Contemporary Critical Theory and Methodology
By Piet Strydom
Routledge – 2011 – 258 pages
Series: Social Research Today
Contemporary critical theory’s methodology is currently taking shape under the impact both of transformative internal develops within the discipline, and of external pressures and incentives arising from a series of international debates.
In this book, Piet Strydom presents a groundbreaking treatment of critical theory’s methodology, using as a base the reconstruction of the left-Hegelian tradition, the relation between critical theory and pragmatism, and the associated metatheoretical implications. He assesses extant positions, presents a detailed yet comprehensive restatement and development of critical theory’s methodology, compares it with a wide range of current concepts of social criticism and critique, and analyzes leading critical theorists’ exemplary applications of it. Besides immanent transcendence and the sign-mediated epistemology common to the left-Hegelian tradition, special attention is given to the abductive imagination, reconstruction, normative and causal explanation, explanatory mechanisms and the communicative framework which enables critical theory to link up with its addressees and the public.
Contemporary Critical Theory and Methodology is recommended reading for senior undergraduate and postgraduate students, as well as professionals working within disciplines such as sociology, philosophy, political science, critical theory and cultural studies.
Part I: Metatheoretical foundations 1. Classical Foundations 2. Appropriation of the Classical Foundations 3. Contemporary Critical Theory and Pragmatism 4. Immanent Transcendence as Key Concept Part II: Methodology 5. Contemporary Critical Theorists on Methodology 6. The Methodological Framework of Critical Theory 7. Varieties of Critique: Critical Theory Compared 8. Methodology in Action
Piet Strydom is Senior Lecturer in the Department of Sociology, School of Sociology and Philosophy, at University College Cork, Ireland. His research interests include areas such as critical theory, the history and philosophy of the social sciences, and cognitive social science, in which he has noted publications.