Critical Theory and Methodology
- Raymond A. Morrow - University of Alberta - Edmonton, Canada, University of Alberta, Canada
- David D. Brown - University of Lethbridge, Canada, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, USA
Contemporary Social Theory
Qualitative Research (General)
Good for students to apply their own critical approach. May be a little in-depth for some students
Until recently James Bohman’s New Philosophy of Social Science was the major text that engaged the relationship between contemporary critical theory and the methodology of social science. Raymond Morrow’s work is a welcome addition to such analysis. Indeed in many ways it is a better text for introducing the subject. Whilst Bohman’s study tended to assume quite a substantive knowledge base Morrow’s text is instantly lively and accessible making it a text that can be used at all levels of higher educational learning.
Starting with a lucid introduction to the history of critical theory and its intent, Morrow moves on to discuss what make critical theory so distinctive, specifically because of its understanding and analysis of how power affects all dimension of human life. Importantly this critique, unlike many other contemporary variants, also has a political –ethical intent. Stemming back to the Enlightenment critique of superstition, contemporary critical theory seeks to remove those assumed beliefs and practices that work against human liberation.
This point echo’s through every aspect of the work. Indeed for everyone who is interested in both the practice of critical theory, and its contemporary relevance, this work is unsurpassable. All arguments a lucid, clear and assume little prior engagement with the subject matter. Importantly Morrow clearly shows how the methodology of critical theory is applicable across the whole of the social sciences. I will certainly recommend this work