Critical Social Theory

Jordan Lee

PBL 3000

August 29th, 2016

Learning Outcomes for this Class

  • To fully understand what the CST is
  • To recognize situations where the CST can be applied in nursing 

Critical Social Theory 

Personal Definition: 

A method of critiquing and improving social structure. 

What is Capitalism 

The Marxist Theory 


The Frankfurt School

1st Generation Critical Theorists & Contributions

Rosa Luxemburg (1871-1919)

Georg Lukács  (1885-1971)

Antonio Gramsci (1891-1937)

Herbert Marcuse (1898-1979)

Theodor Adorno  (1903-1969)

2nd Generation Critical Theorists & Contributions

Louis Althusser  (1918-1990)

Paulo Freire  (1921-1997)

Jürgen Habermas  (1929-present)

3 "Es" of the CST 




Goals of the Critical Social Theory

  • To help society realize the social in equalities that are currently occurring. 
  • To help understand modern human conditions in social and political contexts. 
  • Acknowledges oppressive behaviour and encourages emancipation 

How can a Patient Feel Powerless?

How Can Patient Feel Powerless? 

  • Loss of Identity 
  • Loss of Dignity 
  • Not knowing information about their health
  • Not being able to participate in making decisions in regards to their health
  • having to follow the hospital routine

Patient Empowerment 

An Empowered Patient:

  • Understands their health condition and its effect on their body.
  • Feels able to participate in decision-making with their healthcare professionals
  • Feels able to make informed choices about treatment.
  • Understands the need to make necessary changes to their lifestyle for managing their condition.
  • Is able to challenge and ask questions of the healthcare professionals providing their care.
  • Takes responsibility for their health and actively seeks care only when necessary
  • Actively seeks out, evaluates and makes use of information.

CST in Action: Children With Diabetes

Neglecting CST

▪ treating only the adolescent’s current state of health

▪ educate adolescents about the need for proper nutrition, increased vigorous physical activity, compliance with medication

CST in Action: Children With Diabetes

Incorporating CST

▪ examine how oppressive social arrangements in society (ex. poverty, housing, food scarcity, discrimination) can hinder the health of patients

▪ assess if adolescents can readily obtain certain types of foods

▪ assess if adolescents can participate in school programs that provide nutritious lunches and physical education classes

▪ assess if adolescents live in neighbourhoods with adequate street lighting and affordable fitness centers to facilitate exercise

▪ assess if adolescents experience discrimination or have access to adequate healthcare services 

Discussion Questions

1) How do nurses have power over patients? 

Discussion Questions

2) How can nurses help empower patients? 

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Critical Social Theory

by jordanjtlee


Public - 8/27/16, 2:47 AM