Social critique and transformation: Revising Habermas’s colonisation thesis
What is critical theory – and what is it not? This essay attempts a new answer to this old question and examines which normative convictions immanent to social reality can be used to describe, analyse and criticise contemporary, global forms of domination that form blockades of social and political participation. The analysis proceeds in a double ... step, referring both to the critique of society and to the critique of theory that describes society. The basis of this parallel swing is an analysis in which the author makes revisions to Jürgen Habermas’s colonisation thesis and uses the example of housing to show how these revisions which refer to the global perspective, the demarcation between system and lifeworld, the language of critique and, finally, the theoretical mode of an inherent dialectical critique make possible an analysis of the financial and economic sectors as well as everyday interactions. Reading Habermas more dialectically than he probably would himself also allows the identification of potentials for transforming relations of oppression.
Original publication in
European journal of social theory 12 (2022), 1-21