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Chapter CCST Week 16 critical theory

Sociology 2240E Chapter Notes - Chapter CCST Week 16 critical theory: Max Horkheimer, Critical Theory, Socalled

Course Code
SOC 2240E
Robert Nonomura
CCST Week 16 critical theory

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Critical theory CCST 396-416
Wednesday, April 4, 2018
7:59 PM
Critical theorists find in so-called progress a source of domination and dehumanization
o For them, culture, science and technology are ideological forces that distort consciousness
and prevent individuals from satisfying true human interest
It is out dependence on wide array of technological wonders that prevent us from imagining a
world where industry and technology, instead of dissolving individuality, serve to unlock the
potential inherent in all of us
First wave critical theorists: Horkheimer, Adorno, Marcuse
Second generation: Habermas, Hill Collins
Horkeimer, Adorno, Marcuse: biographical sketches
o Radical political learnings and sympathies with the working class caused him to not follow in
father's footsteps as business man
o Pursued an academic career
o Attended university of frankfurt
o Also felt deeply concerned over social and economic inequalities
o Attended university of frankfurt
o Joined the social democratic party that represented working-class interests
The 3 of them met, which solidified their association with the institute for social research at the
university of Frankfurt
o It is here that the roots of critical theory, a Marxist-inspired social philosophy were planted,
which reshaped the institute
The rampant anti-Semitism that spread through germany and had a profound impact on the
frankfurt school for all of its leading members were jewish, caused them to immigrate elsewhere
(New York)
Horkheimer, Adorno's, Marcuse's intellectual influences and core ideas
Marx, Weber, and the reolution that asn’t
o In the capitalist stage of development, Marx predicted that society would be divided into
two classes: bourgeoisie and proletariat
Since the proletariat made up a vast majority of the world's population, their victory
over the bourgeoisie was inevitable
o Marx argued that the mode of economic production forms the 'base' of society, that, in
turn, determines a society's superstructure
The superstructure consists of everything non-economic in nature
As a result, an individual's very consciousness -how he makes sense of the world and
defines his interests -is not determined by his own subjectivity but are structured by
the objective class position occupied within the existing mode of production
o Horkheimer and his colleagues looked elsewhere for sources of emancipation and they
found it in critical theory
Turned away from Marx's doctrine of historical materialism and to Hegelian idealism
o Critical theorists draw from the work of Hegel and weber
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