Critical theory deals with the criticism of cultural institutions. This
criticism is both negative and positive. In the words of John Dryzek, "a
critical theory strives to interpret the condition of a group of sufferers,
make plain to them the cause of their suffering, and by sketching a course
of relief, demonstrate that their situation is not immutable". (Dryzek,
Marxism (as a form of critical theory) dealt largely with the criticism of
religious and economic institutions. However, the political
institionalisation of Marxism in the Soviet Union led to new problems.
Although some people (such as Vygotsky) successfully applied the spirit of
Marxian critical theory to new areas of research, the Communist Party was
considered to be beyond criticism.
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Last modified 19/3/00