The Politics of Critical Theory: Language/Discourse/Society

Overview

In this book, the term "Critical Theory" has a double meaning. Author George Snedeker refers to both the work of the Frankfurt School and other neomarxist social theorists as well as any recent work in literary criticism. Using "Critical Theory," Snedeker explores the continuing relevance of new marxist social and political theory. He provides an evaluation of the contributions to contemporary social theory of the main figures of Western Marxism, including Gerog Lukacs, Edward W. Said, Raymond Williams, Jürgen ...
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Overview

In this book, the term "Critical Theory" has a double meaning. Author George Snedeker refers to both the work of the Frankfurt School and other neomarxist social theorists as well as any recent work in literary criticism. Using "Critical Theory," Snedeker explores the continuing relevance of new marxist social and political theory. He provides an evaluation of the contributions to contemporary social theory of the main figures of Western Marxism, including Gerog Lukacs, Edward W. Said, Raymond Williams, Jürgen Habermas, and Oliver C. Cox.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780761828150
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group Inc
  • Publication date: 3/15/2004
  • Pages: 128
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.30 (d)

Meet the Author

George R. Snedeker has a Ph.M. and a Ph.D. in Sociology from the City University of New York. He is Assistant Professor of Sociology at SUNY College at Old Westbury.
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Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Foreword Chapter 2 Preface Chapter 3 Acknowledgements Chapter 4 Western Marxism and the Problem of History Chapter 5 The Politics of Epistemology: Gerog Lukacs and the Critique of Irrationalism Chapter 6 Edward Said and the Critique of Orientalism Chapter 7 Between Humanism and Social Theory: The Cultural Criticism of Raymond Williams Chapter 8 Defending the Enlightenment: Jürgen Habermas and the Theory of Communicative Reason Chapter 9 Capitalism, Racism and the Struggle for Democracy Chapter 10 Index
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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 13, 2007

    At Last: An Accessible Guide

    The remarkable virtue of this book is its clarity. While George Snedeker¿s The Politics of Critical Theory may suggest a work directed at specialists, it is not. The author¿s academic credentials should in no way deter the nonspecialist reader. Like those of the best teachers, they serve to welcome both students and a general audience who, like all mortals, as Aristotle put it, ¿by nature desire to know.¿ In a possibly bewildering territory to the curious who may have wondered for years what thinkers like Georg Lukacs and Edward Said, Raymond Williams, Jürgen Habermas, and Oliver C. Cox have actually been thinking and writing about but never felt they had the time 'or audacity' to look them up, George Snedeker¿s impeccably jargon-free prose offers an accessible guide. To those more closely allied to the fields of literary criticism and sociology, this book provides a unique teaching tool. Its author wrote it with his sociology students in mind. The book also serves as a useful reference guide, a vade mecum to major contemporary figures on the subject, and a Marxist perspective on advanced progressive analysis. My first inspection led me to authors I was most interested in reacquainting myself with or learning more about, namely, Georg Lukacs and Edward Said. Snedeker¿s approach was so inviting that I gradually found myself absorbed by more and more of the text. It brought in cogent references to Hegel, Merleau-Ponty, Perry Anderson, Theodor Adorno, Herbert Marcuse, and focused coherent appraisals of their thought in relation to his topic. In his preface, Snedeker writes: ¿Literary criticism is important to sociology because it brings to the forefront of debate the question of the ideology of the text. . . . I demonstrate that the link between culture and society is where ideology is both conveyed and contested.¿ At this time in our so-called civilization, when United States power seems to have run amok and what Naomi Klein calls ¿Disaster Capitalism¿ shows an unbridled capitalism running aground, when the ¿fight against terrorism¿ has spread a reign of terror of its own, it becomes a kind of necessary, intellectual therapy to exercise one¿s remaining rights to freedom of speech and inquiry. Like a muscle that will atrophy with neglect, it can still be regenerated with proper use. We need to examine sensible alternatives to our current dilemma and to our unremitting, cul-de-sac remedies that are proving worse than any of the diseases they propose to address. The Politics of Critical Theory shows us that there are other horizons offering possibilities of survival, of understanding both our literature and our society in alternative ways, and that there are not only other paths but also glimmerings of another line of dawn.

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