This student textbook, originally published in 1991, tackles the traditional problems of the sociology of knowledge from a new perspective. Drawing on recent developments in social theory, Tim Dant explores crucial questions such as the roles of power and knowledge, the status of rational knowledge, and the empirical analysis of knowledge. He argues that, from a sociological perspective, knowledge, ideology and discourse are different aspects of the same phenomenon, and reasserts the central thesis of the sociology - that knowledge is socially determined.
1. Introduction 2. Mannheim's sociology of knowledge 3. The interiors of Mannheim's legacy 4. The origins of the theory of ideology 5. A modern approach to ideological critique 6. From signification to discourse 7. Discourse, knowledge and critique 8. Science and language 9. Culture and the perspective of women 10. Knowledge, ideology and discourse 11. Analysing knowledge as ideological discourse 12. A future for the sociology of knowledge as discourse analysis