Comparative sociology ·
Critical theory is a term applied to a wide variety of critical approaches Western political society and culture. It emerged from the Western-Marxist philosophy of the Frankfurt School, which was developed in Germany in the 1930s. The term was coined by Max Horkheimer, one of the founders of the school. The Frankfurt School attempted to understand why the predictions of Karl Marx for revolution in advanced capitalist countries had failed to materialize. In addition to Horkheimer, key members of the Frankfurt School included Herbert Marcuse, Theodor Adorno, Walter Benjamin, Erich Fromm, among others.
Modern critical theory has additionally been influenced by György Lukács and Antonio Gramsci, as well as second-generation Frankfurt School scholars, notably Jürgen Habermas. In Habermas' work, critical theory transcended its theoretical roots in German idealism and progressed closer to American pragmatism.
- 1 History
- 2 French Critical Theory
- 3 Application of French Critical Theory
- 4 Criticism
- 5 Notes
- 6 References
- 7 External links
- 8 Credits
Postmodern critical theory, influenced by the French Nietzcheans, rejects the modernist assumptions of Western philosophy, including the Marxist critique. It analyzes the fragmentation of cultural identities in order to challenge modernist-era constructs such as metanarratives, and the universality of rational truths.
Critical theory (German: Kritische Theorie) emerged in Germany during the 1930s. It was first defined by Max Horkheimer of the Frankfurt School of sociology in his 1937 essay "Traditional and Critical Theory." He described it as a social theory oriented toward critiquing and changing society, in contrast to traditional theory oriented only to understanding or explaining it. Horkheimer is echoing Marx's famous Eleventh Thesis on Feuerbach. Wanting to distinguish critical theory as a radical, emancipatory form of Marxist philosophy, Horkheimer critiqued both the model of science put forward by logical positivism, and what he and his colleagues saw as the covert positivism and totalitarianism of orthodox Marxism and the actually existing Communism of the Soviet Union. He described a theory as critical insofar as it seeks "to liberate human beings from the circumstances that enslave them." Critical theory involves a normative dimension, either through criticizing society from some general theory of values, norms (or oughts), or through criticizing it based on its own espoused values (i.e. immanent critique).
The core concepts of critical theory are that it should:
- be directed at the totality of society in its historical specificity (i.e. how it came to be configured at a specific point in time); and
- improve understanding of society by integrating all the major social sciences, including geography, economics, sociology, history, political science, anthropology, and psychology.
Kant and Marx
This version of "critical" theory derives from the use of the term critique by Immanuel Kant (eighteenth century), in his Critique of Pure Reason. For Kant's transcendental idealism, critique means examining and establishing the limits of the validity of a faculty, type, or body of knowledge, especially through accounting for the limitations imposed by the fundamental, irreducible concepts used in that knowledge system.
Kant's notion of critique has been associated with the overturning of false, unprovable, or dogmatic philosophical, social, and political beliefs. His critique of reason involved the critique of dogmatic theological and metaphysical ideas, and was intertwined with the enhancement of ethical autonomy and the Enlightenment critique of superstition and irrational authority. Kant's immediate impetus for writing his Critique of Pure Reason was to address problems raised by David Hume's skeptical empiricism which, in attacking metaphysics, employed reason and logic to argue against the knowability of the world and common notions of causation. Kant rejected Hume's radical empiricism by postulating a priori metaphysical claims as requisite. For anything to be knowable, it required certain categories of the mind to know it, distinct from perceivable phenomena.
Marx took up Kant's concept of Critique, expanding it into political economy in his seminal work, Das Kapital. Marx explicitly developed the notion of critique into the critique of ideology, linking it with the practice of social revolution, as stated in the eleventh section of his famous Theses on Feuerbach: "The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways; the point is to change it."
Adorno and Horkheimer
One of the distinguishing characteristics of critical theory, as Adorno and Horkheimer elaborated in their Dialectic of Enlightenment (1947), is a certain ambivalence concerning the ultimate source or foundation of social domination, an ambivalence which gave rise to the "pessimism" of the new critical theory over the possibility of human emancipation and freedom. This ambivalence was rooted in the historical circumstances in which the work was originally produced. Rather than the hoped for revolution, Italy and Germany saw the rise of fascism and National Socialism. Further, state capitalism and the culture industry emerged as entirely new forms of social domination that could not be adequately explained within the terms of traditional Marxist sociology:"Critical Theory was initially developed in Horkheimer's circle to think through political disappointments at the absence of revolution in the West, the development of Stalinism in Soviet Russia, and the victory of fascism in Germany. It was supposed to explain mistaken Marxist prognoses, but without breaking Marxist intentions."
For Adorno and Horkheimer, state intervention in the economy had effectively abolished the tension between the "relations of production" and "material productive forces of society," a tension which, according to Marx, constituted the primary contradiction within capitalism. The market (as an "unconscious" mechanism for the distribution of goods) had been replaced by centralized planning: "[G]one are the objective laws of the market which ruled in the actions of the entrepreneurs and tended toward catastrophe. Instead the conscious decision of the managing directors executes as results (which are more obligatory than the blindest price-mechanisms) the old law of value and hence the destiny of capitalism."
Yet, contrary to Marx's famous prediction in the Preface to a Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy, this shift did not lead to "an era of social revolution," but rather to fascism and totalitarianism. As such, critical theory was left, in Jürgen Habermas' words, without "anything in reserve to which it might appeal, and when the forces of production enter into a baneful symbiosis with the relations of production that they were supposed to blow wide open, there is no longer any dynamism upon which critique could base its hope." For Adorno and Horkheimer, this posed the problem of how to account for the apparent persistence of the domination of bourgeois society in the absence of the very contradiction that, according to traditional critical theory, was the source of domination itself.
In the 1960s, Jürgen Habermas, a proponent of critical social theory, raised the epistemological discussion to a new level in his Knowledge and Human Interests (1968), by identifying critical knowledge as based on principles that differentiated it either from the natural sciences or the humanities, through its orientation to self-reflection and emancipation. Although unsatisfied with Adorno and Horkheimer's thought presented in Dialectic of Enlightenment, Habermas shares the view that, in the form of instrumental rationality, the era of modernity marks a move away from the liberation of enlightenment and toward a new form of enslavement. In Habermas's work, critical theory transcended its theoretical roots in German idealism, and progressed closer to American pragmatism.
Habermas has influenced the philosophy of law in many countries—for example the creation of the social philosophy of law in Brazil—and his theory also has the potential to make the discourse of law one important institution of the modern world as a heritage of the Enlightenment.
His ideas regarding the relationship between modernity and rationalization are in this sense strongly influenced by Max Weber. Habermas dissolved further the elements of critical theory derived from Hegelian German Idealism, although his thought remains broadly Marxist in its epistemological approach. Concern for social "base and superstructure" is one of the remaining Marxist philosophical concepts in much of contemporary critical theory.
Perhaps his two most influential ideas are the concepts of the public sphere and communicative action; the latter arriving partly as a reaction to new post-structural or so-called "postmodern" challenges to the discourse of modernity. Habermas engaged in regular correspondence with Richard Rorty and was more allied with philosophical pragmatism, which frequently traverses the boundaries between sociology and philosophy.
French Critical Theory
Marx and Modernism
Modernism was based on the Enlightenment notion of reason and science as stable foundations for knowledge. For Modernism, reason is universal, transcending historical context. Science is an objective tool for discerning the truth. Reason and science are a secure foundation for discerning objective reality and objective truth. Marxism provided a critique of Western political society and the ideology stemming from the Western metaphysical tradition of Idealism on which it was based. Marxism countered the Idealist tradition with a materialist theory. The social and political ideology of Western culture masked a darker truth, that it was all based on a naked expression of power that undergird it. This was the enduring power of Marx's critique for Western intellectuals.
But while Marx's critique of the social relations of capitalism was foundational for critical theory, it would eventually come under scrutiny by some for the fact that it replaced the belief in the rational truth of Western Idealism with a metaphysical materialism. It purported to be the truth of human history in the tradition of Hegel and in the Hegelian fashion it asserted for materialism the same conclusion - the resolution of the dialectic in a utopian end. In the wake of the failures of Marxism to produce that outcome, some philosophers began to question these assumptions. Marx's theory of history came to be seen by some as suffering from some of the failures of Modernism that it had sought to expose. Marx replaced Idealism with Materialism, but his appeal is still to reason and science. He called his philosophy "scientific socialism" as a way of buttressing its claims and its sense of inevitability. While the Frankfurt School and Gramsci generally dismissed these economic determinist claims in favor of the earlier Marxist emphasis on "praxis," the failure of Soviet-style communism to realize the objectives of the communist "withering away of the state" proved an ongoing problem, particularly in France.
Marxism in France
The failure of Marxism to accurately explain events in the Western industrialized societies impacted the Francophone world differently than the Germanic. Unlike the communist parties in the German and Italian world, the French Communist Party (PCF) remained closely connected to the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU) even during the Stalinist period. The PCF, which dominated French intellectual life, was very slow to de-Stalinize. That finally changed after the publication of Alexander Solzhenitsyn's "One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich," which first appeared in English translation in 1963, but was not published in France until 1973. It introduced the question of the Gulag into French intellectual life, impacting particularly the PCF and French intellectuals of the left. While some remained in the Soviet camp, others tried to "save socialism" from the actually existing reality in the Soviet Union.
Still others began to ask serious questions about some of the flaws of Marxism and to think differently about the use of power in the Gulag. One of the leaders of that reassessment was Michel Foucault.
Actually the only socialism which deserves these scornful scare-quotes is the one which leads the dreamy life of ideality in our heads. We must open our eyes on the contrary to what enables people there, on the spot, to resist the Gulag, what makes it intolerable for them, and what can give the people of the anti-Gulag the courage to stand up and die in order to be able to utter a word or a poem.
The issue for thinkers like Foucault was not merely that the Soviet model had failed to produce the desired outcome. It lay within problems of Marxist theory itself. Even in "turning Western metaphysics on its head," it remained a theory based on Modernist assumptions, which were coming under greater scrutiny.
Nietzsche and Postmodernism
In the second half of the twentieth century, postmodernism emerged as a critique of the ideology of Modernism. It was to Nietzsche (and Heidegger), not Marx, that many turned. Nietzsche's critique of Western culture and ideology took a different approach. The notion of truth itself had become problematized. In his famous declaration that "God is dead," Nietzsche was claiming that the traditional understanding of Western Christian culture and ethics was illusory. God had served as the foundation for the Western conception of truth and the underpinnings of Western culture. The "death of God" for Nietzsche meant that the concept of Truth had lost its referent. The very notion of Truth had been destabilized, undermined. Scientific developments and the increasing secularization of Europe had effectively 'killed' the Abrahamic God, who had served as the basis for meaning and value in the West for more than a thousand years. Western culture and specifically Christianity was antithetical to human nature and its "will to power."
As Heidegger put the problem, "If God, as the supra-sensory ground and goal of all reality, is dead; if the supra-sensory world of the Ideas has suffered the loss of its obligatory, and above it, its vitalizing and up-building power, then nothing more remains to which Man can cling, and by which he can orient himself." In the wake of this destabilization of truth, Nietzsche called for a "transvaluation of all values."
French theorists like Foucault and Derrida took Nietzsche as the starting point for re-thinking the tradition of Western philosophy. Common targets of postmodern criticism include universalist ideas of objective reality, morality, truth, human nature, reason, science, language, and social progress.
French Post-modernists "are particularly concerned with the foundations and limits of theory. They are animated by a rereading of Nietzsche, especially his far-reaching and virulent critique of truth. The lesson they learn from Nietzsche is that truth is not a transcendent unity. The persistent in European philosophy to unify truth, be it by means of a scientific method or through a dialectical totalization, has unfortunate epistemological and political implications. The tendency of poststructuralism is to therefore regard truth as a multiplicity, to exult in the play of diverse meanings, in the continual process of reinterpretation, in the contention of opposing claims.
Following Nietzsche, Foucault rejected absolutes truths and focused his work on examining the historical contexts in which institutions of power were constructed. Marx's view of power was grounded in Hegelianism, that is, history was teleological or pointed toward a final goal. For Marx, that goal involved a struggle between oppressor and oppressed classes that would ultimately end with the proletarian revolution. The oppressive use of power would disappear when the proletariat overthrew their oppressors. Since they had no power, power would end after the revolution. For Foucault, this utopian notion did not square with his observations about how power actually worked.
His work on power is instead rooted in a deep historicism. He rejected the Marxist notion that power is simply an oppressing system where one societal class or group oppresses another as the Orthodox Marxists would define it. He does not completely reject the notion of oppression, but power is much more subtle, and includes not only the naked use of force but those systems that are designed to create consent. Foucault's work centered on institutions of bourgeois society like medicine, psychiatry and the prison system. For Foucault, power is not concentrated in a few hands, but diffuse throughout society. It is literally created in conjunction with knowledge produced by these institutions. Per Nietzsche, the notion of truth is problematized, but rather than masking the will to power, knowledge is created in the context of power. Foucault used the term "power/knowledge" to express the idea that truth and power are interdependent and inextricable. Power cannot be surmounted as in the Marxist dialectic. The response to power is to resist and confront it with another locus of power.
Much of the theoretical work of postmodernism emerged in the Francophone world of the 1960s and 70s. In addition to Foucault, leading figures included Jacques Derrida, Jacques Lacan, Jean-François Lyotard, Jean Baudrillard, and Gilles Deleuze. They developed an approach that was both postmodern and poststructural. Post-structuralism, like postmodernism, critiques the notions of rationality, progress and fixed and stable meanings of the Structuralism that came before.
Post-structuralism like postmodernism owes a debt to the work of Friedrich Nietzsche and his critique of truth. Philosophers of language like Jacques Derrida began to question not only truth but the stability of meaning.
Via Heidegger Derrida applies the Nietzschean "death of God" to the Western philosophical tradition. That tradition is "a search for a transcendental being that serves as the origin or guarantor of meaning." This is the attempt to "ground the meaning relations constitutive of the world in an instance that itself lies outside all relationality" which, following Heidegger, he called logocentrism. Derrida argues that the philosophical enterprise is essentially logocentric, and that this is a paradigm inherited from Judaism and Hellenism. While Foucault's work is focused on how power is created and used, Derrida is interested in how meaning is produced.
Following the structuralist linguist, Ferdinand de Saussure, Derrida focused on the dichotomy of signifier/signified. Traditional semiotics had viewed linguistics as a stable relationship between referent and the thing. For Saussure, this was only half of the subject matter of linguistics, the "diachronic" relationship of the signifier to the signified. He bracketed this relationship to focus on the "synchronic" relationship of signifier to other signifiers. It is a structuralist approach to language in that Saussure set aside the diachronic relationship to examine how language is structured. Derrida took this a step further. He introduced the concept of différance. The neologism was difference with an "a" in place of the "e." For Derrida it incorporated both Saussure's sense of differing but also included the deferring of meaning. Meaning both differs from itself and meaning is always deferred, unstable. Derrida's approach is designed to dismantle traditional Western metaphysics by exploding the sense of meaning as stable, fixed, universal.
Derrida contributed to "the understanding of certain deeply hidden philosophical presuppositions and prejudices in Western culture," arguing that the whole philosophical tradition rests on arbitrary dichotomous categories (such as sacred/profane, signifier/signified, mind/body), and that any text contains implicit hierarchies, "by which an order is imposed on reality and by which a subtle repression is exercised, as these hierarchies exclude, subordinate, and hide the various potential meanings." Just like Foucault's power, meaning is always being produced and reproduced according to a set of hierarchies.
Derrida seeks to undo the "subtle repression" of Logocentrism by undermining traditional meaning. He refers to his procedure for uncovering and unsettling these dichotomies as deconstruction.
Application of French Critical Theory
The work of the French postmodernists and post-structuralists became widely disseminated throughout the academic world in the 1980s but it was largely apolitical. Its focus on questioning the stability of meaning and the ubiquitous nature of power seemed to preclude the kind of successful collective action that had been goal of Marxism. That began to change in the 1990s with the rise of identity politics, gender theory and critical race theory.
Postmodern critical approaches have been adopted in a variety of academic and theoretical disciplines, including cultural studies, philosophy of science, economics, linguistics, architecture, feminist theory, and literary criticism, as well as art movements in fields such as literature, contemporary art, and music. Focusing on language, symbolism, communication, and social construction, critical theory has been applied within the social sciences as a critique of the very notion of representation in the social sciences.
While modernist critical theory concerns itself with "forms of authority and injustice that accompanied the development of industrial and corporate capitalism as a political-economic system," postmodern critical theory politicizes social problems "by situating them in historical and cultural contexts, to implicate themselves in the process of collecting and analyzing data, and to relativize their findings." Meaning itself is seen as unstable due to the rapid transformation in social structures. As a result, the focus of research is centered on local manifestations, rather than broad generalizations.
Postmodern critical research is characterized by the crisis of representation, which rejects the idea that a researcher's work is an "objective depiction of a stable other." Instead, many postmodern scholars have adopted "alternatives that encourage reflection about the 'politics and poetics' of their work. In these accounts, the embodied, collaborative, dialogic, and improvisational aspects of qualitative research are clarified."
Critical Race Theory
Critical Race Theory developed within legal studies starting in the 1970s. It was pioneered by Law Professor Derek Bell at Harvard. It spread to other American law schools in the mid- to late 1980s as a reworking of critical legal studies focusing on race issues.
Critical Race Theory deconstructs some premises and arguments of legal theory: "To the emerging race crits, rights discourse held a social and transformative value in the context of racial subordination that transcended the narrower question of whether reliance on rights alone could bring about any determinate results." As described by Derrick Bell, critical race theory in Harris' view is committed to "radical critique of the law (which is normatively deconstructionist) and…radical emancipation by the law (which is normatively reconstructionist)."
As Critical Race Theory developed, postmodern critical theories, including feminist jurisprudence, and postcolonial theory, also became popular tools. The rise of identity politics and the postmodern understanding of social constructionism created a new focus. Identities began to be seen as created by one's position in society. The social system functions for those who are dominant, while other identities are marginalized, and people in those groups oppressed. Students of Bell, like Kimberlé Crenshaw, embraced the approach of postmodern critical theory's understanding of power/knowledge. Her theory, intersectionality, argues that the socially constructed identities, should not be resisted, but rather embraced. They are a source of empowerment for marginalized peoples. Those identities, racial, gender, etc. are the basis for the critique of universalized knowledge and political power. Intersectionality creates a system of oppression, in which there are multiple bases for oppression based not only on race, but also gender and other points of discrimination. While Critical Race Theory began by addressing issues of access and poverty, intersectionality played in role in moving it away from a more materialist focus to one based on postmodern view based on identity politics.
Critical theorists have widely credited Paulo Freire for the first applications of critical theory towards education/pedagogy, considering his best-known work to be Pedagogy of the Oppressed, a seminal text in what is now known as the philosophy and social movement of critical pedagogy. Dedicated to the oppressed and based on his own experience helping Brazilian adults to read and write, Freire includes a detailed Marxist class analysis in his exploration of the relationship between the colonizer and the colonized. In the book, Freire calls traditional pedagogy the "banking model of education," because it treats the student as an empty vessel to be filled with knowledge, like a piggy bank. He argues that pedagogy should instead treat the learner as a co-creator of knowledge.
In contrast to the banking model, the teacher in the critical-theory model is not dispenser of all knowledge, the sage on a stage, but a participant who learns with and from the students—in conversation with them; even as they are learning from the teacher. The goal is to liberate the learner from an oppressive construct of teacher versus student, a dichotomy analogous to colonizer and colonized. It is not enough for the student to analyze societal power structures and hierarchies, to merely recognize imbalance and inequity; critical theory pedagogy must also empower the learner to both reflect and act on that reflection to challenge an oppressive status quo.
While critical theorists following the models of Antonio Gramsci or the Frankfurt School have drawn the criticism of Marxist intellectuals, for their tendency to denounce some Marxist concepts and to combine Marxian analysis with other sociological and philosophical traditions. They have been accused of revisionism by classical, orthodox, and analytical Marxists, and by Marxist–Leninist philosophers. Martin Jay argued that the first generation of critical theory is best understood as not promoting a specific philosophical agenda or a specific ideology, but as "a gadfly of other systems."
Critical theory has been criticized for not offering any clear road map to political action (praxis) following critique, even explicitly repudiating any solutions (such as with Herbert Marcuse's "the Great Refusal", which promoted abstaining from engaging in active political change).
A primary criticism of both Marxist critical theory and the postmodern version is that it is anti-scientific, both for its lack of the use of the scientific method, and for its overt criticism of science as a tool used for oppression of marginalized groups of people. The French postmoderns were seen by many academics as overly pessimistic with theories that also did not lead to a clear political position.
- Max Horkheimer, "Traditional and Critical Theory" in Matthew J. O'Connell (trans.) Critical Theory: Selected Essays (New York, NY: Continuum Publishing, 1982, ISBN 978-0826400833.
- Max Horkheimer, Critical Theory: Selected Essays (New York, NY: Continuum Publishing, 1982, ISBN 978-0826400833), 244.
- Critical Theory The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Retrieved February 18, 2022.
- Raymond Geuss, The Idea of a Critical Theory (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1981, ISBN 978-0521284226), ch. 4.
- Karl Marx, "Theses on Feuerbach," Marxists Internet Archive, 1888. Retrieved December 30, 2020.
- Max Horkheimer and Theodor Adorno, Dialectic of Enlightenment (Stanford University Press, 2002, ISBN 978-0804736329), 242.
- Jürgen Habermas, "The Entwinement of Myth and Enlightenment: Horkheimer and Adorno" in The Philosophical Discourse of Modernity: Twelve Lectures (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1987, ISBN 978-0262081634), 116.
- Helmut Dubiel, Theory and Politics: Studies in the Development of Critical Theory (Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 1985, ISBN 978-0262040808).
- Horkheimer and Adorno, 38.
- Habermas, 118.
- George N. Katsiaficas and Robert George Kirkpatrick, Introduction to Critical Sociology (Irvington, NY: Irvington Publishers, 1986, ISBN 978-0829015959), 26.
- Timothy Laurie, Hannah Stark, and Briohny Walker, "Critical Approaches to Continental Philosophy: Intellectual Community, Disciplinary Identity, and the Politics of Inclusion," Parrhesia 30 (2019): 1-17.
- William Outhwaite, Habermas: Key Contemporary Thinkers (Cambridge, UK: Polity Press, 2009, ISBN 978-0745643274), 5-8.
- Eduardo C. B. Bittar, Democracy, Justice and Human Rights: Studies of Critical Theory and Social Philosophy of Law (Saarbrücken, Germany: LAP LAMBERT Academic Publishing, 2016, ISBN 978-3659860652).
- Outhwaite, 5-8.
- Michel Foucault, "Power and Strategies," in Power/Knowledge: Selected Interviews & Other Writings, Colin Gordon, ed. (New York, NY: Pantheon Press, 1980, ISBN 039473954x), 136.
- Martin Heidegger, "Nietzsche's Word, God is Dead," 163. Retrieved February 19, 2022.
- Mark Poster, Existential Marxism in Postwar France: From Sartre to Althusser (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1975, ISBN 0691019940), 15.
- R. A. Lynch, "Foucault's theory of power," in Diana Taylor (ed.) Michel Foucault: Key Concepts (New York, NY: Routledge, 2014, ISBN 1844652343), 13-26.
- Michele Lamont, "How to Become a Dominant French Philosopher: The Case of Jacques Derrida," American Journal of Sociology 93(3), November 1987, 584–622.
- Wayne A. Borody, "Figuring the Phallogocentric Argument with Respect to the Classical Greek Philosophical Tradition," Nebula: A Netzine of the Arts and Science 13(1998): 1–27. Retrieved February 19, 2022.
- Patricia Mooney Nickel (ed.), North American Critical Theory After Postmodernism (London, England: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012, ISBN 978-1349350391), 128–154.
- Thomas R. Lindlof and Bryan C. Taylor, Qualitative Communication Research Methods (Newbury, CA: SAGE Publications, Inc, 2002, ISBN 978-0761924944), 49.
- Lindlof and Taylor, 53.
- Mike Cole, Marxism and Educational Theory: Origins and Issues (Oxfordshire, England: Taylor & Francis, 2007, ISBN 978-0415331715).
- Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw, Neil Gotanda, Gary Peller, and Kendall Thomas (eds.), Critical Race Theory: The Key Writings that Formed the Movement (New York, NY: The New Press, 1995, ISBN 978-1565842717): "Critical Race Theory thus represents an attempt to inhabit and expand the space between two very different intellectual and ideological formations…[i.e. Civil Rights reform and Critical Legal Studies]."
- Derrick Bell, "Who's Afraid of Critical Race Theory?," University of Illinois Law Review 1995(4) (1995): 893ff.
- For a history of the emergence of critical theory in the field of education, see Isaac Gottesman, The Critical Turn in Education: From Marxist Critique to Postructuralist Feminism to Critical Theories of Race (New York, NY: Routledge, 2016, ISBN 978-1138781351).
- Avinash, "Paulo Freire's Pedagogy of the Oppressed : Book Summary", The Educationist, July 9, 2014. Retrieved December 1, 2020.
- Leszek Kołakowski, Main Currents of Marxism vol. 3, (New York, NY: W. W. Norton & Company, 1979, ISBN 0393329437), ch. 10.
- Martin Jay, The Dialectical Imagination: A History of the Frankfurt School and the Institute of Social Research, 1923–1950 (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1996, ISBN 978-0520204232), 41.
- Claudio Corradetti, "The Frankfurt School and Critical Theory" Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Retrieved February 19, 2022.
- "How Critical Theory Came to Be Skeptical of Science," Areo.com, February 12, 2020. Retrieved February 19, 2022.
ReferencesISBN links support NWE through referral fees
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- Nickel, Patricia Mooney (ed.). North American Critical Theory After Postmodernism. London, England: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012. ISBN 978-1349350391
- Nola, Robert. "Knowledge, Power, Discourse and Genealogy in Foucault," Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 1(2) (1998): 109-154. Retrieved February 16, 2022.
- Outhwaite, William. Habermas: Key Contemporary Thinkers. Cambridge, UK: Polity Press, 2009 (original 1988). ISBN 978-0745643274
- Poster, Mark. Existential Marxism in Postwar France: From Sartre to Althusser. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1975. ISBN 0691019940
- Rolling, James H. ""Secular blasphemy: Utter(ed) transgressions against names and fathers in the postmodern era," Qualitative Inquiry 14(6) (2008): 926–948. Retrieved February 16, 2022.
- Sim, Stuart, and Borin Van Loon. Introducing Critical Theory. Flint, MI: Totem Books, 2001. ISBN 1840462647
- Taylor, Diana (ed.). Michel Foucault: Key Concepts. New York, NY: Routledge, 2014. ISBN 1844652343
- Thomas, Jim. Doing Critical Ethnography. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, Inc., 1992. ISBN 978-0803939233.
- Tracy, Sarah J. "Becoming a character for commerce: Emotion labor, self subordination and discursive construction of identity in a total institution," Management Communication Quarterly 14(1) (2000): 90–128.
- Willard, Charles Arthur. Argumentation and the Social Grounds of Knowledge. Tuscaloosa, AL: University of Alabama Press, 1982. ISBN 978-0817300968
- Willard, Charles Arthur. A Theory of Argumentation. Tuscaloosa, AL: University of Alabama Press, 1989. ISBN 978-0817304270
- Willard, Charles Arthur. Liberalism and the Problem of Knowledge: A New Rhetoric for Modern Democracy. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 1996. ISBN 978-0226898452
All links retrieved April 30, 2022.
- Critical Theory, Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
- The Frankfurt School and Critical Theory Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
- "Theory: Death Is Not the End" N+1 magazine's short history of academic Critical Theory.
- Critical Legal Thinking A Critical Legal Studies website which uses Critical Theory in an analysis of law and politics.
- L. Corchia, Jürgen Habermas. A Bibliography: works and studies (1952-2013), Pisa, Edizioni Il Campano – Arnus University Books, 2013, 606 pages.
- Guide to the Critical Theory Offprint Collection. Special Collections and Archives, The UC Irvine Libraries, Irvine, California.
- Guide to the Critical Theory Institute Audio and Video Recordings, University of California, Irvine. Special Collections and Archives, The UC Irvine Libraries, Irvine, California.
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