In the humanities and social sciences, critical theory is a term applied to new theoretical developments in a variety of fields, informed by structuralism, post-structuralism, deconstruction, Marxist theory, feminist theory, psychoanalysis, and several other areas of thought.
The sometimes nebulous concept of critical theory encompasses many related developments in literary theory (which is often a rough synonym) and cultural studies, aesthetics, theoretical sociology , social theory, and continental philosophy more generally. It should be noted however, that usage of this term varies and is contentious. While there is no consensus about what to call it, there can be little doubt of the existence of a whole discourse, or set of overlapping discourses, to which the term 'critical theory' is often used to refer.
It is often simply referred to as "theory".
As the diversity of its influences suggests, it is a largely interdisciplinary subject, and the body of works that are said to comprise critical therory is invoked in many fields. Although many things classified and cited as being critical theory predate the 1960s, it was only in the 60s that they began to become recognised as important to work in the humanities, particularly in the study of literature.
Although the Frankfurt School referred to their project as critical theory, their works only make up a small section of the overall body of theoretical work within the humanities that is classified here. It is, however, the only work than can be uncontentiously identified under the rubric 'critical theory'.
There are 6 subcategories to this category.
Articles in category "Critical theory"
There are 21 articles in this category.