Critical Theory: A Very Short Introduction (Google eBook)

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Oxford University Press, Feb 18, 2011 - Literary Criticism - 144 pages
5 Reviews
Critical Theory emerged in the 1920s from the work of the Frankfurt School, the circle of German-Jewish academics who sought to diagnose-and, if at all possible, cure-the ills of society, particularly fascism and capitalism. In this book, Stephen Eric Bronner provides sketches of leading representatives of the critical tradition (such as George Lukacs and Ernst Bloch, Theodor Adorno and Walter Benjamin, Herbert Marcuse and Jurgen Habermas) as well as many of its seminal texts and empirical investigations. This Very Short Introduction sheds light on the cluster of concepts and themes that set critical theory apart from its more traditional philosophical competitors. Bronner explains and discusses concepts such as method and agency, alienation and reification, the culture industry and repressive tolerance, non-identity and utopia. He argues for the introduction of new categories and perspectives for illuminating the obstacles to progressive change and focusing upon hidden transformative possibilities. Only a critique of critical theory can render it salient for a new age. That is precisely what this very short introduction provides.

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Review: Critical Theory: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions #265)

User Review  - Devon - Goodreads

Helpful in providing context to a class on critical theory, but without the knowledge from that class this book would be incomprehensible as an introduction. The author frequently neglects to define specialized terms and the reader is left to infer what they mean. Read full review

Review: Critical Theory: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions #265)

User Review  - Johannes Bertus - Goodreads

This might be a good book on some level, but as an introduction it fails completely. I wish the editor of the series would remind authors of the difference between academic and popular writing - avoid ... Read full review


what is critical theory?
1 The Frankfurt School
2 A matter of method
3 Alienation and reification
4 Enlightened illusions
5 The utopian laboratory
6 The happy consciousness
7 The great refusal
8 From resignation to renewal
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About the author (2011)

Stephen Eric Bronner is Distinguished Professor of Political Science and Director for Global Relations at the Center for the Study of Genocide and Human Rights, Rutgers University.

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