This article provides information about the “How “Frankfurt School” is viewed as an Extension of Marxist Thoughts?”:
Critical theory is mentioned in connection with social theory it is usually associated with what is called the “Frankfurt School.” The Institute had begun in 1923, with a financial endowment from a wealthy German grain merchant, and was attached to Frankfurt University in Germany. German universities had been quite conservative, but with the political turmoil following World War I, new ideas developed and were influential within the universities.
For a time, many Marxists thought that Germany would become socialist, following the Russian revolution. When this proved unlikely to occur, some of the intellectuals attracted to Marxism argued that Marxist-oriented research was necessary to re-examine Marxist theory in the light of the changes that had occurred in Europe.
In particular, some of these Marxists considered that while the objective conditions for socialism existed, the subjective consciousness of workers was not conducive to overthrow capitalism and creating socialism. In particular, “revolutionary consciousness, culture and organisation and a clear notion of socialism seemed to be lacking.” As a result, it was necessary to reconsider various aspects of Marxism and focus on consciousness, subjectivity, culture, ideology and the concept of socialism … in order to make possible radical political change”.
The Institute began its work in Germany and continued through 1933, when the Nazis came to power. Most of those who were members of the Institute went to the United States at that time, with some like Marcuse staying there, while others returned to Germany after World War II.
The Institute was established in New York City and became affiliated with Columbia University and it was there that the term “critical theory” became associated with the Institute. After World War II, the Institute was reestablished in Germany and continues to operate there. Following the death of Horkheimer and Adorno, Jurgen Habermas became the leading critical theorist, a position he continues to hold.