Critical Theory, Poststructuralism, and Postmodernism
The postmodernism debates are of interest for their critical implication with Enlightenment rationality and the project of modernity, as well as for their ability to point to and interrogate changes in contemporary culture. The introduction of some themes germane to the interrelation of critical theory, poststructuralism and postmodernism in the debates will provide useful background for discussion of specifics in subsequent chapters.
Recall that I asserted that it could not be assumed that poststructuralist criticisms are clearly postmodern criticisms. Just as the term postmodernism admits of multiple references, poststructuralism too, is correspondingly difficult to delineate in its relation to both "postmodernism" and "structuralism." Yet the largely negative (or deconstructive) criticisms of Derrida, Foucault, and Lyotard culled together in the debates over Enlightenment modernity variously draw upon the conceptual resources of these trends.
Habermas, as respondent to these criticisms, calls upon revised premises of the Frankfurt School's critical theory as emancipatory vis à vis the perceived perils of the project of modernity. He renders the paradoxes of modernity in a way that reveals how instrumental