The nature of the relationship between ideas and the social conditions in which they develop has long been among the central concerns of fields like the sociology of knowledge, the sociology of intellectuals, and the social history of ideas. For generations, scholars in these areas have hotly debated the proper way of characterizing the form of this relationship and how it should be conceptualized and studied. With few exceptions, however, there has been an astonishing consensus on one matter: fundamental intellectual reorientations have almost invariably been seen as the product—whether simple or complex—of one or more major social changes. As far as it has gone, this perspective has led to extremely important conclusions, but except among the psychoanalytically inclined, it has remained strangely and regrettably silent on the specific micro-level processes by which macro-level social changes actually translate into changes in ideas.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sociology and Political Science