AbstractThe author deals with certain crucial aspects of the sociology of knowledge of Karl Mannheim in view of the fact that he finds that the increase, worldwide, of interest in ideological difficulties in South Africa can fruitfully be dealt with in terms of this form of sociology. This is justified in part by Mannheim's viewpoint that thought is a function of human existence, and this function emanates from needs based on social factors. He traces Mannheim's use of the term ideology (in Sociology), culminating With the Idea that “the birth and death of ideology depends on certain social, economic and 'ecological' factors”. Subsequently he deals with a whole line of aspects of the sociology of knowledge as expounded by Mannheim, culminating in the idea that shifts in views with regard to lifeview and underlying values take place when there is a rapid upward (vertical) mobility, leading to uncertainties and a lack of trust in established values.
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