Mannheim_May 2

Mannheim_May 2 - SOCIOLOGY 313 Development of Sociological...

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1 SOCIOLOGY 313 Development of Sociological Theory Karl Mannheim Key Points: ± What does Mannheim mean when he argues that all knowledge is relational, and what are the implications of such a position?
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2 Brief biography of Karl Mannheim ± Born in Budapest, Hungary in 1893 ± Taught sociology in Heidelberg and Frankfurt, and, after 1933, in London ± 1929 (1936): Ideology and Utopia ± Founder of the International Library of Sociology and Social Reconstruction ± Died in London in 1947 Scientific self-awareness ± Mannheim held that to participate knowingly in social life presupposes that one can understand the often hidden nature of thought about society. ± Human beings have the potential for self- examination and contextual awareness. ± Only when these are understood can one have a comprehension of the formal object under study ± It follows that this potential for simultaneously comprehending self, the socio-historical context, and the object to be analyzed must be realized (especially by sociologists). Marx’s influence on Mannheim ± The mode of material production shapes the political sphere (and the rest of the "superstructure") ± Change in the material base is closely connected with "transformations in class relations" and corresponding shifts in power ± Idea structures may dominate people at any historical period, but these ideologies may be understood and their change predicted theoretically.
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3 Marx’s influence on Mannheim ± Nevertheless, unlike Marx, who emphasized that the ideas of the ruling class prevailed, Mannheim held that class-divided societies contain a special stratum for "those individuals whose only capital consisted in their education“ ± As this stratum comes to draw from different classes, it will contain contradictory points of view. ± Hence, the social position of intellectuals is not merely a question of their class origin. Its "multiformity" provides the "potential energy" for members of the intellectual stratum to develop a social sensibility and to grasp the dynamic and conflicting forces of society Emergence of a Sociology of Knowledge
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Mannheim_May 2 - SOCIOLOGY 313 Development of Sociological...

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