Critical Theory, Marxism and Modernity

Critical Theory, Marxism and Modernity

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In this magisterial work, Douglas Kellner brings new light to bear upon the development and contemporary implications of critical theory.The origins of critical theory, he argues, were connected to the transition from classical to state-organized capitalism. While some of the perspectives of critical theory are vital to social analysis today, in other basic respects the approach of critical theory must be updated to be able to confront the changes which have intervened in Western society over the past quarter of a century. The dialectical revision of Marxian theory carried out by the Frankfurt authors must now be applied to their own works to generate a critical interpretation of today's social world. This, Kellner argues, requires a reassessment of the previous critical theory analysis of contemporary capitalism through new perspectives which take account of developments in consumer, media, technological, cultural and other spheres of what Kellner calls 'techno-capitalism'. This revision and updating of critical theory constitutes a positive intervention in the debates over postmodernism. This book will be of great interest to students and professionals in sociology, politics, cultural studies and more

Product details

  • Paperback | 280 pages
  • 152 x 229mm | 471g
  • Polity Press
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • index
  • 0745604404
  • 9780745604404

Table of contents

Preface and Acknowledgements. Part 1: Theory, Politics, and History: 1. 1. Critical Theory and Modernity. 1. 2. Critical Theory and the Crisis of Marxism. 1. 3. The Institute for Social Research. Part 2: From Supradisciplinary Materialism to Critical Theory: 2. 1. Supradisciplinary Materialism. 2. 2. Toward a Materialist Social Psychology. 2. 3. Traditional and Critical Theory. Part 3: State, Society, Economy: New Theories of Capitalism and Fascism: 3. 1. Political Sociology and Political Economy. 3. 2. From Market to Monopoly / State Capitalism. 3. 3. Fascism. 3. 4. Fragments of a Theory of Society. Part 4: From Dialectic of Enlightenment to the Authoritarian Personality: Critical Theory in the 1940s: 4. 1 Science, Reason and Dialectic of Enlightenment. 4. 2. Eclipse of Reason. 4. 3. Critical Theory, the Proletariat and Politics. 4. 4. Studies in Prejudice and the Return to Germany. Part 5: From 'Authentic Art' to the Culture of Industries: Critical Theory and the Dialectics of Culture: 5. 1. Dialectics of Culture. 5. 2. Critical Theory and the Culture Industry. 5. 3. New Critical Perspectives on Commodities, Needs and Consumption. Part 6: From the Consumer Society to Postmodernism: Critical Theory and the Vicissitudes of Capitalism: 6. 1. Critical Theory and the Consumer Society. 6. 2. New Critical Perspectives on Commodities, Needs and Consumption. 6. 3. Critical Theory, Modernity and Post-Modernity. Part 7: Techno-Capitalism: 7. 1. Technology, Capitalism and Domination. 7. 2. The Capitalist State. 7. 3. Toward a New Crisis Theory: Habermas and Offe. Part 8: Theory and Practice: The Politics of Critical Theory: 8. 1. Critical Theory and Radical Politics. 8. 2. Techno-Capitalism, Crisis and Social Transformation. 8. 3. New Social Movements and Socialist Politics. 8. 4. For Supradisciplinary Radical Social Theory with a Practical Intent. Notes. more