Critical Theory is socio-political theory developed in Germany in the 1930s in response to the rise of Fascism. It sought to explain the failure of Marxism to bring about a social revolution, It challenges received notions of reality, seeking to demonstrate the ways in which our conceptions are socially constructed.
Critical Theory is reflexive that is, it is aware that the “reality” that we experience “out there” does not exist independently of ideology, but that it is shaped (along with our perceptions of it) by forces of power and hegemony that have a human agency. These forces continually try to control all the means of shaping society and its belief system - Education, the Media, Religion, the Law, The Church, Planning Regulations, the Economy etc. They do so to reproduce their own version of reality, their own economic, social and cultural supremacy - their hegemony. Critical Theory views all beliefs, realities, values etc. in their social and economic context and asks, “who stands to gain from society seeing things this way? It then looks to discover how the beneficiaries of the system have created the system to benefit themselves at the expense of others.
In the articles listed below you will find numerous examples of critical theory, applied to a wide range of fields - Education, Health, Psychology, the Media etc.