Critical theory has left an indelible mark on postwar social thought. But what are the relations between critical theory and 'the cultural turn' ? How did critical theory inform later French critical theorists, such as Lefebvre, Barthes and Baudrillard? This accomplished and accessible book: - Demonstrates the origins of critical theory in the Marxian analysis of the capitalist mode of production and Freudian psychoanalysis - Clearly explains the main achievements of critical theory - Elucidates how critical theory defines culture as a system that constrains and alienates the individual - Explores the potential for social change and personal emancipation in the critical heritage. The author locates the importance of myth and reason, the significance of sexuality, the place of work, the difference between art and entertainment, the nature of everyday life and the relationship between kwledge and action. The result is a lucid and informative text which will appeal to all students interested in the critical traditions of social thought.
Tim Dant has worked at Leeds, The Open, Manchester Metropolitan, East Anglia and now Lancaster Universities. After an early career as a social policy researcher, he has specialized in the sociology of culture and particularly cultural and critical theory. His PhD, and first book, was on the sociology of knowledge and he has also written two books on material culture ('Material Culture in the Social World' and 'Materiality and Society') and one on the links between German and French critical theory ('Critical Social Theory', SAGE 2003). His most recent book is 'Television and the Moral Imaginary' and he is currently working on a critical phenomenology.