The Theory of Communicative Action, Volume 2
Juergen Habermas opens Volume 2 with a brilliant reinterpretation of Mead and Durkheim and then develops his own approach to society, combining two hitherto competing paradigms, "system" and "lifeworld." The strength of this combination is then demonstrated in a detailed critique of Parsons's theory of social systems. Concluding with a critical reconstruction of the Weberan and Marxian treatment of modernity and its discontents, Habermas sets a new agenda for the critical theory of contemporary society. The combination of historical and theoretical sweep, analytical acumen and synthetic power, imagination and engagement mark this as one of the great works of twentieth-century social theory.
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abstract action orientations action system action theory actors analysis analyzed aspects assertoric attitude basic behavior bourgeois capitalist cognitive communicative action complex components concept connection consciousness consensus constituted context coordinating critique cultural domains of action Durkheim economic empirical ethics everyday explain expression formal functional gesture Ibid ical identity imperatives individual institutionalization institutions internal interpretation intersubjectivity intuitive knowledge juridification knowledge labor power language legal domination legitimation linguistic Marx Mead Mead's means mechanism medium modern societies monetarization moral motives mutual understanding norms objectivating objects organized Parsons participants pattern pattern variables perspective political possible practice of everyday problem rationalization reaching understanding regulated reification relations religious ritual role sacred sense social integration social system speaker speech acts steering media structural differentiation structures subsystems superego symbolically mediated system and lifeworld systems theory tion tive tradition tural validity claims Weber worldviews