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Theories relevant in understanding our society

Our society today confronts a major crisis and dilemma and with some setbacks on the political and economic side of the fence. It is not surprising that many emerging critical theories in the social science, humanities and philosophy that developed in the 1960s. As part of many theories and strategies to contest such problems, we shall give emphasis on the different theories created by many thinkers. We will start on the different theories of Habermas, Marx, Hegel and some concepts from feminist critique of social theorizing, liberation sociology, structuralism, post-structuralism and postmodernism.

Given the negative side of political and economic situation whether in the first or third world, there is a need to confront the problem since it will be a recurring state of depressing circumstances if not prevented and resisted by the whole populace. It is not solely on the leaders to hunt for positive progress but every individual has its own responsibility to find meaningful solutions to the existing problems.

To combat the problem is the main concern of this paper, whether it is an old method or recent ways of understanding the contemporary society is however relevant and applicable to mainstream drawbacks in different countries. Habermas and Critical Social Theory: Jurgen Habermas was a a member of the Frankfurt School of thought but was not a contemporary member but through his writings and works, he continued to be a critique and placed out his major differences with Marx writing by means of his work, Towards Reconstructing Historical Materialism.

He emphasized that the analysis of Marx on existing crisis of the society is correct but the concept of revolution as a mode of change does not work instead he introduced the concept of crisis in which a modern society is not giving the needs of every human being and that institutions are maneuvering the individuals (Filer). Through his work and concept written in the Communicative Action, this is a one type of action that is more of using individual’s way of thinking and language.

This type of action addressed the need to communicate, understand and comprehend with one another in order to formulate a general plan of action or actions. After several agreement, reasoning and communicative action, change will occur and replaced the concept of revolution as mode of change. Communicative action and reasoning recognizes that linguistic statements or expressions assume background for comprehension and perception. Habermas typifies the process and rules of communication through the following (Lagdameo): 1. Each topic to be discussed with the capability to speak and act is permitted to join in discussion.

2. Each person is allowed to argue, ask and assert whatsoever. 3. Each person is allowed to bring in any thought or points of interest into the discussion. 4. Each person is allowed to state and convey his approach, aspirations, and needs. 5. Each person is not stopped by internal or external coercion from using his rights and privileges. Marx as a Humanist (Gunasekara): Marx as a philosopher and thinker made him the most celebrated and respected character in the civilized society. He introduced the concept of capitalism and how it changed the plight of the workers.

His best known work of genius that was jointly written with Friedrich Engels is the Manifesto of the Communist Party. His writings were not known during his time, however, received much publicity on the early part of the century. It is very clear that the concept of Marx is for the emancipation of the workers and other class from economic, political and social oppression and the ultimate solution for this is revolution. Society can only be free from domination and tyranny if the oppressed class will eliminate the cause of the ills of the society and it can be achieved through uprising of the people.

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