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The Anthem Companion to Karl Mannheim

The Anthem Companion to Karl Mannheim

Edited by Volker Meja & David Kettler

Anthem Companions to Sociology

“The Anthem Companion to Karl Mannheim” is an international collection of original articles on the classical sociologist Karl Mannheim and documents the current revitalization of the reception of this social thinker. Using “learning from Mannheim” as its motif, the chapters in this volume favor fresh negotiations with his works, including the writings published posthumously in recent decades.

PDF, 234 Pages

ISBN:9781783084814

December 2017

£18.36, $30.36

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EPUB, 234 Pages

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December 2017

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  • About This Book
  • Reviews
  • Author Information
  • Series
  • Table of Contents

About This Book

Karl Mannheim is a classic of sociology. “The Anthem Companion to Karl Mannheim” helps us to accompany him in his open, experimental thinking, the generation of new questions, the recognition of thought experiments as well as the care for controlling evidence, and his negotiations with colleagues he encounters in his own searches. This is not simply to dismiss the elements brought together by earlier scholars into a challenging composite design, but there cannot be many authors recognized as classical who have characterized the work for which he/she is justly honored as a collection of experimental essays. Sociology of knowledge is a project, not a creed; and “Ideology and Utopia” is a documentation, not a scripture.

After a brief introductory overview of Karl Mannheim’s intellectual career, “The Anthem Companion to Karl Mannheim” offers fresh commentaries and explorations by an international and presently active group of scholars. As the institutionalized understanding of Mannheim’s sociology of knowledge project was so long shaped by the synthetic reading by the American sociologist Robert K. Merton—a classic in his own right––the companion opens with a careful exposition and critique of that authoritative interpretation. It is followed by a close reading of the considerations that led Mannheim to move beyond the neo-Kantian epistemology of his earlier training to the project of a sociological understanding of critical knowledge. Next to come is a series of studies that marked by perspectives derived from intellectual strategies developed since the breakdown of consensus on the approaches examined in the previous section. In their variety, the studies capture a number of perspectives opened up or expanded by an understanding of Mannheim’s undertaking. The key terms are familiar: self-reflexivity, praxeological sociology, neo-realism, and dramatistic readings of world-views. The angles of vision differ, but they agree in projecting new and important light on Mannheim’s efforts. At the end, attention is focused on some unfamiliar links between Mannheim’s work and current interests: a study of Mannheim’s influence on Hannah Arendt, who knew him as teacher in Heidelberg and Frankfurt; an inquiry into Mannheim’s political thought from the standpoint of contemporary democratic political theory; and an examination of Mannheim’s attention to the status of women and of the work done on these matters under his tutelage by a group of talented women students.

The idea of “The Anthem Companion to Karl Mannheim” is by no means to dismiss the work for which Mannheim has been best known, but it is to put that work in its particular context, as a multisided agenda rather than as a finished doctrine, to be accepted or rejected. The aim is to learn from Karl Mannheim.

Reviews

European Journal of Cultural and Political Sociology

Distinktion: Journal of Social Theory

European Journal of Cultural and Political Sociology

“Kettler and Meja’s Anthem Companion offers timely reflections on some of the main issues in Mannheim’s sociology of knowledge from the point of view of its ‘actuality’ understood as ‘applicability’”.
—Gábor Tverdota (2019) “The anthem companion to Karl Mannheim”, European Journal of Cultural and Political Sociology, 6:1, 131–136

Author Information

David Kettler is research professor at Bard College, US, and professor emeritus at Trent University, Canada. His publications include five coauthored books on Karl Mannheim.

Volker Meja is professor emeritus at Memorial University of Newfoundland, Canada.

Series

Anthem Companions to Sociology

Table of Contents

Introduction: Karl Mannheim as Interlocutor, David Kettler and Volker Meja; Chapter One Between Ideology and Utopia: Karl Mannheim’s Quest for a Political Synthesis, Henrik Lundberg; Chapter Two Karl Mannheim and the Realism Debate in Political Theory, Peter Breiner; Chapter Three Mannheim, Mass Society and Democratic Theory, Ryusaku Yamada; Chapter Four Karl Mannheim and Hannah Arendt on Conduct, Action and Politics, Philip Walsh; Chapter Five Karl Mannheim and Women’s Research, David Kettler and Volker Meja; Chapter Six The Melodrama of Modernity in Karl Mannheim’s Political Theory, Hartmut Behr and Liam Devereux; Chapter Seven Historicization and the Sociology of Knowledge, Reinhard Laube; Chapter Eight Karl Mannheim, T. S. Eliot and Raymond Williams: Cultural Sociology or Cultural Studies?, Claudia Honegger; Chapter Nine Karl Mannheim’s Sociology of Self- Refl exivity, Amalia Barboza; Chapter Ten Praxeological Sociology of Knowledge and Documentary Method: Karl Mannheim’s Framing of Empirical Research, Ralf Bohnsack; List of Contributors; Index.

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