Document Type



Master of Arts


American Studies

First Adviser

Matthews, Richard K.


In works such as Eros and Civilization and One Dimensional Man, Herbert Marcuse provided both a forceful critique of modern industrial society and a path to collective liberation. His work was largely influenced by Friedrich Hegel, Karl Marx, and Sigmund Freud, and was adopted by parts of the New Left and the 1960s Counterculture, who felt, by and large, that he articulated what they perceived. Marcuse's popularity may have declined after the "Sixties," but that does not diminish the relevance of his thoughts, nor the contribution of his philosophical project. Marcuse insisted that a philosophy of liberation founded in dialectical thinking and critical theory must change with the existing conditions. As such, this paper will be an exegesis of the Marcusean concepts of liberation, domination, and The Great Refusal, and also attempt to elucidate some of the Marcusean concepts that have maintained their relevance, but can fall victim to misinterpretation.