How to Criticize Our Societies Today? Part I: Pragmatic Sociology and Pragmatic Critical Theory as a Social Critique
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The article is dedicated to the pragmatic social critique as one of the most influential patterns of contemporary social critique. It is focused on the evolution of Luc Boltan-ski’s pragmatic sociology of the critique, which initially refused to play an overtly criti-cal role and restricted itself to reconstructing the modalities of critique social actors recourse to in their everyday practices. In his most recent publication, however, Boltan-ski seems to return to Pierre Bourdieu’s definition of sociology as a critical sociology. According to Boltanski, the critical vocation of sociology is supposed to answer the increasing critical deficit that social actors experience in the context of contemporary societies with their complex forms of domination. The aim of our study is to make this two-sided transformation comprehensible by putting into question the underlying methodological and political arguments. The prag-matic sociology seems methodologically more convincing but politically weaker than Bourdieu’s critical sociology. Moreover, it seems more legitimate but less efficient in its critical effects. How could this dilemma of social critique opposing requirements of legitimacy and requirements of efficiency be solved?
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