Free-floating intelligentsia/Sociology

Updated - March 03, 2017 02:07 am IST

Published - March 03, 2017 12:15 am IST

Is it possible for social scientists to remove themselves from the particular nature of their social affairs and be objective, as, say, a physicist studying sub-atomic particles could? Karl Mannheim spoke of the free-floating intelligentsia not by way of thinking up a classless, creed-less, value-neutral section of social scientists who could mimic the methods and results of natural science. Instead, he was fired up by the idea of the modern intellectual who could understand and empathise with the lives and feelings of different sections of society without ever being affected by her own place in the milieu. Free-floating and detached, but not far-removed and indifferent.

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