"Examine the major contributions and criticisms of critical theory to the understanding of social life in both the modern and contemporary society." The 'Frankfurt school' of critical theory founded in 1923 in German mainly aimed to bring together different types of Marxist thinking to construct an 'important version of neoMarxism' (Agger, 1998:78; Ricoeur, 1974:21-22). The Frankfurt school includes well known theorists such as Max Horkeimer, Ardono, and Jürgen Habermas (who was responsible for the advance to second generation of the Frankfurt school) (Geuss, 1981:1). The Frankfurt school was highly motivated by three historical events, which is: 1) the failed Marx prediction of the working class revolution (Kritisch Therorie), 2) the rise in power of Nazism and 3) the rise of 'Fordism' as a product of capitalism. .
Social theories according to Karakayali have both liberating and crippling effects due to one of it prominent characteristics, its requirement "to have a certain distance from the concerns of everyday life" (Karakayali, 2004:351). In addition, Karakayali also highlights that critical theory targets mainly on the limitation of 'reflexive sociology' which is found in any other theory which "tends to subordinate 'theory' to 'epistemology' and, therefore, hinders the sociologist from imagining a different society" (Karakayali, 2004:351). Hence, these two very important statements which emphasizes on the inherent complications faced in the realm of sociology will work as the fundamental idea in detecting the contributions and criticism of critical theory, which is the aim of this essay. In the first section of the essay I will identify the contributions of critical theory and then move on to the critics in the second section, and in the last section I will aim to conclude the essay with a well-balanced conclusion for the essay question.