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Herbert Marcuse's Negations is both a radical critique of capitalist modernity and a model of materialist dialectical thinking. In a series of essays, originally written in the period stretching from the 1930s to 1960s, Marcuse takes up the presupposed categories that have, and continue to, ground thought and action in our administered society: liberalism, industrialism, individualism, hedonism, aggression. This book is both a testament to a great thinker and a still vital strand of thought in the comprehension and critique of the modern organized world. It is essential reading for younger scholars and a radical reminder for those steeped in the tradition of a critical theory of society. With a brilliance of conception combined with an insistence on the material conditions of thought and action, this book speaks both to the particular contents engaged and to the fundamental grounds of any critique of organized modernity.
Critical theory has left an indelible mark on postwar social thought. But what are the relations between critical theory and 'the cultural turn' ? How did critical theory inform later French critical theorists, such as Lefebvre, Barthes and Baudrillard? This accomplished and accessible book: - Demonstrates the origins of critical theory in the Marxian analysis of the capitalist mode of production and Freudian psychoanalysis - Clearly explains the main achievements of critical theory - Elucidates how critical theory defines culture as a system that constrains and alienates the individual - Explores the potential for social change and personal emancipation in the critical heritage. The author locates the importance of myth and reason, the significance of sexuality, the place of work, the difference between art and entertainment, the nature of everyday life and the relationship between knowledge and action. The result is a lucid and informative text which will appeal to all students interested in the critical traditions of social thought.
Politics as Radical Creation examines the meaning of democratic practice through the critical social theory of the Frankfurt School. It provides an understanding of democratic politics as a potentially performative good-in-itself, undertaken not just to the extent that it seeks to achieve a certain extrinsic goal, but also in that it functions as a medium for the expression of creative human impulses. Christopher Holman develops this potential model through a critical examination of the political philosophies of Herbert Marcuse and Hannah Arendt. Holman argues that, while Arendt and Marcuse’s respective theorizations each ultimately restrict the potential scope of creative human expression, their juxtaposition – which has not been previously explored – results in a more comprehensive theory of democratic existence, one that is uniquely able to affirm the creative capacities of the human being. Yielding important theoretical results that will interest scholars of each theorist and of theories of democracy more generally, Politics as Radical Creation provides a valuable means for rethinking the nature of contemporary democratic practice.
The writings of the Frankfurt school, in particular of Horkheimer, Adorno, Marcuse, and Jurgen Habermas, caught the imagination of the radical movements of the 1960s and 1970s and became a key element in the Marxism of the New Left. Partly due to their rise to prominence during the political turmoil of the 1960s, the work of these critical theorists has been the subject of continuing controversy in both political and academic circles. However, their ideas are frequently misunderstood. In this major work, now available from Polity Press, David Held presents a much-needed introduction to, and evaluation of, critical theory. Some of the major themes he considers are critical theory's relation to Marx's critique of political economy, Freudian psychoanalysis, aesthetics and the philosophy of history. There is also an extended discussion of critical theory's substantive contribution to the analysis of capitalism, culture, the family, the individual, as well as its contribution to epistemology and methodology.
Reading across the whole range of Habermas' work, this book traces the development of the theory of communicative reason from its inception to its defence against postmodernism. Bernstein's analyses are always problem centred and thematic rather than textual, making this a major contribution to the critical literature on Habermas.
The corporate and the social are crucial themes of our times. In the first decade of the twenty-first century, both individual lives and society were shaped by capitalist crisis and the rise of social media. But what marks the distinctively social character of "social media"? And how does it relate to the wider social and economic context of contemporary capitalism? The concept of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is based on the idea that a socially responsible capitalism is possible; this suggests that capitalist media corporations can not only enable social interaction and cooperation but also be socially responsible. This book provides a critical and provocative perspective on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in media and communication industries. It examines both the academic discourse on CSR and actual corporate practices in the media sector, offering a double critique that reveals contradictions between corporate interests and social responsibilities. Marisol Sandoval’s political economic analysis of Apple, AT&T, Google, HP, Microsoft, News Corp, The Walt Disney Company and Vivendi shows that media and communication in the twenty-first century are confronted with fundamental social responsibility challenges. From software patents and intellectual property rights to privacy on the Internet, from working conditions in electronics manufacturing to hidden flows of eWaste – this book encourages the reader to explore the multifaceted social (ir)responsibilities that shape commercial media landscapes today. It makes a compelling argument for thinking beyond the corporate in order to envision and bring about truly social media. It will interest students and scholars of media studies, cultural industry studies, sociology, information society studies, organization studies, political economy, business and management.
The SAGE Handbook of Frankfurt School Critical Theory expounds the development of critical theory from its founding thinkers to its contemporary formulations in an interdisciplinary setting. It maps the terrain of a critical social theory, expounding its distinctive character vis-a-vis alternative theoretical perspectives, exploring its theoretical foundations and developments, conceptualising its subject matters both past and present, and signalling its possible future in a time of great uncertainty. Taking a distinctively theoretical, interdisciplinary, international and contemporary perspective on the topic, this wide-ranging collection of chapters is arranged thematically over three volumes: Volume I: Key Texts and Contributions to a Critical Theory of Society Volume II: Themes Volume III: Contexts This Handbook is essential reading for scholars and students in the field, showcasing the scholarly rigor, intellectual acuteness and negative force of critical social theory, past and present.

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