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Rethinking Critical Theory

Rethinking Critical Theory
Emancipation in the Age of Global Social Movements

Other Titles in:
Philosophy | Social Theory

June 1993 | 224 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd
In Rethinking Critical Theory, Larry Ray effectively outlines the fundamental concepts of Habermas' Critical Theory. 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 its relation to global social change. Ray argues that, on the one hand, modernity is poised between the threat of authoritarian politics of identity, and on the other, it is between the promise of opening up new democratic communicative organizations. The analysis is illustrated by a detailed discussion of post-communist eastern Europe, Islamic revivalism in Iran, and the liberation struggle in South Africa. Exploring the potential for critical and emancipatory politics of social movements, Rethinking Critical Theory will be of interest to students and scholars in social theory, philosophy, sociology, and development studies. "Author Larry J. Ray makes important contributions to the rethinking of both critical theory and social movement theory." -Contemporary Sociology
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

Larry Ray

I joined the University of Kent in 1998. Before that I was in the Department of Sociology at Lancaster University. In 1996, I was visiting scholar, Victoria University Wellington, New Zealand. At Kent I was Head of the Department of Sociology and then SSPSSR between 1999-2001, and Sub-Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences between 2009-11. I am currently Director of Research for SSPSSR. More About Author

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ISBN: 9780803983649