Essays on the Sociology of Culture

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Routledge & Paul, 1962 - Culture - 253 pages
Karl Mannheim was one of the leading sociologists of the twentieth century. Essays on the Sociology of Culture, originally published in 1956, was one of his most important books. In it he sets out his ideas of intellectuals as producers of culture and explores the possibilities of a democratization of culture. This new edition includes a superb new preface by Bryan Turner which sets Mannheim's study in the appropriate historical and intellectual context and explains why his thought on culture remains essential for students engaged in debates about mass culture, the politics of culture and postmodernity.

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Contents

Editorial Note by Adolph Lowe
15
The False and the Proper Concepts of History
25
The Proper and Improper Concept of the Mind
59

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About the author (1962)

Karl Mannheim, a Hungarian-born German sociologist, taught at the Universities of Heidelberg and Frankfurt until 1933, when the coming of the Nazis to power forced him to find refuge at the University of London. His major fields of inquiry were the sociology of knowledge and the sociology of intellectual life. His masterpiece, "Ideology and Utopia" (1936), asserts that there are two types of knowledge: true knowledge based on science and knowledge based on social class. Ideas are of two types: "utopian" ideas support underprivileged groups, while "ideologies" support privileged groups. Mannheim, studying the trend toward increasing centralization, believed that modern society is dominated by large, powerful, impersonal organizations; as they consolidate, they will be controlled by powerful elites. He urged that, since this trend is inevitable, power should rest in the hands of unbiased intellectuals. He hoped that planning by trained social scientists could preserve and foster democracy. Mannheim's pioneering work in the sociology of knowledge had relatively little direct influence on contemporary research, but his bringing the concept of ideology to the attention of sociologists was of consequential importance.

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