Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Visualization within Critical Theory

I have always had an interest in critical theory and for those of you coming from my web site may have seen that as part of my research in graduate school research of this kind is one of the most rewarding things in my life. I will soon be commenting and posting conversations concerning critical theory that will be interspersed with other posts, but to start off review the following site: Critical Theory.

"Horkheimer's definition that a critical theory is adequate only if it meets three criteria: it must be explanatory, practical, and normative, all at the same time. That is, it must explain what is wrong with current social reality, identify the actors to change it, and provide both clear norms for criticism and achievable practical goals for social transformation. Any truly critical theory of society, as Horkheimer further defined it in his writings as Director of the Frankfurt School's Institute for Social Research, “has as its object human beings as producers of their own historical form of life” (Horkeimer 1993, 21)"

In the context of my work I will be looking at visualization of data and its effect on the audiences, their ability to interact with the data in a meaningful way, and attempt to clarify how the information can help and motivate others to change social conditions. I am also interested in papers that cover this material in any way as well as examples that demonstrate any or all of Horkheimer's criteria.