Mannheim, "Distanzierung" and liberalism today
My purpose in this paper is essentially two-fold: First, I want to clarify the problem of "Distanzierung" and to consider the causes, consequences and possible remedies for it that Mannheim places at the center of his important transitional lectures of 1930, "Allgemeine Soziologie." In this text Mannheim develops a complex sociological argument, analyzing the relationship in modern society between what he calls Lebensdistanzierung and the dialectical response of Reprimitivisierung. To this analysis he adds a political argument, noting that the dangerous dialectic of distancing and return to origins yields visible results in the fascism and orthodox Marxism of his time. Such an outcome can be confronted, if not entirely overcome, through dynamic thought and a redefinition of the role of the intellectuals.
Scaff, L. A. (2000)., Mannheim, "Distanzierung" and liberalism today, in M. Endreß & I. Srubar (eds.), Karl Mannheims Analyse der Moderne, Wiesbaden, Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften, pp. 311-327.
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