This essay, first published in 1980, analyses the relationship between intellectuals’ social locations and their political orientations. Dr Brym provides a critical discussion of the various sociological views of intellectuals and specifies some of the social conditions which encourage intellectuals to follow various directions on the political compass. He also demonstrates that intellectuals are neither socially rootless nor tied to one particular class or group within society, concluding that it is only by an analysis of intellectuals’ mobility patterns that we can hope to arrive at an adequate understanding of their politics.
Clearly written, and assuming only a basic grounding in sociological theory, this book will thus be of special interest to students of political sociology, social movements, the sociology of knowledge, the sociology of culture and the sociology of intellectuals.
1. Introduction 2. Radicals and Moderates 3. Oligarchs and Democrats 4. Leftists and Rightists 5. Conclusions