The critical tradition arose tocounteract the tendency of the other approaches to describe the communicative process without questioning the outcomes
The term critical school of communication comes from a group of German scholars known as the “ Frankfurt School” because they were part of the independentInstitute for Social Research at Frankfurt University
The Frankfurt school is neo-marxist though it had rejectedthe economic determinism of orthodox Marxism
The leading figures of the Frankfurt school are Max Horkheimer, TheodorAdorno, and Herbert Marcuse
These scholars and their followers offered thoughtful analyses ofdiscrepancies between the liberal values of freedom and equality that leaders proclaimed and theunjust concentrations and abusesof power that made those values a myth
Critical scholars consistently challenged three features of contemporary society:0 The control of language to perpetuate power imbalances,0 The role of mass media in dulling sensitivity to repression, and0 Blind reliance on the scientific method and uncritical acceptance of empirical findings.
Although diffuse and hard toorganize, this tradition brings one thing in common on the table…
…the idea that social and cultural arrangements areloaded to enforce the power of certain stakeholders in ways that dominate and even oppress others
The critical school hope to move beyond feelings of sympathy and stimulate praxis – social action.
modernism0 Marxism0 Critical scholars attempt to name and expose structural oppression that may be hidden from our consciousness0 Louis Althusser: ‘ideology is present in the structure of society and arises from the practices undertaken by social institutions’.
modernism0 For Althusser: the society has repressive state apparatuses – the police and military, and ideological state apparatuses – education, religion and mass media.0 The Italian Marxist, Antonio Gramsci, hegemony occurs in many ways in society, especially, when events and texts are interpreted in a way that promotes interests of one group over those of another.
modernismJurgen Habermas and the Frankfurt School:0 the study of mass communication0 Pioneers are: Max Horkheimer, Theodor Adorno and Herbert Marcuse at the Frankfurt School of Social Research, 1923.0 Contemporary scholar – Jurgen Habermas: the theory of the Public Sphere
modernism0 Feminism: liberal and radical feminism0 Liberal feminism: …that women have been oppressed as a group.0 Radical feminism: …that the oppression of women runs far deeper than political, it is about a patriarchal hegemony
Postmodernism0 Cultural studies – investigations of the ways culture is produced through a struggle among ideologies.0 Feminist Cultural Studies – patriarchy as the source of gender oppression.
Poststructuralism0 They opposed the idea that language structures are just natural forms to be used by individuals as a tool of communication.0 Their goal was to “deconstruct” language in order to show that language can be understood, used, and constructed in a limitless number of ways.0 Michel Foucault: “language creates the person”. The discourse of our age will shape who we are and how we think.
Postcolonialism0 This scholars are devoted to understanding Eurocentrism, imperialism, and the processes of colonization and decolonization – all of the ways in which the colonial experience can be understood as an ideology of domination.0 Neo-colonialism0 Postcolonialism – domination, ideology, and power through globalization.