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The Role Of Intellectuals In Contemporary Society

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About the Book

In the few years that have passed since the World War II, intellectuals were called for to assume roles suited to the emerging social formations, whether their political and economic characters are capitalist, socialist, or democratic. In such a climate, the elite of knowers came to constitute a New Class at the service of other and basic agencies of power the present book attempts to consider the composition, character and relevance of intellectuals in contemporary society. The book begins with an analysis of the changing roles of intellectuals in the twentieth century and, then, extends the discussion by examining how professionalization takes place and which way contemporary professionalism is moving. The book then proceeds on the elaboration of the relationship between the intellectual, education and society in terms of both what it was and what it is becoming. From a discussion of the subject in its wider sociological and ideological setting, the volume shifts its attention to assay the role of intellectuals in concrete social situation – that is, the role of the intellectuals in the making of modern India. Finally the work makes a search of classical and contemporary roots of the substantive themes on the role of intellectuals and reviews the prevailing perspectives on the relationship between education and society. In this way, this book brings together various materials on the role of intellectuals in contemporary society and mixes two genres of writings-theoretical and empirical. It has tried to document every proposition that is stated and every assertion that is made, which between them, build up a more wider and realistic picture of the subject both in its wider sociological and ideological setting as well as in concrete social situations.


Dr. Rajendra Pandey (b. 1937) is Professor of Sociology in the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur. Before switching over to IIT, Kanpur, he was a Lecturer in Sociology in the University of Gorakhpur. He obtained his doctorate in Sociology from Banaras Hindu University. Sociology of development, social stratification, sociological theory, sociology of education and rural analysis are the principal areas of his interest. His research papers have been published in various sociology and social work journals in India and abstracted in Sociological Abstract – a publication of International Sociological Association, San Diego, U.S.A. He is the author of several books including Sociology of Development: Concepts, Theories and Issues, 1985; Sociology of Underdevelopment: Theories and Critiques, 1986; and Mainstream Traditions of Social Stratification Theory: Marx, Weber, Pareto, 1989 (published by Mittal Published by Mittal Publications). Currently the author is representing India on Comite Aspirations: Besoins et Development, Association – International de Sociologies, Centre d’ Ethnologie Social de Psychosociologies, a Montrogue, France. 

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