Contemporary articles citing Mannheim K (1952) Essays Sociology Kno

theories, knowledge, very, studies, would, so, society, previous, cultural, role

Abend, G. 2006. "Styles of Sociological Thought: Sociologies, Epistemologies, and the Mexican and Us Quests for Truth." Sociological Theory. 24:1 1-41. Link
Both U.S. and Mexican sociologies allege that they are in the business of making true scientific knowledge claims about the social world. Conventional conceptions of science notwithstanding, I demonstrate that their claims to truth and scientificity are based on alternative epistemological grounds. Drawing a random sample of nonquantitative articles from four leading journals, I show that, first, they assign a different role to theories, and indeed they have dissimilar understandings of what a theory should consist of. Second, whereas U.S. sociology actively struggles against subjectivity, Mexican sociology maximizes the potentials of subjective viewpoints. Third, U.S. sociologists tend to regard highly and Mexican sociologists to eagerly disregard the principle of ethical neutrality. These consistent and systematic differences raise two theoretical issues. First, I argue that Mexican and U.S. sociologies are epistemologically, semantically, and perceptually incommensurable. I contend that this problem is crucial for sociology's interest in the social conditioning of scientific knowledge's content. Second, I suggest four lines of thought that can help us explain the epistemological differences I find. Finally, I argue that sociologists would greatly profit from studying epistemologies in the same fashion they have studied other kinds of scientific and nonscientific beliefs.

Steinmetz, G. 2004. "Odious Comparisons: Incommensurability, the Case Study, and ``small N's'' in Sociology." Sociological Theory. 22:3 371-400. Link
Case studies and ``small-N comparisons'' have been attacked from two directions, positivist and incommensurabilist. At the same time, some authors have defended small-N comparisons as allowing qualitative researchers to attain a degree of scientificity, yet they also have rejected the case study as merely ``idiographic.'' Practitioners of the case study sometimes agree with these critics, disavowing all claims to scientificity. A related set of disagreements concerns the role and nature of social theory in sociology, which sometimes is described as useless and parasitic and other times as evolving in splendid isolation from empirical research. These three forms of sociological activity-comparative analysis, studies of individual cases, and social theory-are defended here from the standpoint of critical realism. In this article I first reconstruct, in very broad strokes, the dominant epistemological and ontological framework of postwar U.S. sociology. The next two sections discuss several positivist and incommensurabilist criticisms of comparison and case studies. The last two sections propose an understanding of comparison as operating along two dimensions, events and structures, and offer an illustration of the difference and relationship between the two.

Pels, D. 1996. "Karl Mannheim and the Sociology of Scientific Knowledge: Toward a New Agenda." Sociological Theory. 14:1 30-48. Link
In previous decades, a regrettable divorce has arisen between two currents of theorizing and research about knowledge and science: the Mannheimian and Wittgensteinian traditions. The radical impulse of the new social studies of science in the early 1970s was initiated not by followers of Mannheim, but by Wittgensteinians such as Kuhn, Bloor, and Collins. This paper inquires whether this Wittgensteinian program is not presently running into difficulties that might be resolved to some extent by reverting to a more traditional and broader agenda of research. A social theory of knowledge (or social epistemology) along Mannheimian lines would not only reinstate the ``magic triangle'' of epistemology, sociology, and ethics, and hence revive the vexed problem of ``ideology critique,'' but would also need to reincorporate the social analysis of science into a broader macrosocial theory about the ``knowledge society.''

SICA, A. 1995. "Gabels Micro/macro Bridge - the Schizophrenic Process Writ Large." Sociological Theory. 13:1 66-99. Link
Joseph Gabel's theoretical synthesis of psychiatry, political sociology, the sociology of knowledge, and Marxism is examined partly by evaluating the use he makes of ideas common to the works of Lukacs, Mannheim, Minkowski, Binswanger, Dupreel, Lalo, Meyerson, and others. Gabel's major contention-that false consciousness and schizophrenia are mutually illuminating phenomena at analytic and empirical levels-is considered, principally by hermeneutic analysis of his key concepts: `'de-dialecticization,'' `'reified consciousness,'' `'socio-pathological parallelism,'' and so on. His work is contextualized among competing theories of ideological expressiveness and collectively significant cognitive distortions of reality.

Eyal, G. 1996. "The Discursive Origins of Israeli Separatism: the Case of the Arab Village." Theory and Society. 25:3 389-429. Link

Pels, D. 1997. "Mixing Metaphors: Politics or Economics of Knowledge?." Theory and Society. 26:5 685-717. Link

Jules-Rosette, Bennetta. 2007. "Jean-paul Sartre and the Philosophy of Negritude: Race, Self, and Society." Theory and Society. 36:3 265-285. Link
In this article, Jean-Paul Sartre's relationship to the negritude movement and black intellectuals in Paris between the 1940s and the 1960s is examined in sociological and historical context. Sartre's version of negritude, developed in his 1948 treatise ``Orphee noir'' prefacing Leopold Senghor's collection of African and Malagasy poetry, is analyzed in terms of its role in shaping the discourses and debates surrounding negritude and the relationship of black intellectuals to the rest of French society. Sartre's phenomenological theories of race, juxtaposing dominant and subaltern ideologies, are contrasted with his dialectic of negritude. The antinegritude movement of the late 1960s is also considered with reference to Sartre's theories and inspiration. During this period, the relationship that Sartre established with Martinican intellectual and revolutionary Frantz Fanon helped to place Sartre into prominence as an activist and a theorist of decolonization and Third World politics. Sartre's theories of race, self, and society were integral to both his early and later works and warrant review as approaches to the sociology of culture and sources of reflection for contemporary postcolonial studies.

Straughn, Jeremy. 2009. "Culture, Memory, and Structural Change: Explaining Support for ``socialism'' in a Post-socialist Society." Theory and Society. 38:5 485-525. Link
Two decades ago, East European state socialism met with a paradoxical fate. Between 1989 and 1991, communist party hegemony was abolished, leaving the very idea of socialism permanently discredited-or so it seemed. Yet in the decade that followed, ``socialistic'' principles and practices would retain-or perhaps acquire-a surprising degree of popular appeal. Was this a cultural legacy of systematic indoctrination? A strategic response to material insecurities? Perhaps a combination of both? In this article, it is argued that many previous efforts to unravel the paradox are inadequate because they ignore both the ``strategic'' dimensions of culture and the cultural dimensions of instrumental reason. Using life-history data on the former East Germany, it is shown that apparently discredited ideologies can acquire renewed salience in the wake of regime change if they (1) remain culturally available as strategies of action that (2) provided material opportunities or symbolic privileges in the past, and (3) promise to ameliorate new problems engendered by alternative strategies.

Baert, Patrick. 2011. "The Sudden Rise of French Existentialism: a Case-study in the Sociology of Intellectual Life." Theory and Society. 40:6 619-644. Link
This article offers a new explanation for the sudden rise in popularity of French existentialism, in particular of Sartre's version, in the mid-1940s. It develops a multidimensional account that recognizes both structural and cultural factors. The explanation differs from, and more fully addresses the complexity of the situation than, the two most prominent existing explanations: namely Anna Boschetti's Bourdieu-inspired account and Randall Collins's network-based approach. It is argued that, because of specific socio-political circumstances, the intellectual establishment became tainted and lost legitimacy, with its aesthetic and philosophical views now regarded as outdated if not politically dangerous. This hiatus brought unprecedented publishing opportunities for a new philosophical current, and skilful public performances by the main protagonists helped its ascendancy. Most importantly, existentialist writers colluded with de Gaulle in portraying a cohesive and defiant French nation; and their philosophy, especially in its notion of responsibility, enabled sections of French society to assimilate and make sense of the recent past, whilst drawing a line underneath it so as to move forward.

Collins, Randall & Mauro Guillen. 2012. "Mutual Halo Effects in Cultural Production: the Case of Modernist Architecture." Theory and Society. 41:6 527-556. Link
Previous research has suggested that in cultural production fields the concatenation of eminence explains success, defined as influence and innovation. We propose that individuals in fields as diverse as philosophy, literature, mathematics, painting, or architecture gain visibility by cumulating the eminence of others connected to them across and within generations. We draw on interaction ritual chain and social movement theories, and use evidence from the field of modernist architecture, to formulate a model of how networks of very strong ties generate motivations and emotional enthusiasm, change reputations, and form collective movements that over time transform the structure of cultural fields. Because major aesthetic innovations break sharply with older styles, they need very strong group solidarity over a long period of time to propagate a new standard of practice. We propose mutual halo effects, i.e., the reciprocal reinforcement of upstream and downstream prestige on a given individual node, as the key factor accounting for success in a cultural production field. We discuss the relevance of these results for building a model of influence and innovation in cultural production fields in which networks-reshaped by shifting technological, political, and economic conditions-trigger new styles.