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

Illustration 1 for Communicative Action or Interaction

Illustration 1 for Communicative Action or Interaction

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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