1st Edition

Foundations of Critical Theory Media, Communication and Society Volume Two

By Christian Fuchs Copyright 2022
    280 Pages 6 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    280 Pages 6 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This second volume of Christian Fuchs’ Media, Communication and Society book series outlines key concepts and contemporary debates in critical theory.

    The book explores the foundations of a Marxist-Humanist critical theory of society, clarifying and updating key concepts in critical theory – such as the dialectic, critique, alienation, class, capitalism, ideology, and racial capitalism. In doing so, the book engages with and further develops elements from the works of Karl Marx, Friedrich Engels, Rosa Luxemburg, Max Horkheimer, Theodor W. Adorno, Herbert Marcuse, David Harvey, Michael Hardt, Antonio Negri, C.L.R. James, Adolph L. Reed Jr., and Cornel West.

    Written for a broad audience of students and scholars, this book is an essential guide for readers who are interested in how to think critically from perspectives such as media and communication studies, sociology, philosophy, political economy, and political science.

    1. Introduction
    2. What is Critical Theory?
    3. Friedrich Engels Today
    4. Marx’s Centenary (1918) in the Light of the Media and Socialist Thought.
    5. Reflections on Sven-Eric Liedman’s Marx-Biography A World to Win: The Life and Works of Karl Marx
    6. Universal Alienation, Formal and Real Subsumption of Society Under Capital, Ongoing Primitive Accumulation by Dispossession: Reflections on the Marx@200-Debate Between David Harvey and Michael Hardt/Toni Negri
    7. Critical Social Theory and Sustainable Development: The Role of Class, Capitalism, and Domination in a Dialectical Analysis of Un/Sustainability
    8. The Relevance of C.L.R. James’s Dialectical, Marxist-Humanist Philosophy in the Age of Donald Trump, Black Lives Matter, and Digital Capitalism
    9. Cornel West and Marxist Humanism
    10. Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Marx
    11. (co-authored by Rosa Luxemburg)

    12. Conclusion


    Christian Fuchs is a critical theorist of communication and society. He is co-editor of the journal tripleC: Communication, Capitalism & Critique. He is author of many publications, including the books Social Media: A Critical Introduction (third edition 2021), Communication and Capitalism: A Critical Theory (2020), Marxism: Karl Marx’s Fifteen Key Concepts for Cultural & Communication Studies (2020), Nationalism on the Internet: Critical Theory and Ideology in the Age of Social Media and Fake News (2020), Rereading Marx in the Age of Digital Capitalism (2019), Digital Demagogue: Authoritarian Capitalism in the Age of Trump and Twitter (2016), Digital Labour and Karl Marx (2014), and Internet and Society (2008).

    Encyclopedic in nature, authoritative, and up to date, Foundations of Critical Theory is a seminal text on critical theory. Covering everyone from Adorno to Žižek, Fuchs focuses upon the humanistic aspects of Marxist theory and the works of modern and contemporary critical theorists. A monumental achievement and an essential book for anyone interested in critical theory.

    Arthur Asa Berger, San Francisco State University

    The global pandemic has revealed in stark contrast the flaws and failures of neoliberal capitalism. Through a careful revisiting of key elements of and debates in critical theory, Christian Fuchs provides readers with a roadmap for understanding how this approach can inform our search for a more humanist and socialist post-pandemic future. 

    David Fasenfest, Editor, Critical Sociology