Despite profound differences, both the German Historical School and the critical theory of the Frankfurt School have in common a theoretical and cultural heritage in…
Despite profound differences, both the German Historical School and the critical theory of the Frankfurt School have in common a theoretical and cultural heritage in Central European traditions of social thought and philosophy. Although both schools often are perceived as quintessentially German traditions of economic and social research, their methodological presuppositions and critical intent diverge strongly. Since the objective of the Frankfurt School was to carry the theoretical critique initiated by Marx into the twentieth century, and since its members did so on a highly abstract level of theoretical criticism, the suggestion may be surprising that in terms of their respective research agendas, there was a common denominator between the German Historical School and the Frankfurt School critical theory. To be sure, as will become apparent, the common ground was rather tenuous and indirect. We must ask, then: in what respects did their theoretical and analytical foundations and orientations overlap? How did the German Historical School, as a nineteenth-century tradition of economic thinking, influence the development of the Frankfurt School?
Particularly in governance and policy processes, critique is embedded in highly institutionalized formats. In this chapter, the authors apply Boltanski’s concept of…
Particularly in governance and policy processes, critique is embedded in highly institutionalized formats. In this chapter, the authors apply Boltanski’s concept of critical tests to examine accepted forms of expression in the context of an institutionalized policy setting, the annual Conferences of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. The authors find that different policy actors’ uses of critique reflect embedded field positions and interests. While marginal actors drew upon existential tests to construct radical critique, the highly ritualized performance of critique called into question its efficacy in promoting change within the overall structure of a highly institutionalized event. The authors discuss inroads to studying the relations between critique, power, and microfoundations of institutions.
On Justification: Economies of Worth (Boltanski & Thévenot, 1991/2006) was a synthetic and comprehensive parsing of common goods, goods that could and had to be justified…
On Justification: Economies of Worth (Boltanski & Thévenot, 1991/2006) was a synthetic and comprehensive parsing of common goods, goods that could and had to be justified in public. In response to Bourdieu’s critical sociology, they rather provided a robust and disciplined sociology of critique, the situated requirements of justification. They refused power and violence as integral to the operability of justification. They emphasized the ways in which conventions of worth afforded coordination, not their constitution of or by domination. They refused to make either capitalism, or the state, into primary motors of social order. Indeed, they refused social sphere, structure, or group as the ground of the good. They emphasized the cognitive capacities of agents. There was no passion, no desire, no bodily affect in these justified worlds. There wasn’t even any account of production of value, of children, or of money. And while they recognized the metaphysical aspect of the good and even used Christianity as a template for one of their cités, they rigorously excluded religion. The theory was designed to analyze moments of controversy, not quiescence or quietude. In his subsequent work, Boltanski aimed to address these absences. In this essay, we examine how Boltanski sought to restore love, violence, religion, production, and institution across five texts: Love and Justice as Competences (1990/2012), The New Spirit of Capitalism, co-authored with Eve Chiapello (1999/2007), The Foetal Condition: A Sociology of Engendering and Abortion (2004/2013), On Critique: A Sociology of Emancipation (2009/2011), and La «Collection», Une Forme Neuve du Capitalisme – La Mise en Valeur Economique du Passé et ses Effets (2014) co-authored with Arnaud Esquerre.
Social critique is an enduring and pervasive feature of social life. It is deeply embedded in the fabric of modern societies, and certainly seems alive and well today…
Social critique is an enduring and pervasive feature of social life. It is deeply embedded in the fabric of modern societies, and certainly seems alive and well today: more- as well as less-institutionalized forms of critically monitoring societal and political processes through the social sciences and mass media are being supplemented by moral entrepreneurs, public intellectuals, and forms of activist protest; furthermore, this protest is no longer confined to demonstration marches, but instead also makes creative use of new technologies. In any case, critique is a matter of practical engagement. Therefore, as authors like Michael Walzer (2000) have argued, while social critique might depend on certain faculties of judgment, it definitely is not in need of a theory.
This paper seeks to pinpoint the importance of critical research that gets to problematise social entrepreneurship's self‐evidences, myths, and political truth‐effects…
This paper seeks to pinpoint the importance of critical research that gets to problematise social entrepreneurship's self‐evidences, myths, and political truth‐effects, thus creating space for novel and more radical enactments.
A typology mapping four types of critical research gets developed. Each critique's merits and limitations are illustrated through existing research. Also, the contours of a fifth form of critique get delineated which aims at radicalising social entrepreneurship through interventionist research.
The typology presented entails myth‐busting (problematisation through empirical facts), critique of power‐effects (problematisation through denormalising discourses, ideologies, symbols), normative critique (problematisation through moral reflection), and critique of transgression (problematisation through practitioners' counter‐conducts).
The paper makes it clear that the critique of social entrepreneurship must not be judged according to what it says but to whether it creates the conditions for novel articulations and enactments of social entrepreneurship.
It is argued that practitioners' perspectives and viewpoints are indispensible for challenging and extending scientific doxa. It is further suggested that prospective critical research must render practitioners' perspective an even stronger focus.
The contribution is the first of its kind which maps critical activities in the field of social entrepreneurship, and which indicates how the more radical possibilities of social entrepreneurship can be fostered through interventionist research.
Since the teaching of architecture is now carried out in architectural studios with the critique session as the core of its assessment, the aim of this paper is to analyse…
Since the teaching of architecture is now carried out in architectural studios with the critique session as the core of its assessment, the aim of this paper is to analyse architecture students’ attitudes, satisfaction levels and experiences in terms of different critique and assessment methodologies.
The study relies on two main approaches – the literature and questionnaire survey. In addition, the study relies on the author’s personal observations in design studio teaching and as a practitioner of the method.
It is important to establish clear goals for design critique and assessment and to include different critique methodologies – self critique, peer critique, group critique and professional critique. All such methodologies should be undertaken in an interactive environment that facilitates communication and exchange of scholarly thoughts among students, instructors and other professionals.
The study involves the investigation of students’ responses and reactions to the various critique methodologies and their underlying practices in the context of Egypt. This is based on the questionnaire survey undertaken by the author in 2016. The questionnaire is designed to generate both qualitative and quantitative data.
This study aims to understand the students’ perspective about their design experiences with regard to studio-based learning and its impact on their education.
While the topic of design critique about students has been studied heavily in the Western world, there is a lack of similar information in most Egyptian universities. To fill this gap, the Architecture Program at Port Said University was closely observed.
In this article, we make the point that managerial domination as described by pragmatic sociology is an appropriate notion to make sense of complex forms of domination in…
In this article, we make the point that managerial domination as described by pragmatic sociology is an appropriate notion to make sense of complex forms of domination in contemporary organizations. Based on Lemieux’s work on ‘grammars’, we complement approaches of complex domination put forward by pragmatic sociologists such as Boltanski and Thévenot. We illustrate these ideas by means of an ethnographic study of the financial intermediation industry. Our analysis sketches out an alternative conceptualization of power in such environments, and by so doing, helps us delineate the features that characterize complex financial domination. We conclude by arguing that this type of domination is the result of specific contradictions inherent to the grammars of financial intermediation.
The main purpose of this essay is to reflect on the nature of justification. To this end, the analysis draws on Luc Boltanski and Laurent Thévenot’s De la justification…
The main purpose of this essay is to reflect on the nature of justification. To this end, the analysis draws on Luc Boltanski and Laurent Thévenot’s De la justification. Les économies de la grandeur 1 [On Justification: Economies of Worth 2 ]. More specifically, the article aims to examine the extent to which Boltanski and Thévenot’s conceptual framework, widely known as ‘the sociology of critical capacity’, 3 permits us to demonstrate that processes of justification 4 are vital to the symbolically mediated construction – that is, to both the conceptual and the empirical organization 5 – of social life. In order to prove the validity of this contention, the inquiry explores the meaning of ‘justification’ in relation to the following dimensions: (1) existence, (2) ethics, (3) justice, (4) perspective, (5) presuppositions, (6) agreement, (7) common worlds, (8) critique, (9) practice and (10) justification itself. By way of conclusion, the article maintains that processes of justification constitute an essential ingredient of human reality.
To demonstrate that, at its core, Marx’s critical theory is not a critique of a mode of class exploitation that distorts modernity, undertaken from a standpoint that…
To demonstrate that, at its core, Marx’s critical theory is not a critique of a mode of class exploitation that distorts modernity, undertaken from a standpoint that affirms labor, but rather one that uncovers and analyzes a unique form of social mediation and domination that structures modernity itself as a historically specific form of social life.
Critical reconstruction, interpretation, and application of Marx’s critique of political economy as developed in the Grundrisse and Capital, to the massive global transformations of the past four decades.
Marx’s critical analysis is well-suited to function as the foundation for a theory that systematically illuminates modern society in the 21st century. It is more conducive to grasping the contemporary world than traditional Marxism or most versions of post-Marxism.
The historical transformations of the past century suggest the central significance of a critique of capitalism for an adequate critical theory today. Such a critique must be capable of grasping the core of a social formation that is generative of a peculiar dynamic of identity and non-identity, of pointing beyond itself while reasserting itself. It indicates that the realization of the possibility of the abolition of proletarian labor is a necessary response to a deep structural crisis of capitalism.
Allen’s critique of current Frankfurt School theory presents the joint methods of “problematizing genealogy” and “metanormative contextualism” as alternative for the…
Allen’s critique of current Frankfurt School theory presents the joint methods of “problematizing genealogy” and “metanormative contextualism” as alternative for the normative grounding of critical theory. Through a close reading of Allen’s critique, I investigate whether Allen’s identification of philosophy of history is an accurate diagnosis of the problems of the normative grounding of current Frankfurt School theory, whether Allen’s distinction between metanormative and normative levels is tenable for critical theory, and whether Allen’s methodology constitutes a viable alternative for the normative grounding of critical theory. As an alternative, I suggest scrutinizing the grounding strategies of current Frankfurt School theory to expand beyond their genealogy in Enlightenment thought, and address the question of what made the affirmative form of thought underlying current Frankfurt School theory a historical possibility. Expanding on Allen’s reiteration of the mediated nature of categories, I suggest that the stark contrast between forms of thought underlying first- and second-generation Frankfurt School critical theory needs to be understood not in relation to philosophy of history but against the backdrop of the specific context of the European historical present that informs its normative universe.