Frankfurt School: The Institute for Social Research
Founded as an autonomous section of the University of Frankfurt in 1923.
Its first director, Carl Grunberg, saw it as a center for historical and sociological inquiry inspired by Marxist theory.
Within a few years, however, leading members of the Institute, including Max Horkheimer, Theodor Adorno, Walter Benjamin, and Herbert Marcuse were giving equal emphasis to purely theoretical work, incorporating elements of psychoanalysis and existentialism into a new form of Marxism known as critical theory.
Critical theory is centrally concerned with problems of aesthetics, culture and modernism; it is Hegelian in inspiration and strongly opposed to Soviet Marxism and dialectical materialism.
During the Nazi period the school dispersed and eventually regrouped in New York; it moved back to Frankfurt in 1949, where Jürgen Habermas
emerged as its leading figure.