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Critical Theory and Methodology
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Critical Theory and Methodology

  • Raymond A. Morrow - University of Alberta - Edmonton, Canada, University of Alberta, Canada
  • David D. Brown - University of Lethbridge, Canada, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, USA

Volume: 3

June 1994 | 390 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc
Recipient of Choice Magazine's 1996 Outstanding Academic Book Award Author Raymond Morrow outlines and recounts the development of the major tenets of critical theory, exemplifying them through the works of two of their most influential, recent adherents: Jürgen Habermas and Anthony Giddens. Beginning with a comprehensive yet meticulous explication of critical theory and its history, the author next discusses it within the context of a research program; his work concludes with an examination of empirical methods. Emphasizing the connections between critical theory, empirical research, and social science methodology, Morrow's volume offers refreshing insights on traditional and current material.

 
PART ONE: METATHEORY: GROUNDING METHOD
 
Introduction
What is Critical Theory?

 
 
Foundations of Metatheory
Between Subjectivism and Objectivism

 
 
Postempiricist Critiques of Positivism and Empiricism
 
PART TWO: CRITICAL THEORY AS A RESEARCH PROGRAM
 
Early Critical Theory as a Research Program
An Historical Introduction

 
 
Postempiricist Metatheory and the Human Sciences
Interim Developments

 
 
The Metatheory of Critical Theory
Beyond Objectivism and Relativism

 
 
Contemporary Critical Theory as a Resarch Program
Giddens and Habermas

 
 
PART THREE: CRITICAL THEORY AND EMPIRICAL RESEARCH
 
Deconstructing the Conventional Discourse of Methodology
Quantitative versus Qualitative Methods

 
 
Non-Empirical Methods
Reflexive Procedures

 
 
Empirical Procedures in Critical Research
 
Contexts of Critical Empirical Research
 
Critical Social Science and Society
Theory and Practice

 

Until recently James Bohman’s New Philosophy of Social Science was the major text that engaged the relationship between contemporary critical theory and the methodology of social science. Raymond Morrow’s work is a welcome addition to such analysis. Indeed in many ways it is a better text for introducing the subject. Whilst Bohman’s study tended to assume quite a substantive knowledge base Morrow’s text is instantly lively and accessible making it a text that can be used at all levels of higher educational learning.
Starting with a lucid introduction to the history of critical theory and its intent, Morrow moves on to discuss what make critical theory so distinctive, specifically because of its understanding and analysis of how power affects all dimension of human life. Importantly this critique, unlike many other contemporary variants, also has a political –ethical intent. Stemming back to the Enlightenment critique of superstition, contemporary critical theory seeks to remove those assumed beliefs and practices that work against human liberation.
This point echo’s through every aspect of the work. Indeed for everyone who is interested in both the practice of critical theory, and its contemporary relevance, this work is unsurpassable. All arguments a lucid, clear and assume little prior engagement with the subject matter. Importantly Morrow clearly shows how the methodology of critical theory is applicable across the whole of the social sciences. I will certainly recommend this work

Dr James Howley
Expressive arts and media, North East Worcestershire College
November 17, 2011

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ISBN: 9780803946835
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