Jurgen Habermas: Neo-Functionalism and Neo-Marxism: Introduction and Contribution

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Introduction

  • Habermas is a German sociologist
  • He completed his PhD from University of Bonn
  • He belongs to the Frankfurt school (critical theorists)
  • He is known for his concept of modernity and rationality
  • He was highly influenced by Max Weber
  • He criticised the historical materialism theory by Karl Marx and work towards reconstructing it

Contribution

  • He emphasised on the importance of free and open communication
  • He discussed about eliminating barriers to free communication
  • Modernity for him is an unfinished project which needs more and more to be done
  • He says that the world is dominated by various systems and the only solution to solve the various problems prevailing in the world is through communication

Books

  • Discourse of modernity
  • Philosophy in a Time of Terror
  • Toward a Rational Society
  • The Structural Transformation of. Public sphere
  • The Philosophical Discourse Of modernity
  • The Theory of Communicative Action

Communicative Action or Interaction

  • He believes that for a democracy to be participative it is important to have communication among people
  • Talks about ideal speech situation which means that force does not determine which argument wins but the consensus theory of truth does
  • Modern societies are rationalised societies, but the modern society is not meeting up with the individuals needs and institutions manipulate individuals
  • the remedy to all such problems is communicative action
  • He believes that for a democracy to be participate tree it is important to have communication among people
  • Talks about ideal speed situation which means that force does not determine which argument wins but the consensus theory of truth does
  • Modern societies are rationalised societies, but the modern society is not meeting up with the individuals needs and institutions manipulate individuals the remedy to all such problems is communicative action
  • Purposive rational action weather on two or more than two actors present, and it propagates self-interest
  • instrumental rational action weather is only one actor who works for achieving the ends and uses best means to achieve it
  • The synthesis of both result in instrumental mastery
  • For a communication to be ideal it is important to remove distorted communication and eliminate barriers to free communication
Communicative

Public Sphere

  • He says that the society is controlled by the elites and media
  • The individuals who are intellectuals they do not want to participate in politics
  • reduces the importance of participatory democracy
  • More stress over physical looks or outer beauty over inner beauty and substance
  • We judge people by looks and do not want to understand or know what talents a person has

Crisis of Modernity

  • Economic crisis: Govt intervention, capitalism, market forces, media
  • Legitimate crisis
  • Rationality crisis: modern life system
  • What is modern life system?
  • It has three components culture society and personality
  • We live in a dualistic modern society where on one hand material production and bureaucracy exist and on the other hand symbolic reproduction that is socialisation transmission of cultural development of self-exist
  • Life world Life world is dominated by system and institutions and only communication can provide a solution

MCQs

1. Of the following whose ideas are woven together in ‘Legitimation Crisis’ ?

  1. J. Habermas
  2. L. Althusser
  3. J. Alexander
  4. Shultz

Answer: A. J. Habermas

2. Who has criticized the economic determinism to be implicit in parts of Marx՚s original work?

  1. Habermas
  2. Bottomore
  3. Morrow
  4. Althusser

Answer: A. Habermas

3. Who considers modernity as ‘an unfinished project’ ?

  1. Derrida
  2. Giddens
  3. Althusser
  4. Habermas

Answer: D. Habermas

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