Bernard Barber Intellectual Pursuits

ISBN 13: 9780847688593

Intellectual Pursuits

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This book is a venture in constructive clarification of several basic topics in current humanities and social science discourses that are badly muddled. The heart of the clarification is contained in Barber's definition of culture, derived from social system theory, that provides us with a better understanding of today's debate on intellectuals and the pursuit of science. Barber examines the ways in which intellectual culture is defined, the construction of ideologies and ideologists, and the structure of cultural sub-systems (high-middle-low). The book deftly interweaves these concepts to illuminate the present and historical situations of conflict in the universities and elsewhere. He distinguishes between those who emphasize the cultural norm of knowledge for its own sake, and those whose norms are primarily ideological and reformist. Intellectual Pursuits: Toward an Understanding of Culture will challenge both students and scholars to consider their own intellectual positions from both within, and without, the academy, and sharpens our perspectives on the role of intellectuals in society.

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About the Author:

Bernard Barber is professor emeritus of sociology, Columbia University.

Review:

What is intellectual activity? At a time when 'public intellectuals' command media attention, Bernard Barber's probing analysis rejects facile definitions by offering instead a systematic mapping of 'intellectual pursuits,' the richly differentiated world of intellectual life. Intellectual Pursuits brings to bear on some of today's crucial questions a lifetime of empirical inquiry into science, culture, and intellectual activity at large, as well as a career-long involvement with theoretical synthesis. (Viviana Zeliver, Princeton University)

Here is a book for the future. When functional and systemic ideas revive in the social sciences, as they surely will, Bernard Barber's analysis of culture and intellectual activity will set challenges for the next round of researchers. Resolutely rationalist, systematic, didactic, decent, and unfashionable, Barber places a wide variety of cultural innovations and disputes in their social settings. He clarifies what is at stake in sharp contemporary disagreements over the character of cultural production. (Charles Tilly, Joseph L. Buttenwieser Professor of Social Science, Columbia University)

For fifty years, Bernard Barber has been producing sociological theory distinguished by a most unusual combination of sophistication, lucidity, relevance, and plain common sense. It is a treat to have yet another contribution from this eminent practitioner of the theoretical craft. (Jeffrey C. Alexander, University of California, Los Angeles)

Barber provides a lucid statement of social science today and should fuel many a discussion among those engaged in academe's intellectual pursuits. Students in upper division and graduate studies in the social sciences should read this enlightening book. (Orville D. Menard, University of Nebraska, Omaha International Social Science Review)

Presents a systematic analysis of intellectuals & culture based on scholarship produced over the last several decades, arguing that it is preferable to attempt a definition of intellectual pursuits than of itellectuals per se. Throughout, illustrations are provided to demonstrate the efficacy of the argument advanced.... (Sociological Abstracts, April 2000)

An established master of cultural analysis, Bernard Barber . . . manages to set straight confused discussions and debates in the literature, develop remarkable insights into the nature and functions of ideology, and demystify a number of current cultural movements, including postmodernism. This is social-science analysis at its best, and begs to be read. (Neil J. Smelser, director, Center for Advanced Study in the Behavorial Sciences)

Presents a systematic analysis of intellectuals & culture based on scholarship produced over the last several decades, arguing that it is preferable to attempt a definition of intellectual pursuits than of itellectuals per se. Throughout, illustrations are provided to demonstrate the efficacy of the argument advanced. (Sociological Abstracts, April 2000)

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Book Description ROWMAN & LITTLEFIELD, United States, 1998. Hardback. Condition: New. Language: English. Brand new Book. This book is a venture in constructive clarification of several basic topics in current humanities and social science discourses that are badly muddled. The heart of the clarification is contained in Barber's definition of culture, derived from social system theory, that provides us with a better understanding of today's debate on intellectuals and the pursuit of science. Barber examines the ways in which intellectual culture is defined, the construction of ideologies and ideologists, and the structure of cultural sub-systems. Seller Inventory # ANB9780847688593

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Book Description ROWMAN & LITTLEFIELD, United States, 1998. Hardback. Condition: New. Language: English. Brand new Book. This book is a venture in constructive clarification of several basic topics in current humanities and social science discourses that are badly muddled. The heart of the clarification is contained in Barber's definition of culture, derived from social system theory, that provides us with a better understanding of today's debate on intellectuals and the pursuit of science. Barber examines the ways in which intellectual culture is defined, the construction of ideologies and ideologists, and the structure of cultural sub-systems. Seller Inventory # ANB9780847688593

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