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Critical Theory- A Social Theory Essay

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“Critical Theory is a theory seeking emancipation and change in a dominant social order” (Baran & Davis, 2012). Critical theory is a social theory that deals with different aspects of society. It tends to critique cultures that include: media, advertising and consumer culture. Moreover, Critical theory is also used to study how education is dealt with using information technology and it also concentrates on social relationships that are social, political and economic. The critical theory is known to be one of the theories that have been defined in different ways by different theorists depending on how they understood the theory. This paper will mainly discuss the literature review of the Critical theory and how it can be applied to television. To be precise I will focus on analyzing or criticizing feminism in a television series known as “Sex and the City”. I chose to criticize feminism on a television series because I believe that this is a serious issue that is being debated all around the world today.

The origins of the Critical Theory trace back to one of the first schools of thought known as the Frankfurt School founded in Germany in 1923 by a group of neo-Marxist theorists, which include Max Horkeimer, Herbert Marcuse and Lowenthal Friedrich Pollock, Theodor W. Adorno, Walter Benjamin and Leo Lowenthal; these were some of the leading members of the institute and they were also the first generation of theorist. (Kellner, 1992), and one of the major contributors of this institute is Felix Weil; he was a German Marxist who was determined to introduce Marxist studies in Germany and his donations to the Frankfurt School of thought were very helpful in establishing the institute. A background in Marxist philosophy helped the Fran...


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Geuss, R.(1981). The idea of critical Theory: Habermas & the Frankfurt School. Cambridge: Cambridge University.

Hermes, J. (2002). Television and its Viewers in Post-Feminist Dialogue Internet- mediated Response to “Ally McBeal” and “Sex and the City”. Stichting Etnofoor. 15(1/2) 194-211

Hoy, D. & McCarthy, T. (1995). Critical Theory. American Philosophical Association. 68(3) 88-89

Horkheimer, M., 1982. Critical Theory, New York: Seabury Press.

Kellner, D. (1992) Critical Theory, Marxism and Modernity. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press.

L. R. Broster (1941). Feminism. The British Medical Journal. 1(4177) 117-118

Short, S. E., Claire Yang, Y., Y., & Jerkinds, T. M. (2013). Sex, Gender, Genetics, and Health. American Journal of Public Health, 103(S1), S93-S101.

Tallack, D. (1995). Critical theory A reader. Maylands: Harvester Wheatsehaf.



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