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By Raymond A. Morrow, David D. Brown

Severe thought lines its roots from Marxism, throughout the popular Frankfurt college, to a big selection of nationwide and cultural traditions. Raymond Morrow's publication strains the historical past and descriptions the foremost tenets of serious idea for an undergraduate viewers. He exemplifies the speculation via an research of 2 major social theorists: J[um]urgen Habermas and Anthony Giddens. targeted to this quantity is the emphasis at the hyperlink among serious concept and empirical learn and social technology method, usually regarded as incompatible.

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188) T he preceding chapter made a number of claims about a particular kind of sociological theory defined as critical theory. Why should such claims be taken seriously? In other words, how does one attempt to ground or justify a theoretical approach? To answer such questions, w e need to turn to the fundamental questions of the philosophy of the human and social sciences. In short, before embarking on a discussion of either critiques of positivism or a reconstruction of the approach of critical theory, it is necessary to introduce the basic concepts of metatheory (theory about theory) in relatively neutral terms and without all of the complications involved in defending specific positions and reviewing complex debates.

1988, p. 99; Jary and Jary 1991, pp. 237-8; Honneth 1993, pp. 232-5; Angenot 1979). But the term Frankfurt School is no longer adequate to indicate the range of issues included under the heading of "critical theory* today (Billings 1992; Nielsen 1993a, 1993b). 2. We often will employ the term empiricist where others would write merely empirical. The reason is that in sociology the notion of empirical methods often is associated exclusively with variable analysis, as if ethnographic research was not empirical (an analysis of social reality), and as if participant observation was not an empirical method.

This strategy has both polemical and substantive justifications. Polemically, it is both counterproductive and misleading to conflate the variety of approaches that have been influenced by the Marxian tradition. Substantively, for more than a half century critical theories have rejected many of the most fundamental tenets of the Marxian tradition and have been influenced decisively by a number of non-Marxist contributions. Thus w e would follow those w h o clearly differentiate between any notion of a "Marxist sociology" or "Marxism as science" from critical social theory or critical theories of society (Morrow 1992a).

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