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05 Aug 2003
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DescriptionReviewsContentsAuthors

This book examines the intellectual contribution made by Frankfurt School Critical Theory to our understanding of modern life. Thematically organized and offering a strong mix of historical and contemporary material, it considers the work of both the first and second generation. While the work of the latter is often taken to exceed that of the former, the author suggests that insights gleaned by both, regarding the human subject, offer a significant alternative to post-modern ideas.


Description

This book examines the intellectual contribution made by Frankfurt School Critical Theory to our understanding of modern life. Thematically organized and offering a strong mix of historical and contemporary material, it considers the work of both the first and second generation. While the work of the latter is often taken to exceed that of the former, the author suggests that insights gleaned by both, regarding the human subject, offer a significant alternative to post-modern ideas.


Reviews

'How offers something new and valuable. The book's charm flows from the generosity of its authors enthusiasm combined with a near-faultless consideration of the reader's needs. Short enough to be unintimidating yet long enough to deal with the expository demands of technically difficult material... here is a book to excite teachers and students.' - John Parker, University of Wales, Swansea, The Times Higher Education Supplement


Contents

Foreword
Introduction
PART 1: HISTORICAL CONTOURS
Early Days, Early Doubts: From Optimism to Ambiguity
Disillusion and the Rise of the Nietzschean Streak
The Reconstruction of Critical Theory: From Ideology Critique to Communicative Reason
PART 2: SUBSTANTIVE IDEAS: THE FIRST GENERATION
Rationalisation as Reification
Critical Theory, the Family and the Narcissistic Personality
PART 3: SUBSTANTIVE IDEAS: THE SECOND GENERATION
Overcoming the Impasse: Habermas's Reconstruction of Critical Theory
Critical Theory and Postmodernism
PART 4: CONCLUSION
Why Read Critical Theory?
Further Reading
Bibliography


Authors

ALAN HOW is Curriculum Leader for undergraduate sociology and Course Leader for the Masters programme at University College Worcester. His previous book is The Habermas-Gadamer Debate and the Nature of the Social (1995).