The intellectual as a political actor? Four models of theory/praxis

This essay addresses the issue of the role of the intellectual within the tradition of the New Left. Four models for the relationship between theory and practice are offered, using prominent thinkers from different political cultures. One model argues that theorists should leave their cathedral and join social activists; the second contends that critical theory is itself a form of social activism; the third perceives the role of the intellectual as possessor of knowledge as power, arguing that intellectuals actually serve to preserve the status quo; the fourth argues that the organic intellectual has a social role in refining and scrutinizing his society. The question remains whether it is possible to see the study of ideology as a scientific endeavor with no a priori normative role
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DOI 10.1080/13698230500108884
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