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The term social criticism often refers to a mode of criticism that locates the reasons for malicious conditions in a society considered to be in a flawed social structure. It may also refer to people adhering to a social critic's aim at practical solutions by way of specific measures either for consensual reform or powerful revolution.
Religious persecution was common in Europe and the reason for many a physical or mental exodus within the continent. From such experience resulted one of the first documents of social criticism: the Testament of Jean Meslier.
Repression experienced by a minority often leads to protest. Without sufficient resolution of the dispute, a social criticism can be formulated, often covered by political groups (political monopoly). For protesting people within a social movement, it is often frustrating to experience failure of the movement and its own agenda.
The positivism dispute between critical rationalism, e.g. between Karl Popper and the Frankfurt School, is the academic form of the same discrepancy. This dispute deals with the question of whether research in the social sciences should be "neutral" or consciously adopt a partisan view.
Academic works of social criticism can belong to social philosophy, political economy, sociology, social psychology, psychoanalysis but also cultural studies and other disciplines or reject academic forms of discourse.
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