Although Mannheim's contributions to the sociology of knowledge are well known and widely discussed, his analysis of the problems of cultural sociology has been neglected by sociologists. This is a pity because the sociology of culture has become one of the most popular and exciting areas of sociological debate in recent years and Mannheim's work has much to contribute. In this book Mannheim provides an overview of the nature and content of the cultural sciences within the context of his historical approach to questions of knowledge. The essays are organized around two important questions; what is the relationship between the organization of intellectuals and the ideas which they produce, and given the development of a democratic ethos in society what form would the democratization of culture assume? These two questions continue to be central to the humnanities and social sciences, and therefore Mannheim's contribution remains a fascinating input to contemporary debate. In considering the role of the intelligentsia in the production of culture, Mannheim provides us with a brilliant sketch of their historical development from medieval times. While his work on culture and democracy presents many stimulating perspectives on the problem of culture and citizenship. Mannheim's analysis of the intellectual and culture anticipated a number of current debates about the decline of the intellectual, the commodification of culture, the problem of cultural citizenship, the fragmentation of culture and the postmodern challenge.
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