CST12.Sum.Mannheim - Classical Sociological Theory 4e...

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Classical Sociological Theory, 4e Ritzer Karl Mannheim Classical Sociological Theory Chapter 12 CHAPTER SUMMARY Mannheim, Marx, and Ideology Although he never produced a systematic grand theory of society on the scale of Marx or Weber, Karl Mannheim (1893-1947) is an important figure in sociology because he invented the field called the sociology of knowledge. Mannheim credited Marx for creating the beginnings of this field through his theory of ideology; however, Mannheim was critical of Marx’s notion that ideologies involve the conscious intention to distort reality. According to Mannheim, ideology “has no moral or denunciatory intent.” Mannheim also questioned Marx’s belief that ideologies emerge only from social classes. While Mannheim believed that the most significant source of ideology originated from class stratification, he acknowledged that all social groups produce ideologies, such as generations. In contrast to Marx, Mannheim attempted to study the social sources of distorted thinking in a scientific manner rather than exclusively focusing on the political sources of ideology. This, according to Mannheim, was one of the premises of the sociology of knowledge. Mannheim’s Sociological Approach Mannheim’s sociology of knowledge is empirical because he was interested in studying how social relationships influence thought; but he was neither a determinist nor a positivist. In fact, Mannheim was highly critical of positivism because it allowed no role for theory and, by focusing solely on material reality, neglected the importance of understanding and interpretation. Mannheim was also critical of phenomenology because it focused too much on mental or
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This note was uploaded on 05/20/2010 for the course SOCIOLOGY Classical taught by Professor N/a during the Spring '10 term at Open Uni..

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CST12.Sum.Mannheim - Classical Sociological Theory 4e...

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