Det andra moderna: om Jürgen Habermas och den samhällsteoretiska diskursen om det moderna

Detta är en avhandling från Daidalos Box 123 04, 402 43 Gothenburg, Sweden

Sammanfattning: This is a dissertation in social theoretical research. Its main subject is the critical social theory of the later Jürgen Habermas, that is, the social theory of Habermas which has broken with his earlier attempt to found social theory in an anthropology of knowledge and which instead - since the beginning of the seventies - takes its point of departure in the presuppositions of communicative action. The dissertation is, however, not theoretical research in the field of the history of ideas. My "method" is not, in the first place, to illuminate and discuss Habermas' critical theory of society by way of finding its theoretical roots, but by way of contrasting it with competing, contemporary social theories. This means that I place Habermas' critical theory on the sociological arena of today, that is, in the contemporary social theoretical discourse of modernity. I limit however, in the first place, the scope of my theoretical undertakings to social theories which have normative claims; Marxism, liberalism, communitarianism and postmodern social theory. I argue that we should understand Habermas conception of modernity as a concept between classic modernity and postmodernity, and I use the term "second modernity" to indicate the meaning of this concept. My general claim is that this concept gives us better possibilities than classical sociology or competing, contemporary social theories to understand and take a normative stance to "the new modernity", that is, the changes - such as radicalised legitimation crisis, pluralisation, individualisation and globalisation - which modern society has gone through in the second half of this century.

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