negative dialectics. Adorno himself names his critique one of 'dissonance'. It is the dissonance between thought and actuality, concept and object, identity and non-identity, that must be revealed. 75 The task of the critic is to illuminate those cracks in the totality, those fissures in the social net, those moments of disharmony and discrepancy, through which the untruth of the whole is revealed and glimmers of another life become visible. In an essay on the possibilities of social conflict in late-capitalist societies, Adorno can thus advance the otherwise astonishing claim that the conflict potentials of society are not to be sought in organized, collective protest and struggles, but in everyday gestures like laughter: 'All collective laughter has grown out of such scapegoat mentality, a compromise between the pleasure of releasing one's aggression and the controlling mechanisms of censure, which do not permit this.' 76 When one demands a strict sociological definition of social conflicts, then one blocks access to such experiences which are ungraspable, but 'whose nuances contain likewise traces of violence and ciphers of possible emancipation'. 77

Through his method of emancipatory dissonance, Adorno becomes an ethnologist of advanced civilization, seeking to reveal those moments of implicit resistance and suffering in which the human potential to defy the administered world becomes manifest. It is unclear that these 'ciphers' of possible emancipation to which Adorno appeals can justify the normative standpoint of critical theory. The charge that the critique of instrumental reason articulates the privileged discourse of a 'holy family' is left unanswered. The transition from the critique of political economy to the critique of instrumental reason alters not only the content criticized but the very logic of social criticism, and of the critique of ideologies.


Notes
1.
Max Horkheimer, foreword to Martin Jay, The Dialectical Imagination: A History of the Frankfurt School and the Institute of Social Research, 1923-1950, Boston, MA 1973, p. xii.
2.
Ibid.
3.
Herbert Marcuse, "'Philosophie und kritische Theorie'", part two of Horkheimer and Marcuse, "'Philosophie und kritische Theorie'", Zeitschrift für Sozialforschung, 1937, p. 637; my translation. Marcuse's section of this jointly authored text is not included in the standard English translation of Horkheimer's "'Traditional and Critical Theory'" found in Critical Theory: Selected Essays, trans. M. J. O'Connell et al., New York 1972.
4.
Jay, The Dialectical Imagination; David Held, Introduction to Critical Theory, Berkeley and Los Angeles 1980; Andrew Arato and Eike Gebhardt, eds, The Essential Frankfurt School Reader, New York 1978. Held and Arato and Gebhardt provide helpful bibliographies of works by and on the Frankfurt School. In recent years a number of studies have appeared which, more often than not, are motivated by political impulses to discredit the influence the Frankfurt School has enjoyed in the United States. Among

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Mapping Ideology
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Introduction: The Spectre of Ideology 1
  • Notes 30
  • 1: Messages in a Bottle 34
  • 2: Adorno, Post-Structuralism and the Critique of Identity 46
  • Notes 64
  • 3: The Critique of Instrumental Reason 66
  • Notes 88
  • 4: The Mirror-phase as Formative of the Function of the I 93
  • Notes 99
  • 5: Ideology and Ideological State Apparatuses (Notes towards an Investigation) 100
  • Notes 138
  • 6: The Mechanism of Ideological (Mis)recognition 141
  • Notes 150
  • 7: Determinacy and Indeterminacy in the Theory of Ideology 152
  • Notes 165
  • 8: The New Questions of Subjectivity 167
  • Notes 178
  • 9: Ideology and its Vicissitudes in Western Marxism 179
  • Notes 224
  • 10: Feminism, Ideology, and Deconstruction: A Pragmatist View 227
  • Notes 233
  • 11: Ideology, Politics, Hegemony 235
  • Notes 262
  • 12: Doxa and Common Life: An Interview 265
  • Note 277
  • 13: Postmodernism and the Market 278
  • Notes 295
  • 14: How Did Marx Invent the Symptom? 296
  • Notes 331
  • List of Sources 332
  • Index 333
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