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Critical Social Theory

Critical Social Theory

First Edition
  • Craig Browne - Vascular Surgery, University of Michigan, MI, USA, University of Sydney, Australia

March 2017 | 216 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd

In this accomplished, sophisticated and up-to-date account of the state of critical social theory today, Craig Browne explores the key concepts in critical theory (like critique, ideology, and alienation), and crucially, goes on to relate them to major contemporary developments such as globalization, social conflict and neo-liberal capitalism.

Critical theory here is not solely the work of Adorno, Horkheimer, Marcuse and Habermas. The book begins with the Frankfurt School but uses this as a base to then explore more contemporary figures such as:

  • Nancy Fraser
  • Axel Honneth
  • Luc Boltanski
  • Cornelius Castoriadis
  • Ulrich Beck
  • Anthony Giddens
  • Pierre Bourdieu
  • Hannah Arendt

A survey of critical social theory for our times, this is an essential guide for students wishing to grasp a critical understanding of social theory in the modern world. 

A New Nexus of Social Change?
From the Critique of Objectification to the Reconceptualization of Alienation
System Integration and Social Disintegration
The End of Immanent Critique?
Positive Liberty and Social Justice
Social Freedom and Social Autonomy

Australian-based sociologist, Craig Browne reconceptualises Critical Theory in order to better understand how diverse social actors attempt to develop autonomous solutions to the contradictions produced by capitalism.

The search for a more just social order is thus intrinsically connected to explaining and critiquing the oppressive workings of capitalist societies. Browne’s analysis of capitalist modernisation uses Critical Theory to do just that, combining elements from Marx’s labour theory of value, Weber’s idea of rationalisation as a process of institutionalisation, Habermas’s theory of communicative action and Honneth’s concept of social freedom.

Dr Stefan Berger
Moving the Social Journal

Sample Materials & Chapters

Browne - Critical Social Theory - Chapter 1

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