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  • Conclusion: Advancing a Dialectical, Humanist, Critical Theory of Communication and Society

    Christian Fuchs

    Chapter from the book: Fuchs, C. 2020. Communication and Capitalism: A Critical Theory.


    Overall conclusions from the preceding fourteen chapters are drawn in this chapter. The approach taken in this work is compared to Habermas’ theory of communicative action. Various metaphors of communication are discussed and some key results are summarised. The author explains how the book has outlined some foundations of a critical theory of communication. Such a theory is critical, materialist and dialectical with the aim of creating critical knowledge that contributes to the creation of a commons-based society, a democratic public sphere and communication commons. The critical theory of communication needs to engage with many issues including the relationship of the economic and the non-economic, the relationship of production and communication, technology fetishism, the communication society, political communication in the public sphere and global communication.This critical theory of communication is a negative dialectic in that it is an analytical critique of communication in the context of capitalism and domination. But society’s dialectic is a determinate negation, where social struggles have the potential to produce change. Critical theory of communication therefore also needs to engage with communication in the context of social struggles and political protests and the quest and vision for alternative communications that are commons-based or public service. There is a world beyond capitalism and beyond capitalist communication(s). Humans are social and societal beings capable of praxis. In the last instance, humans either accept their own enslavement and a media system that upholds this enslavement or struggle for democratic communications in a commons-based society.

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    Fuchs, C. 2020. Conclusion: Advancing a Dialectical, Humanist, Critical Theory of Communication and Society. In: Fuchs, C, Communication and Capitalism. London: University of Westminster Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.16997/book45.o

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    Published on May 19, 2020