critical theory.They formulated influential aesthetic theories and critiques of capitalist culture. In 1933 they fled the Nazis and settled in the United States, where they found a haven at Columbia Univ. Later they had a role in the formulation of postwar sociological theory. After their period of exile, the institute returned (1949) to Frankfurt, where Jürgen Habermas became its most prominent figure.
See M. Jay, The Dialectical Imagination: A History of the Frankfurt School and the Institute of Social Research 1923–1950 (1973, repr. 1996) R. Geuss, The Idea of a Critical Theory: Habermas and the Frankfurt School (1981) R. Wiggershaus, The Frankfurt School (1994) T. Wheatland, The Frankfurt School in Exile (2010).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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