9th Conference European Sociological Association

RN29 Social Theory

2009-09-04 13:30:00 2009-09-04 15:00:00 Friday, 4 September 13:30 - 15:00 Critical Theory: Its Past and its Future Building AA, AA.326

Ideological exploitation of critical theory

It is well known, that the essential task and objective of the critical sociology since its origins has been and still remains elucidating (exposing) concealed ideological implications and mechanisms of domination and manipulation incorporated in different social phenomenon: social institutions (religious, political, ideological), epistemologies, axiological systems and so on. In other words, the ultimate task of critical sociology has always been to achieve (attain) the theoretical, conceptual context and more generally discourse, which allows social communication free of any violence, manipulation, control, that is ultimately and truly democratic communication. The examples (patterns) of such endeavors to construct, if not ideal, at least an optimal discourse (or at least conceptual context) are well known and justifiably recognized as essential stages in the history of critical theory. And each of these endeavors met the certain socio-cultural reality and responded that reality, its character. It is obvious, that Max Horkheimer's Critical Theory of society and Theodor Adorno's Negative Dialectics, and then Habermass' Theory of communicative action had much and importnt influence on theoretical and ideologicl discources, and consequently on political discources and practices. However it is easy to notice that the (ideological and institutional) mechanisms and instruments of domination and manipulation display an ability of adaptation and that of adjustment to the mechanisms and instruments exposing and destroying them. Mechanisms of domination and manipulation demonstrate very effective assimilation and exploitation of potentialities of critical theory, transforming the latter into ideological and political instruments of concealed violence. So the subject of our paper is to consider the question of what requirements must respond the critical discourse in order its potentiality, and its critical forces will not be turned against either its essence or its objectives.