Intellectuals’ Political Orientations: Toward an Analytical Sociology

  •  Jun peng Li    


This article surveys the field of the sociology of intellectuals, and calls for a move toward an analytical sociology. The topics covered include the definitions of intellectuals, the debates on whether intellectuals constitute a universal class, and the role of intellectuals in the society, in particular intellectuals’ involvement in politics. The article then moves on to the literature on intellectuals’ political consciousness, and makes a call for a shift from a moralistic mission to an analytical approach, while suggesting a shift of the intellectual from an “independent variable” to a “dependent variable.”

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