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Simon Susen

Bio: Simon Susen is an academic researcher from City University London. The author has contributed to research in topic(s): Critical theory & Social theory. The author has an hindex of 22, co-authored 98 publication(s) receiving 1561 citation(s). Previous affiliations of Simon Susen include Birkbeck, University of London & Newcastle University.

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Abstract: The main purpose of this paper is to examine Habermas's account of the transformation of the public sphere in modern society. More specifically, the study aims to demonstrate that, whilst Habermas's approach succeeds in offering useful insights into the structural transformation of the public sphere in the early modern period, it does not provide an adequate theoretical framework for understanding the structural transformation of public spheres in late modern societies. To the extent that the gradual differentiation of social life manifests itself in the proliferation of multiple public spheres, a critical theory of public normativity needs to confront the challenges posed by the material and ideological complexity of late modernity in order to account for the polycentric nature of advanced societies. With the aim of showing this, the paper is divided into three sections. The first section elucidates the sociological meaning of the public/private dichotomy. The second section scrutinizes the key features of Habermas's theory of the public sphere by reflecting on (i) the concept of the public sphere, (ii) the normative specificity of the bourgeois public sphere, and (iii) the structural transformation of the public sphere in modern society. The third section explores the most substantial shortcomings of Habermas's theory of the public sphere, particularly its inability to explain the historical emergence and political function of differentiated public spheres in advanced societies.

99 citations

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Abstract: Robin Celikates’s recent book, entitled Kritik als soziale Praxis. Gesellschaftliche Selbstverstandigung und kritische Theorie (Criticism as Social Practice: Social Self-Understanding and Critical Theory), published by Campus Verlag in 2009, is undoubtedly one of the most significant contributions made to the field of critical theory over the past few years. If there is one major problem with this volume, it is the fact that it has still not been translated into, let alone published in, English. Given the conceptual precision, methodological rigour, intellectual originality, and thought-provoking argument of this study, one can only hope the volume will soon be available in English, so that its timely relevance and scholarly quality can be appreciated by a wider international readership in general and by Anglophone researchers working in the humanities and social sciences in particular. It is not often that one reads a book from cover to cover and has the pleasant experience of noticing that every single paragraph, and indeed every single sentence, is carefully crafted, meticulously organized, and thoroughly researched. One must congratulate the author for putting together a long-needed treasure of a book which makes a convincing case for the view that the very possibility of critical theory depends on its capacity to ground itself in the normative potentials and everyday disputes of society, rather than in the abstract concepts and sterile epistemic frameworks of armchair philosophy. In order to illustrate the complexity of Celikates’s ambitious endeavour, this review article shall provide a succinct overview of the main arguments and contributions, as well as of several noteworthy shortcomings and limitations, of Kritik als soziale Praxis.

71 citations

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Abstract: The main purpose of this paper is to shed light on Pierre Bourdieu’s conception of language. Although he has dedicated a significant part of his work to the study of language and even though his analysis of language has been extensively discussed in the literature, almost no attention has been paid to the fact that Bourdieu’s account of language is based on a number of ontological presuppositions, that is, on a set of universal assumptions about the very nature of language. This article aims to fill this gap in the literature by offering a detailed overview of 10 key features which, from a Bourdieusian point of view, can be regarded as inherent in language. On the basis of this enquiry, the study seeks to demonstrate that—contrary to common belief—there is not only a Bourdieusian sociology of language but also a Bourdieusian philosophy of language, which provides a useful theoretical framework for examining the unavoidable conditions of the real speech situation. The paper draws to a close by reflecting o...

59 citations

01 Jan 2007
Abstract: In this lucid and novel examination of the concept of the social in contemporary critical thought, Simon Susen argues that we can only identify solid grounds for social critique by identifying the grounds of the social itself. The book draws upon the work of Jurgen Habermas and Pierre Bourdieu, and offers a model for the reconstruction of Habermasian critical theory and Bourdieusian reflexive sociology. These two theoretical approaches have been dominant influences in contemporary social theory. Susen explores how both conceptualise the social, and identifies the shortcomings of the Habermasian 'communicative approach' and the Bourdieusian 'homological approach'. He offers a method for overcoming their most significant shortcomings in terms of an alternative, five-dimensional approach to the nature of the social.

57 citations

23 Jul 2015
Abstract: "Introduction 1. From Modern to Postmodern Epistemology? The "Relativist Turn" 2. From Modern to Postmodern Methodology? The "Interpretive Turn" 3. From Modern to Postmodern Sociology? The "Cultural Turn" 4. From Modern to Postmodern Historiography? The "Contingent Turn" 5. From Modern to Postmodern Politics? The "Autonomous Turn" 6. Critical Reflections on Postmodern Thought: Limitations of the "Postmodern Turn" Conclusion "

48 citations

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01 Jan 2009

6,700 citations

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Abstract: Meanwhile, the authors' antidote to the American sicknessa quest for democratic community that draws on our diverse civic and religious traditionshas contributed to a vigorous scholarly and popular debate. Attention has been focused on forms of social organization, be it civil society, democratic communitarianism, or associative democracy, that can humanize the market and the administrative state. In their new Introduction the authors relate the argument of their book both to the current realities of American society and to the growing debate about the country's future. With this new edition one of the most influential books of recent times takes on a new immediacy.\

2,932 citations

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2,758 citations