Pub. date: 2011 | Online Pub. Date: October 04, 2011 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412994163 | Print ISBN: 9781412959636 | Online ISBN: 9781412994163| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Michael Th. Greven
Today, the term critical theory refers to a broad variety of theoretical approaches in social and cultural studies as well as social philosophy. Originally, critical theory was the programmatic name of a German group of philosophers and social scientists who, in 1930, began to work together under the directorship of Max Horkheimer at the Frankfurt Institute of Social Research and who continued their work after emigrating to the United States in the early 1930s. This group has also been labeled the “Frankfurt School” and is the subject of this entry. From 1932 until 1941, the group published Zeitschrift für Sozialforschung (Journal for Social Research). After World War II, Horkheimer returned to Frankfurt and together with Theodor Adorno, who during the 1940s had become his most important theoretical companion, reestablished the Frankfurt Institute. Next to Adorno, among the important members of the first generation, are the philosophers Herbert Marcuse and With ...