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Durham e-Theses
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World view and class in the sociology of knowledge and literature

Valentine, James (1976) World view and class in the sociology of knowledge and literature. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.



The thesis is concerned with engendering formal models in the sociology\of knowledge and literature that will aid the analysis of the development of aspects of world view from class elements, and the expression of world views in literature. After an introduction which reviews the general methodological approach, Part I examines theories in the sociology of knowledge (including principally those of Mannheim, Goldmann, Scheler Pareto, Parsons, and Berger and Luckmann) in the light of an analytical substructure-superstructure distinction, in order to establish the various possible modes of development of consciousness from meaningful action. Part II develops a general model for one area of the sociology of knowledge after refining the concepts of 'class' and 'world view', it traces the ways in which aspects of world view may develop from class elements. Impart III, the general model of the development of world view from classis applied to the special case of literary world views. The literary role is examined, both in terms of authorship as a class role and in terms of the non economic aspects of the author role. The literary act of authorship is investigated through the predominant conceptions of art as communication and expression, and the sociology of expression is found to be an important adjunct to the sociology of knowledge. Where attempts are made to analyse the meanings ‘expressed' in literature, it is suggested that various aspects of literary form require recognition. Part III concludes with an examination of methodological issues that emerge from a critique of Goldmann's sociology of literature. In Part IV, the formal models developed in the earlier Parts are applied to the undertaking of two case studies that focus upon Charlotte and Emily Brontë and their novels.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Date:1976
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:18 Sep 2013 15:35

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