Critical theories share some
ideas of the interpretative paradigm, but what makes it different is that
critical paradigm focuses on oppression. Critical social scientists believe
it necessary to understand the lived experience of real people in context.
Persons can perceive reality outside them and represent that reality with
language. Also, reality is defined by the interaction between the knower and
the known. Critical approaches examine social conditions and uncover
oppressive power arrangements. The theories found in this paradigm critique
the known structure of social arrangement, and deny the existence of any
true enduring one. They suggest, instead, a certain group has an explicit
political agenda, which struggles with culture and other groupsí interests.
In the field of communication, critical scholars are particularly interested
in how messages reinforce oppression in society. No aspect of life is
interest free, even science. They believe there are some groups who benefit
from oppressing others, so their main jobs are to point out the existing
contradictions, in order to help people be aware of what is really going on,
and create new forms of language that will enable predominant ideology to be
exposed and competing ideologies to be heard. (Based on Littlejohn, S.
(2000). Theories of Human Communication. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth)
For a better insight of
Critical Theory Today, read the text wrote by Douglas Kellner.
Want to know more about the
Marxist Media Theory? Click
here to be directed to the web site.
Information about The Frankfurt
School, its history, and and the principal thinkers which represent it, is
There is a very interesting web
site about a non-profit organization which promotes NO TV WATCHING!!
A funny anti-TV site is