Explore BrainMass

Giddens, Collins, Habermas, and Bourdieu

Anthony Giddens, Randall Collins, Jurgen Habermas, and Pierre Bourdieu are standouts in the twenty-first century, since they connect theory to practice (praxis) in social research. Reality testing is key, according to these and many other authors. I cannot find much research on these four researchers. Could someone please help me understand and critique the four of them?

Solution Preview

This researcher is involved in the study of rationality, as it pertains to knowledge and communication. With knowledge, people can transform their perspectives and therefore change society, or power. Unlike Marx, he does not give credence that such transformation will create outcomes, such as Marx's claim that knowing about power in owning property means people should abolish the norm of private property. Habermas, modifies his theory to state there are no predictable outcomes from the changes in perceptions. One of the more fascinating ideas is that knowledge is applicable in different ways, self knowledge can lead to the communication or interaction knowledge, communicating what one knows or perceives. This leads to the ability to control one's environment. The Emancipatory (self knowledge), Practical (communication), Work (changes to environment) knowledge triangle is how action theories work.

Habermas is a student of Marx, among others. While he agreed in principle with many of Marx's theories and thoughts, he applied actions that are more practical. Changes do not always occur when people realize how thing work or where there is power. Outcomes are not always predictable. Knowledge can, but does not always lead to change.

Giddens joined both the structure (macro) and agency (micro or personal) as well as stated they were ...

Solution Summary

The expert examines Giddens, Collins, Habermas, and Bourdieu.