This study aims to find out the strength of Critical Theory’s core features in analyzing modern society and its concrete research strategies that still resonate with us even to this day by examining the actual cases of social studies based on Critical Theory. Although Critical Theory had seen the self-destruction of European bourgeois civil society and the failure of the socialist alternative, it has not pursued a new perception that was severed from the past, nor has it ignored the change of present reality of “bourgeois civil society” lingering in the past. Instead, without compromising the objective of human emancipation, it has sought the combination of philosophy and concrete social research by attempts to develop new approaches towards reality. As a result, Critical Theory has got the concept of non-transcendental truth limited by the concept of concrete time within the subject- object-dialectics and, and has established the principle that the universal can be found in the specific. These characteristics have several advantages in the analysis of our current society. First, since Critical Theory has been established at the turn of an era, it has analytical merits in modern social studies, which is undergoing rapid changes. Second, we can think of a better society in a more flexible way, away from the traditional relation of theory and practice. Third, its dialectical perception of the subject and the object can be a good alternative to the existing dichotomic view of them. Finally, its perception that the universal should be recognized in the specific object makes the social research in various fields, without missing the recognition of the social entity. In this regard, it is necessary to pay attention to a trend of social studies from Critical Theory in Hannover, Germany. A group of scholars there tried to scratch out the misunderstandings of Critical Theory, while continued Specific reality analysis and pioneered new research fields of Critical Theory such as nationalism, labor, identity and anti-Americanism.
Their dual research strategy, so-called, ‘preserving the core and expanding the realm’ as an effort to broaden the scope of concrete research while inheriting the main values of Critical Theory will be helpful to make a current application of Critical Theory possible.