Study Guides (248,398)
Canada (121,510)
Sociology (577)
SOC 3310 (17)

chapter 7.docx

6 Pages
Unlock Document

SOC 3310
Reza Barmaki

Introduction- Critical Theory Critical theory is the name given to that school of thought that emerged from the writing of the members of Frankfurt school, among them T.W Adorno, Max Horkheimer, Herbert Marcuse and Fredrich Pollok  German intellectuals  Institute for social research at the university of Frankfurt  Drawn together by a common interest in Marxism one and its relevance to a world dominated by Stalinism in the East and by emerging Fascism in Europe Critical theory was distinguished from traditional, i.e., scientific social, theory by its commitment to a moral concept of progress and emancipation that would form the foundation for all its studies Multidisciplinary approach drawing upon psychology sociology, economics and politics to develop its unique standpoint and it was committed finally to the idea that knowledge should be pit to use to achieve a just and democratic social order Jürgen Habermas is the most prominent second-generation critical theorist - The major focus of Habermans work is the survival of democracy in a world that is increasingly transformed by science and technology - Engages the great thinkers of the classical tradition in a reconstructive dialogue in which he develops and creates new formulations - Faithful to the emancipatory project of Marx yet mindful of the rationalization thesis developed by weber and his project is to demonstrate how and why the iron cage need not be our destiny in spit of the fact that the rationalization process continues - It is his intention to demonstrate how effective social change in the direction of a substantively just democratic order is possible in the absence of the proletariat as a revolutionary force - View the integrative needs of the social system do not entail the absorption and direction of the life-world. The mode of communication in the life world preserves conceptions of justice and freedom, even as these values are leached from the vocabulary of technocratic elites whole language is wholly couched in the instrumental terms of cost benefit analysis - As the social system evolves in its political and economic institutions in the direction of greater efficiency, predictability, coordination and control, the life world evolves in the direction of greater reflectivity and more understanding of the common fate of all peoples Marcuse view on social movements were a sign of great hope for the future of advanced industrial society because they demonstrated contrary to his own pessimistic formulation in One Dimensional Man that there were extant sources of negativity and resistance to the new forms of social control he saw enveloping American society - Gave full and populate expression to the idea of dialectical thinking and demonstrated its continuing relevance as a mode of social analysis his analysis extends Weber’s idea od rationalization by employing the concept of technological rationality - Modern society=iron cage - Rationalization process not only manifested itself in the rational behaviour of individuals in bureaucratic settings but also referred to their method thinking - Instrumental rationality a calculating and means oriented mode of thought has gradually come to replace substantive rationality or thought dealing with morality, with the validity of the ends of action - Advanced industrial society has become a society without opposition dominated by “technological rationality” - Rejects traditional Marxist formulations on the sources of conflict in the class structure of capitalism; no longer the negation of capitalism, the working class has become its vocal supporter and defender - Society appears open and tolerant but s closed to fundamental criticism and radical change - Advanced industrial society is capable of absorbing all manner of dissent by co-opting the dissenters and using their platforms for political or commercial profit Herbert Marcuse: One Dimensional Man The paralysis of criticism: society without opposition - The efforts to prevent such a catastrophe overshadow the search for its potential causes in contemporary industrial society. These causes remain unidentified, unexposed, unattacked by the public because they recede before the all too obvious threat from without - We submit to the peaceful production of the means of destruction to the perfection of waste, to being educated for a defense, which deforms the defenders and that which they defend - If we attempt to relate the causes of the danger to the way in which society is organized and organizes its members, we are immediately confronted with the fact tat advanced industrial society become richer, bigger, and better as it perpetuate the danger - Defense structure makes like easier for a greater number of people and extends mans mastery of nature - Our mass media have little difficulty in selling particular interests as those of all sensible men - The political needs of society become individual needs and aspirations, their satisfaction promotes business and the commonweal, and the whole appears to be the very embodiment of reason - Society is irrational as a whole, its productivity is destructive of the free development of human needs and faculties, its peace maintained by the constant threat of war, its growth dependent on the repression of the real possibilities for pacifying the struggle for existence individual, national, and international. This repression, less developed stages of our society, operates today not from a position of natural and technical immaturity but rather from a position of strength - Our society distinguishes itself by conquering the centrifugal social forces with technology rather than terror, on the dual basis of an overwhelming efficiency and an increasing standard living - Investigate the roots of these developments and examine their historical alternatives is part of the aim of a critical theory of contemporary society, a theory which analyzes society in the light of its used and unused or abused capabilities for improving the human condition Two points that implies value judgments 1. The judgement that human life is worth living or rather can be and ought to be made worth living. This judgement underlies all intellectual effort; it is the a priori f social theory and its rejection, which Is perfectly logical, rejects theory itself 2. The judgement that in a given society specific possibilities exist for the amelioration of human life, and specific ways and means of realizing these possibilities. Critical analysis has to demonstrate the objective validity of these judgments, and the demonstration has to proceed on empirical grounds. The established society has available an ascertainable quantity and quality of intellectual and material resources. Social theory is historical theory and history is the realm of chance in the realm of necessity. Among the various possible and actual modes of organizing and utilizing the available resources The attempt to answer these questions demands a series of initial abstractions. In order to identify and define the possibili
More Less

Related notes for SOC 3310

Log In


Join OneClass

Access over 10 million pages of study
documents for 1.3 million courses.

Sign up

Join to view


By registering, I agree to the Terms and Privacy Policies
Already have an account?
Just a few more details

So we can recommend you notes for your school.

Reset Password

Please enter below the email address you registered with and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Add your courses

Get notes from the top students in your class.