Presentation on theme: "Jurgen Habermas German Still Alive (1929-)"— Presentation transcript:
1 Jurgen Habermas German Still Alive (1929-) Second generation FrankfurterOriginally a Marxist, later associated with social reformismPersisting goal: developing the Enlightenment tradition of achieving social progress through rational critique of received ideas and practices
2 Enlightenment Values and the Sociological tradition Enlightenment = the rational critique of received practices will enable social progressMarx = such progress is hampered by ‘false class consciousness’Durkheim = social structures will promote appropriate, i.e. socially rational, norms and valuesButWeber = rational critique is incompatible with adherence to social valuesFoucault = rational critique is a claim to power
3 HABERMAS & CRITICAL THEORY What is Sociology for?Defending the Enlightenment tradition(Cultural) Marxism - FrankfurtValues and Rationality - ‘Praxis’Cognitive Interests –Control, Communication, CriticismDeveloping Weber re (instrumental) rationality and the ‘iron cage’but rejecting Foucault’s claim that rationality is experts’ ideologyDoes the ‘cultural turn’ lead from Marx to Parsons?
4 Cultural Marxism & Knowledge Focus on how social control is maintained through the cultural production of (false) knowledge e.g.Hegemony Term used by A. Gramsci to describe how the domination of one class over another is achieved by a combination of political and ideological means. Although political force, coercion, is always important, the role of ideology in winning the consent of the dominated classes may be even more significant… the latter being more important in capitalist societies.Source: Abercrombie et al Penguin dictionary of Sociology(emphasis added)
5 KNOWLEDGE CONSTITUTING (COGNITIVE) INTERESTS Knowledge Interest Means CriterionEmpirical Control Laws Proofpresumes the capacity to share knowledge: requires↓Hermeneutic Communication Understanding Consensuspresumes the adequacy of available interpretations: requiresCritical Emancipation Ideology critique PraxisThese are the essential, rationally necessary, forms of knowledge
7 SOCIAL RELATIONSHIPS OF KNOWLEDGE Empirical Science Experts/LaityHermeneutic Science Co-InterpretersCritical Science Equal Participants (?)
8 CRITICAL THEORY Goal = Critique of Ideology Ideology = ‘Systematically distorted communication’produces and is produced byDomination
9 THE BASIS OF RATIONAL CRITIQUE Critique is not condemnation but questioningQuestioning is oriented to creating a better societyWhat is the better society?The problem of value-judgements (Weber/Hume)Knowledge versus OpinionCan we identify rational (necessary) social values?Habermas: rationality is achieved through discourse (speech)
10 REQUIREMENTS OF THE IDEAL SPEECH SITUATION IntelligibilityTruthJustificationSincerityall according to Habermas are necessarily presupposed in any interaction setting. Re e.g. the effects of perceived ‘spin’.a) But what would Goffman (or John Bone) say?b) The ISS presupposes a social setting, an ideal speech community, in which these conditions are routinely attainable. Is this realistic?
11 Habermas versus Goffman Is/Should action be guided by the norms ofCommunicative Rationality (Habermas) orDramaturgical Rationality (Goffman)?Goffman: uncritical acceptance of cynical distortions of interaction or recognition of the necessity of ‘honouring the situation’Habermas: emancipating identification of irrational constraints on interaction or naïve acceptance of dominant individualism
12 The IDEAL SPEECH COMMUNITY Exists where:All interested parties can participateAll have the right to speakAll have the right to be heardAll ideas can be critically examinedPower differences are irrelevant to outcomesDecisions are the outcome of unforced consensus
13 Utopianism or RealismIs such a community possible; if not it is a Utopian (unrealistic and therefore irrational) ideal:Marx and Utopianism: Rational critique is rooted in the real (material) conditions of existence. Utopianism is dangerous fantasyIdeology and Ideology critique: but if our understanding is shaped by power-distorted communication our critique will be ideological
14 ‘Gaps’ in the SystemInterstices: gaps in the system enable us to glimpse the possibility of domination-free relationships.Historically: 5th century BC Athens; the agora18th century coffee-houses:World-wide web: unrestrained public forum: ZapatistasVoluntaristic public involvement: NSMsThe intimacies of everyday life: love & friendship
15 ButAthens and slaveryCoffee houses and stock marketsThe web and pornIron Law of Oligarchy‘Private’ violenceAndExpertise; planners and citizensPresentational skills; double-glazing salesmenSectional interests
16 Therefore Critical Theory must indicate not only the potential areas of domination free dialogue but also explain why this potential has not been achieved in modern society
17 Habermas’s Critique of Modernity The ‘empirical’ knowledge interest in control is necessary but now dominates modernity by excluding the hermeneutic and critical interests; re Weber on instrumental rationality i.e. modernity is a ‘one-sided’ rationalityConsequence: Legitimation Crisis: a) Separation of efficiency-led social systems from the normative basis of the lifeworldb) Colonisation of the lifeworld by ‘rational’ systems and technical expertsc) Production of system crises
18 LIFEWORLD (lebenswelt) Phenomenology the world as immediately or directly experienced in the subjectivity of everyday life, as sharply distinguished from the objective “worlds” of the sciences, which employ the methods of the of the mathematical sciences of nature.Source: Encyclopaedia Britannica.Habermas extends this definition to contrast the life-world with the ‘methodically’ driven, impersonal routines of that dominate the social system of modernity e.g. politics, economicsSource: Me
19 HABERMAS versus FOUCAULT Habermas: Knowledge and Power are separable. Emancipation comes through rational, domination-free consensusFoucault: Knowledge and Power are necessarily interlinked. Emancipation comes through the diversity of ideas
Your consent to our cookies if you continue to use this website.