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Foundation of Critical Social Theory

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The critical social theory clearly begins with the revival of the left Hegelianism. Requiring the ideological and creative recovery under the new conditions of the roots of Marx’s thought in German idealism. They incorporated the rigidization of Marxism into the scientism and ideological systems, a series of competitive philosophical ideas initiated by Schopenhauer, Lieberman, Nietzsche, Dilthey, Husserl and Simmel. 

The activation of the left-Hegalian heritage in a manner commensurate with the changed conditions in 1920-1930 was confidently taken up and carried out by the Frankfurt School. Therefore, Critical social theory, often also referred to as the Frankfurt School. These Critical theorist rejects traditional Marxism’s perspectives on ‘economic first’ and ‘proletarian first’, however Critical theorist maintained Marxism’s critique on the ‘Ideologies control’ and ‘State Power’ perspective. 

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In Douglas Kellner interpretation, Critical theory is based on Hegel’s critical concept, while criticizing one-sided positions (such as technical phobias and technical phobias), and developing more complex dialectical views, rejecting and neglecting the oppressive or false features of a position, At the same time, the aspects of positive and liberating are used. 

Critical theory adopts the concept of Hegel theory, and attempts to conceptualize the whole of a certain field by developing the overall theory, but it is important to establish connections and clarify contradictions and overcome idealism or overall theory. A critical educational theory also draws on Marx’s critique, emphasizes the importance of critique of ideology, and analyzes topics such as education in mainstream social relations and political economic systems. 

According to Piet Strydom, Critical social theorist thought society is a unity of economic unity, transforming culture, politics, democracy and everything else into a functional component of capitalism. It is seen as a development from competition to omnipotence. A keen insight into the social significance of cultural content is clearly contradictory or ineffective.

Brian J. Caterino describes the key method of critical theory as internal criticism, which focuses on the internal tensions of theoretical or social forms in analysis. Using intrinsic critique, critical theorists identify internal contradictions in society and thought to analyze and identify (a) the prospects for progressive social change and (b) social and conscious structures that contribute to human governance. James Bohman further points out that critical theory involves normative dimensions, either by criticizing certain universal values of society, norms or theory, or by criticizing it with its own value of support.

Freire P. stated that effective education is a means by which oppressed groups can be aware of their oppression and empower people to engage with the world and promote change. Critical social theory can serve as a meta-theoretical framework, and it has become a valuable perspective through which to observe, criticize and solve health and educational differences. Notable features including the Freire CST account include dialogue and problem composition. 

Bennett L, Bergin M, Wells JS further pointed out that Dialogue and problem composition enable people to reflect on themselves and focus on their experiences. The use of discussion can reinforce a behavior change intervention. It helps to objectively view social phenomena in the context of historical and social practice. 

They thought that Critical social theory is a process that combines elements of enlightenment, empowerment, and liberation. It can free individuals from the constraints of domination and distorted communication by creating knowledge that further promotes autonomy and responsibility. From this perspective, education no longer as a series of interventions since the students are not considered as “objects” anymore but participate as active “participants”. 

Shor also said that critical social theory in education does not require students having exacts answers to difficult social questions before criticizing. Critical social theory does not always provide blueprint solutions for specific problems, such as racism (how to “end” racial discrimination?), but rather as a question, asking questions about common answers instead of answering questions. In other words, part of the solution can be found in how the problem is asked.

In implementation of critical social theory in education, Douglas Kellner suggested that education should be more interaction and more participatory session, such as the developing convivial list-serves, the collective building of Web-sites, on-line discussion, and collaborative computer-based research projects. Used for learning and teaching, Multimedia networks, books and printed materials should be mixed to use since he believed that it is important to draw upon in an experimental and supplemental way all of these dimensions of the educational process to restructure and democratize education. 

He also suggested specific educational reconstruction should be based on location, age, student needs and interests, in a specific local and national context, classroom teaching methods, books and reading printed materials, multimedia and internet education. The idea behind multiculturalism is that the integration of pluralistic forms a new subjectivity in life experience. The aim of radical pedagogy is to cultivate the subject of seeking justice, more harmonious social relations and changing the relationship with the natural world.  

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