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ERIC Number: EJ837426
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Dec
Pages: 30
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1740-2743
Positivism, Postmodernism, or Critical Theory? A Case Study of Communications Students' Understandings of Criticism
Fuchs, Christian; Sandoval, Marisol
Journal for Critical Education Policy Studies, v6 n2 p112-141 Dec 2008
Neoliberalism has resulted in a large-scale economization and capitalization of society that has also permeated the academic system. The paper at hand provides the result of a case study that analyzed how students, who are today frequently confronted by the combination of studying and precarious labour and insecure job perspectives, assess the importance of critical thinking. As a theoretical foundation, a distinction between positivistic, postmodern, and Marxian critique is drawn and discussed. Students of communication science at the University of Salzburg were asked to read a focus text by Herbert Marcuse that deals with the notion of critique and to write short essays afterwards, in order to reflect on the notion of critique that is needed today. 52 answer texts were analyzed by the method of quantifying qualitative content analysis. The results show the predominance of a positivistic understanding of critique and provide implications for curricula design and pedagogical action. (Contains 1 figure, 6 tables, and 2 notes.)
The Institute for Education Policy Studies. University of Northampton, School of Education, Boughton Green Road, Northampton NN2 7AL United Kingdom. Tel: +44-1273-270943; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Austria