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Rethinking Critical Theory

Rethinking Critical Theory
Emancipation in the Age of Global Social Movements

June 1993 | 224 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd
In this broad-ranging text, Ray assesses Critical Theory, particularly that of J[um]urgen Habermas. Developing an analysis of such ideas as the public sphere, communicative action and the colonization of the lifeworld, he examines the insights that Critical Theory can offer global analysis and the challenges to Critical Theory from global social change.

In a detailed discussion of post-communist eastern Europe, Islamic revivalism in Iran and the liberation struggle in South Africa, the author argues that modernity is poised between the threat of authoritarian politics of identity on one hand and the promise of opening up new democratic communicative organizations on the other.

Marx, Critical Theory and Social Movements

Authority and Tradition
From Praxis to Communication
Communication and Evolution
Social Movements and the Lifeworld
Legitimation in Peripheral States
The Crisis of State Socialism
Islamic Jacobins
State, 'Race' and Regulation
Modernity's Unfinished Business


`This volume is a preliminary but welcome attempt to extend the analysis of Critical Theory beyond its familiar terrain of Western Europe and North America.... Ray makes a valuable contribution by emphasizing that the colonization of the lifeworld can produce not only movements which challenge the existing system of regulation, but those which aim to protect it as well.... Ray surely has accomplished his modest goal of `opening up analysis to productive interrogation'' - Political Studies

`Will be of interest both to social theorists and to comparative sociologists and while it may be different parts of the book which attract their initial interest, readers will be repaid for following the argument through to its conclusion' - British Journal of Sociology

`Ray's revision of Habermas's critical theory is profound and a success' - Choice

Dated and anti-socialist analysis. Too neo-liberal and capitalist realist.

Mr David Ness
Social Science, Moray College UHI
February 1, 2013

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ISBN: 9780803983649