674

Critical Theory: A Very Short Introduction

by
  • ISBN13:

    9780190692674

  • ISBN10:

    0190692677

  • Edition: 2nd
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2017-10-20
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press

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Summary

Critical theory emerged in the 1920s from the work of the Frankfurt School, the circle of German-Jewish academics who sought to diagnose -- and, if at all possible, cure -- the ills of society, particularly fascism and capitalism. In this book, Stephen Eric Bronner provides sketches of leading representatives of the critical tradition (such as George Lukács and Ernst Bloch, Theodor Adorno and Walter Benjamin, Herbert Marcuse and Jurgen Habermas) as well as many of its seminal texts and empirical investigations.

This Very Short Introduction sheds light on the cluster of concepts and themes that set critical theory apart from its more traditional philosophical competitors. Bronner explains and discusses concepts such as method and agency, alienation and reification, the culture industry and repressive tolerance, non-identity and utopia. He argues for the introduction of new categories and perspectives for illuminating the obstacles to progressive change and focusing upon hidden transformative possibilities. In this newly updated second edition, Bronner targets new academic interests, broadens his argument, and adapts it to a global society amid the resurgence of right-wing politics and neo-fascist movements.

Author Biography


Stephen Eric Bronner is the Board of Governors Professor at Rutgers University. He is also Director of Global Relations and on the Executive Committee of the UNESCO Chair for Genocide Prevention at the Center for the Study of Genocide and Human Rights. His writings have been translated into more than a dozen languages.

Table of Contents


List of Illustrations

Preface

Introduction: What is critical theory?

Chapter 1: The Frankfurt School
Chapter 2: A matter of method
Chapter 3: Critical theory and modernism
Chapter 4: Alienation and reification
Chapter 5: Enlightened illusions
Chapter 6: The utopian laboratory
Chapter 7: The happy consciousness
Chapter 8: The great refusal
Chapter 9: From resignation to renewal
Chapter 10: Unfinished tasks: solidarity, resistance, and global society

References
Further Reading
Index

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