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Additional resources for Karl Mannheim and the Contemporary Sociology of Knowledge
Second, there is the question of how one variant of knowledge is to be separated from another within the proposed categories. For example, it is important to know how to separate conservative from bourgeois or socialist thought. In this section I will primarily address the first question, leaving consideration of the second to the conclusion of this chapter where I discuss Mannheim's substantive study of conservatism as an example of his sociology of knowledge. At different points in his work Mannheim adopts different categories of knowledge.
His attempts to refine the use of this concept contain some of the most fascinating insights in his work. In his earlier sociology of knowledge (before Ideology and Utopia) Mann~eim is generally wary of the category of ideology and uses it very sparingly. For example, in his essay on 'The Ideological and the Sociological Interpretation of Intellectual Phenomena', he comments on the pejorative meaning of ideology, even though he retains the concept. 49 In this essay Mannheim discusses the distinctions between interpreting an idea as an 'idea' or as an 'ideology'.
Of these locations, generation and class are accorded the most importance. However, compared with the theoretical analysis of generation the concept of class is underdeveloped. Class The lack of theoretical development of the concept of class in Mannheim's work has aided many commentators in their assimilation of Mannheim's concept of class to that of Marx. The falsity of this becomes clear once the place of class in Mannheim's work as a whole is understood. 15 When Mannheim talks of class he tends to use this to refer to the area of political activity rather than economic determination.