Uploaded by Zina HIDRI

Zina Hidri Dissertation The Social and Political Status of Intellectuals in the United States of America in the 1950s and 1960s.

People's Democratic Republic of Algeria
Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research
‫جامعة باجي مختار عنابة‬
‫كلية اآلداب والعلوم اإلنسانية واالجتماعية‬
‫قسم اللغة اإلنجليزية‬
Department of English
‫مدرسة الدكتورا ه‬
Doctoral School
The Social and Political Status of Intellectuals in the United
States of America in the 1950s and 1960s
A Dissertation Submitted to the Department of English in Partial Fulfillment of
the Requirements for the Degree of the Magister Degree in American Civilization
The Board of Examiners
Chairman: Pr. MANAA Mohamed
(Pr. Badji Mokhtar University/ Annaba)
Supervisor: ELAGGOUNE Abdelhak (MC/A: Universityof 8 May1945/Guelma)
Examiner: Dr. TOULGUI Ladi
(MC/A University of 8 May 1945/Guelma)
Before anything else, I thank God for his mercy, blessings, protection, and
guidance. I thank Allah the greatest, the most powerful, the creator, and the only one who
knows everything for providing me with patience and strength to carry out this
dissertation. I thank my Lord for blessing me with people in my life who helped me
throughout this work in so many ways.
First of all, I present sincere gratitude and respect to supervisor Dr. ELAGGOUNE
Abdelhak for his time and efforts which greatly helped to accomplish the present
dissertation. He was patient, supportive, and kind. His peaceful encouragements and very
constructive advice gave energy to work harder and yearn for better. He taught through
his gentleness how to learn more and to stand on solid grounds. He is a great mentor and a
valuable mind and it is an honor to be one of his students. No matter what to say it is still
not enough for him, so appreciation for him transcends the use of words.
I would like to thank all the examiners for taking of their valuable time to read and
enlighten this dissertation with their precious perspectives and remarks which shall be
taken in consideration.
Last but not least, I thank my mother for everything she did and made it possible
for me to fulfill this research effort. I owe this work and my life to her, and I pray God to
protect such a diamond. I thank my beloved family for their support and encouragement
especially my only sister. Of course, I cannot forget to thank the colleagues in the
Doctoral School of English and the cherished friends for being there whenever needed
especially Marioma, Mina, and Sarah.
To the Greatest Teacher who taught us how to be humans, how to behave
humanly and how to love humanity.
To Allah’s Mercy upon Mankind, to the Prophet Mohammed Peace be
upon him.
O my PARENTS the dearest persons in my world. THANK YOU …
The current dissertation studies the status of American intellectuals both socially
and politically during the period of the 1950s and 1960s. The main intention is to find out
evidence about the real socio-political position American intellectuals held in or were
attributed by the American society of the 1950s and 1960s. Intellectuals are not a new
phenomenon in the American society, they have existed since the establishment of this
country but witnessed a significant change in their status in parallel with the development
of the American society. Being an intellectual is connected to the knowledge the
individual is concerned with, but how knowledge and concern make him an intellectual is
considered differently. The two criteria make and render their identification difficult.
Similarly, identifying the “status” is not so easy since it depends on several factors that
influence the status of people differently from a given situation to another. In an attempt
to measure the political and social status of American intellectuals, this dissertation
attempted to examine the possible occupations these individuals had occupied in the
1950s and 1960s. By so doing, the study tried to sense the intellectuals’ status from the
positions they held and the actions they undertook. The investigation showed that the
intellectuals then enjoyed a relatively high status as occupants of intellectual positions and
as performers of intellectual functions. This status was a title granted to them on basis of
Le présent mémoire a pour objectif d’étudier le statut social et politique des intellectuels
Américains pendant les années cinquante et soixante du vingtième siècle. Plus
précisément, ce travail vise à fournir un aperçu précis sur la position sociale et politique
attribuée aux intellectuels par la société Américaine. Les intellectuels ont existé depuis le
fondement de ce pays, mais leur statut a changé en parallèle avec le développement de ce
pays. Etre un intellectuel est lié au savoir et à l’intérêt que porte un individu, mais
comment ce savoir et cet intérêt font d’un individu un intellectuel est jugé différemment;
ce qui rend la définition des intellectuels une tache difficile. Aussi, définir le statut n’est
pas plus facile car il dépend des facteurs qui influent celui des personnes d’une manière
qui diffère d’une situation à une autre. Ce travail de recherche a essayé d’identifier les
intellectuels Américains en ayant recours aux positions qu’ils ont occupées. Le but est de
découvrir leur position réelle par rapport aux fonctions occupées et aux actions
entreprises. Les résultats indiquent que pendant cette période du vingtième siècle, les
intellectuels américains ont relativement joui d’un bon statut au sein de leur société.
Evidemment, ce statut n’était pas juste un titre offert mais un résultat mérité.
‫تدرس هذه المذكرة المكانة االجتماعية و السياسية للمفكرين األمريكيين في فترة الخمسينات والستينات من القرن‬
‫العشرين‪ .‬يدورالموضوع حول المفكرين و مكانتهم في مرحلة مهمة من التاريخ الحديث للواليات المتحدة االمريكية‪.‬‬
‫ترمي هذه الدراسة لمعرفة إن كان للمفكرين األمريكيين مكانة رفيعة أو متدنية؟ لم يكن وجود المفكرين في المجتمع‬
‫األمريكي ظاهرة جديدة فقد أثبتوا وجودهم منذ نشأة الدولة األمريكية‪ ،‬لكن مكانتهم شهدت تغيرا ملحوظا في هذه‬
‫الفترة‪ .‬إن السعي الكتساب المعرفة مرتبط بكون اإلنسان مفكرا ولكن كيف تجعله المعرفة و السعي مفكرا هو أمر‬
‫أختلف فيه مما جعل تعريف المفكر غير موحد و تحديد المفكرين وفق هذه المعطيات أمرا صعبا‪ .‬كما أن تحديد المكانة‬
‫ليس بأسهل كونه يعتمد على عوامل تؤثر على مكانة األشخاص بشكل يختلف من وضع آلخر‪ .‬تحاول هذه المذكرة ان‬
‫تحدد مواقع العمل المحتملة التي احتلها المفكرون األمريكيون خالل الخمسينات والستينات‪ ،‬فاستعملت دراسات‬
‫استقصائية أمريكية تقيم مكانة وظائف العمل والتي تشمل الوظائف التي شغلها المفكرون األمريكيون‪ .‬كما قام هذا‬
‫العمل بالبحث عن مكانة هؤالء المفكرين من خالل أعمالهم و نشاطاتهم‪ .‬أظهرت هذه العمليات ان المفكرون‬
‫األمريكيون تمتعوا بمكانة جيدة نسبيا في وظائف العمل و في أدوارهم كمفكرين‪ .‬فهذه المكانة اذن لم تكن مجرد شهرة‬
‫وهبت لهم بل هي نتيجة استحقاق‪.‬‬
List of Abbreviations & Acronyms
Academic Advising Committee
Americans for Democratic Action
American Social Science Association
Culture Of Critical Discourse
Central Intelligence Agency
National Opinion Research Center
National Security Council
Office of Strategic Services
Socioeconomic Index
Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee
White Anglo-Saxon Protestant
Table of Contents
Introduction ……………………………………………………….………………..…01
Chapter One: Theoretical Concepts…………………………..…………………..…..10
1. Historical Overview……………………………………………………..…….....10
2. Defining Intellectuals.……………………………………………………...…….15
The Functional View....................................................................................15
The Structural View.....................................................................................21
3. The Status of Intellectuals.…………………..………………...…………………25
Definition of ‘Status’...................................................................................25
The Factors..................................................................................................26
a. Education.....................................................................................................27
b. Occupation...................................................................................................29
c. Other Factors................................................................................................33
The Political Status of Intellectuals.............................................................35
Chapter Two: The Social Status of the American Intellectuals in the 1950s and
1. Education.………………………………………………….…………..…...…….42
2. Occupation……………………………………………………………..………....48
3. Other Factors……………………………………………………………..…….....70
Chapter Three: The Political Status of the American Intellectuals in the 1950s and
1. The Political Status of American Intellectuals within the Governments of the 1950s
and 1960s …………………………………………….…………………..………76
2. The Political Status of American Intellectuals outside the Governments of the
1950s and 1960s...………………..………………………………...……….……86
Bibliography ……………………………………………...………………....…………108
Hidri 1
When we talk about American civilization, we generally refer to the advanced state
of intellectual, cultural, and material development marked by progress in the arts and
sciences, and the appearance of complex political and social institutions that have been
achieved by the diverse groups who together make up the society of the United States.
The intellectuals are one of these various groups that helped the American society to
achieve an advanced stage of development and organization.
One may wonder who the intellectuals are and why do we call them
“intellectuals”? Actually, the question is how they are different from the other groups that
make up the population of any given society? What is their social position in the society?
How does the society embrace them, and how do they embrace it? Are they concerned
with the problems of their society? Do they get concerned with the politics of the society?
Do they get involved in the politics of the society? If they do, how much can they be
involved? All these questions lead to the study of the intellectuals’ social and political
experiences as an attempt to project some light on of the crucial veins of a given
May be their status within a society is not the only indicator of the health of that
society’s civilization but still it remains an important one. Since it is not possible to study
all the indicators at once, it has been decided to study their social and political status as
one step to discover more about their role in the development of modern American
civilization. It goes without saying that the American civilization is one of the most
developed civilizations in modern times, and one must wonder how it has become so.
Studying the status of its intellectuals may not give us all the answers, but it will
certainly help us to get closer to one piece of the puzzle. When examining the history of
Hidri 2
the United States of America, one cannot help notice that this nation went through a
critical period after the Second World War which ended by the emergence of the United
States as the Great Giant among other leading and powerful nations.
Accordingly, studying the post-WWII period can give us a key to open one door
that leads to some answers to our questions. The study of the status of American
intellectuals within their society and more specifically their role and influence in the
domain of politics during the fifties and the sixties may reveal hidden truths that can help
understand the American civilization a little more. The main important questions of this
study are: How were intellectuals perceived in the American society in that period? Where
could one find the American intellectuals in the fifties and the sixties? How were they
related to their society at that time? And more specifically, how were they related to the
politics of the American society during the post-WWII period?
To initiate this investigation it is crucial to stop at some stations and then continue
the journey. The first and most important step in this study is to identify the term
intellectual, because the basic thing in this investigation depends on how this particular
word is defined. Then, it is important to deal with the criteria that make these people
intellectuals? One cannot study this category without having a general idea about who can
be included in it.
The first chapter of this dissertation attempts to gather a general perspective on
intellectuals by presenting different definitions. Defining intellectuals was and is still a
matter of investigation. It was agreed that intellectuals along the ages are those people
who are concerned with knowledge but how this concern identified them as intellectuals is
treated in different ways and views. Mainly, these views follow two directions.The first
one regards the concern of knowledge as a function for the intellectuals. This means that
Hidri 3
the intellectuals are those persons who use their knowledge for instance to criticize the
aspects of society whether social, economic, or political matters. The second direction
identifies the intellectuals with the positions they occupy in a society. They can be
situated within class or associated with groups or situated according to their ideological
The other notion defined in this chapter is ‘status’. The word status is often used
and understood easily in different contexts but when it comes to a research like this one
must take some time to scrutinize this concept. The studies about this notion were not
quite developed until the middle of the twentieth century, most notably with the
sociologist Max Weber who studied the social stratification of society and identified the
dimensions followed including the status dimension. The focus in many sociological
studies was more on how status is identified and related to the other dimensions of social
The main indicator of status according to these studies is occupation. Other factors
also were considered in varying degrees according to the social structure of societies. As
we finish identifying these factors, the chapter provides the basic stones on which we can
put our feet: the definition of ‘intellectuals’ and ‘status’ puts us on the right track in this
dissertation. At the end of the chapter, these factors and the definitions of intellectuals
were taken in consideration to study the status of intellectuals socially and politically. The
functions and characteristics associated with being an intellectual determined some of the
occupational or organizational positions that the intellectuals may occupy.
What makes the American society different from the other societies in this period
is the particularity of its situation. This entails the necessity to look at the conditions
which constituted part of the general picture of the life of intellectuals in the American
Hidri 4
society. The conditions examined should translate the key points which can affect the
status of the American intellectuals in the mid of the twentieth century. Studying the
factors which may influence the social status of the American intellectuals during the
fifties and the sixties, allow us to gather the whole picture and set us closer to the answer.
Starting a little earlier in the twentieth century helps considering the changes that
happened in the established traditions of the American intellectual life.This sets the main
indicators adopted then. The second chapter investigates the clues that end at the social
status of American intellectuals in the period that extended from the fifties to the sixties.
The American society at that time was still under the conditions that resulted from the
Second World War. The only society that became richer and did suffer the least from the
devastation of this World War was the American society.
The Americans at that time enjoyed an economic boom as never before in the
1950s and reached a peak in the 1960s. This economic growth allowed a more civic
progress. As a result, a huge number of Americans and more specifically of minorities
were able to improve their educational, legal, economic and social standing. This quest for
change brought also tension. The social divisions of gender, race, religion, ethnicity, and
class blocked the civic progress and led to increasingly racial conflicts during the 1960s.
This tension allowed for the visibility of women and environmental issues, faith of
individualism, and gave African Americans a chance to fight for their rights as American
citizens. These conditions had an effect on the intellectuals too. The second and the third
chapters attempt to spot some light on how the civic improvement and social tension of
the period had affected the status of the American intellectuals.
The second chapter follows the factors which affect the social status of intellectuals
in the American society in the mid of the twentieth century. The economic boom and the
Hidri 5
civic improvement in the United States in the post World War II did improve the
educational conditions which led to an increase in the numbers of intellectuals and an
increase in the occupational opportunities opened for intellectuals. Since the most
influential factor in identifying status is occupation, the chapter tried to track the
occupations that American intellectuals can be found in according to the many thinkers,
but this does not mean that they cannot be found in other positions.
Besides, the occupations that include intellectuals are not entirely consisted of
intellectuals. So, the chapter attempted to identify the occupations that the thinkers
considered potential positions of American intellectuals. Then, the scores of these
occupations were selected from the occupational status studies in the American society
during the fifties and sixties. Accordingly, the occupational prestige of these occupations
was attributed to the American intellectuals who occupied them. The whole picture cannot
be complete without examining the other factors that may influence the American
intellectuals’ status at this period.
The fact that the American society is a mixture of many ethnic groups means that
the intellectuals can be members of these ethnic groups which may influence their status.
In the mid of the century, most intellectuals mentioned by thinkers were either white
protestants, or Jews, or African Americans. The African American intellectuals’ status
was quite different from their Jews and White protestant counterparts. There were few
women among the American intellectuals at that time but that did not stop them from
being influential. Finally, the chapter considered the influence of the stereotypes on the
Status of the American intellectuals in general.
As soon as the trailing of the social status of the American intellectuals in this
period was finished, the attention went to the domain of politics. The political atmosphere
Hidri 6
of this period was not only under racial tension but also under foreign tension. The
international Cold War tension lasted throughout the post-war years which gave a golden
opportunity for extremists to shine such as McCarthy and of course this fear led to the
highlighted fault in Vietnam. In addition to the attempt of President Richard Nixon in
1968 to cover up his aides’ involvement in the Watergate Scandal, the Vietnam War
escalations came along and reinforced the popular distrust of the government and elites.
The intellectuals were part of these tensions. How much they were affected reveals their
political status during the post-war tensions.
The third chapter explores the association of intellectuals with politics whether
inside or outside the government. The chapter examines the status of intellectuals within
the different government administrations of that period, first with Dwight Eisenhower,
then John F. Kennedy, and finally Lyndon B. Johnson. How much were the American
intellectuals welcomed within the government positions, how much were they influential,
determined their political status within the power system of the United States. The
presence of the American intellectuals in the political world was also outside the
government walls. They were concerned with the tensions of the period from their
occupational positions as writers or as lawyers…etc, or from their association with nongovernment organizations. Their political orientations shaped their status as intellectuals.
In beginning the study of the American intellectuals, an important decision must be
reached on how to approach the research. It is this researcher’s intent to proceed from the
use of theoretical sociology, survey analysis, and historical analysis to cover all the
elements of the subject. The goal is to examine the historical significance of the American
intellectuals in the context of past events faced by the American society in the course of
its development as well as the significance of the current actions; and finally the impact
Hidri 7
these events have had and will have on the social and political standing of intellectuals.
The theme of the social and political status of American intellectuals was not
studied as one theme but was dealt with separately in many works. The subject was
mostly studied by American political sociologist, senior fellow at the Hoover Institution at
Stanford, and the Hazel Professor of Public Policy at George Mason University Seymour
Martin Lipset (1922-2006). He was concerned with social stratification and the sociology
of intellectual life. He gave attention to intellectuals in many of his works. In his book
Political Man: The Social Bases of Politics, he devoted the tenth chapter “American
Intellectuals: Their Politics and Status” to discuss the political behaviour of the American
intellectuals and their status during the middle of the twentieth century and the factors
behind their political behavior.
In addition, Seymour Martin Lipset examined the perceived status of the American
intellectuals by the American population and by the intellectuals themselves. His article
“The Sources of the political Right” refers to the effects of McCarthyism on American
political stance in the fifties. While in his book American Exceptionalism, he added an
essay which addressed the history of left wing intellectuals in America. He collaborated
with Bendix in their book Class, Status, and Power, which provided research findings on
the American system of social stratification, including “Status and Power Relations in
American Society”,“Differential Class Behavior”,and “Social Mobility in the United
The studies of occupational status are the main stone in status studies. The latter
measured the prestige scores that different occupations had. The landmark classic
American survey fielded in 1947 by the National Opinion Research Center under the
direction of Cecil C. North, and Paul K. Hatt revealed the results in their article “Jobs and
Hidri 8
Occupations: A Popular Evaluation”. In the 1960s, a second generation of studies was
carried out by the National Opinion Research Center (NORC) such as the one held by
Robert William Hodge, Paul Siegl, and Peter Henry Rossi in 1963.
They compared the results of this study with those obtained by the NORC study in
1947 in their article “Occupational Prestige in the United States, 1925-1963”. Alex
Inkeles and Peter Henry Rossi compared Occupational prestige results obtained in
different countries in their article “National Comparisons of Occupational Prestige” where
they found that the results are correlated in a quite similar way. Paul Félix Lazarsfeld and
Wagner Thielens studied in the fifties the status of social scientists according to the elites
and the effect of their social background and income on their status in their book The
Academic Mind.
The American sociologist Milton M. Gordon gave attention to this category in his
first work “Social Class and American Intellectuals” in 1958 where he sets the factors
which relates the American intellectuals to their social class classification thus to their
status. Later in 1964, his book entitled Assimilation in American Life, talked about the
effect of ethnicity on American intellectuals.
The effect of ethnicity on the American intellectuals at that time was discussed by
William M. Banks and Joseph Jewell in their article “Intellectuals and the Persisting
Significance of Race”, as well as Charles Anderson in his article “The Intellectual Subcommunity Hypo-dissertation: An Empirical Test”. Robert Boyton compared between the
Jewish New York intellectuals and the African American activist intellectuals in his essay
“The New Intellectuals”.
Wilson Record studied the status of the African American intellectual within his
black community in his article “Social Stratification and Intellectual Roles in the Negro
Hidri 9
Community”. He also compared his status to his white counterparts in his article
“Intellectuals in Social and Racial Movements”. Harold Cruse also discussed the life of
African American intellectuals during the 1960s in his book The Crisis of the Negro
Intellectual. Cornel West described the difficulties faced by the African American
intellectual in his article “The Dilemma of the Black Intellectual”. Similarly, Michael
Hanchard expressed the limitations of the African American intellectuals “Cultural
Politics and Black Public Intellectuals”.
Many famous Writers expressed different views about the relation of the American
intellectuals and the political sphere such as the well known book The Last Intellectuals,
written by the historian Russell Jacoby, who provoked heated discussions about the role of
intellectuals. Jacoby asserted that the university is wrecking intellectuals, for the
university system in America is monopolizing intellectuals and independent intellectuals
are disappearing.
The American linguist Noam Chomsky criticized intellectuals for being servants of
power instead of speaking up the truth as public intellectuals. These writers did not devote
a whole study where they investigate both empirically and historically how the American
intellectuals lived and were situated in their society and how they were related to its
politics. It is the main intention of this study to try to combine these elements in one
vessel which gives it a fresh look.
Hidri 10
Chapter One
Theoretical Concepts
Over the past half-century or more, the influence of intellectuals has grown steadily.
Indeed, their progressive emergence has been a key factor in shaping the American modern
society. Viewed against the long perspective of history it is in many ways a new phenomenon.
It is true that in their earlier manifestations, intellectuals have attempted to guide their society
from the very beginning. However, before going further, one needs to provide a historical
background on intellectuals.
1. Historical Overview
Defining the word “intellectual”, compels us to go back to its origins, namely the
Latin word ‘intellectualis’ which refers to a person concerned with knowledge. According
to this definition, the concern with knowledge in early times was more on liberal arts1as
opposed to modern times where aspects of knowledge became more dominant (Pandey 9).
The philosophers of antiquity such as the Greeks and the great medieval thinkers held that
not only physical, sensuous perception, but equally man’s spiritual and intellectual
knowledge included an element of pure, receptive contemplation and this view continued
to be held even in the Middle Ages (5).
The notion of intellectual as men specialized with ideas existed even in the
primitive and pre-literate societies, intellectual functions were necessary aspects of the
medicine-man or the shaman role (Kadushin 5). In the middle Ages the intellectual
occupied a high position in the social hierarchy, when the only literate people who
produce and distribute literate knowledge were men of religion. The intellectuals were the
pride of the ancient Greece and the hallmark of the Reformation and Renaissance (5). The
Renaissance intellectuals tried to put the affairs of society in order, they contented
Hidri 11
themselves with attempting to serve as “guides”, first of themselves and then of their own
society (Mora).
The beliefs during the Renaissance were that an individual should study many
different fields and become as educated in as many varying fields as possible. In his
article “Natural Elites, Intellectuals, and the State”, Hans-Hermann Hoppe wrote that
under monarchical rule the demand for intellectual services could be expected to grow
with increasing standards of living but most people are concerned with rather earthly and
mundane affairs, andhave little use for intellectual endeavours (2). Apart from the Church,
the only people with a demand for the services of intellectuals were members of the
natural elite2 as teachers for their children, personal advisors, secretaries, and librarians; so
employment for intellectuals was unstable and payment typically low (Hoppe 2).
Because they were poor and dependent, it is no wonder that intellectuals could be
won over easily by a king in his attempt to establish himself as the monopolist of justice;
and in exchange for their ideological justification of monarchical rule, the king could not
offer them better and higher-status employment. The intellectuals flourished during the
Enlightenment. They assumed a more prominent and powerful position in society (Mora).
Indeed, with the destruction of the natural elite to a large extent the intellectuals have
achieved their goal and have become the ruling class, controlling the state and functioning
as monopolistic judge (Hoppe 5).
The privileging of the arts reached its highest expression in the year of 1824. The
intellectuals in this period were known as the “Men of Letters”. The latter as a classicist
probably reached something of a high point in the late eighteenth century when many of
the leading writers and statesmen in Europe and America, including the leading figures of
the Enlightenment, could converse readily on Greek and Roman history and the major
Hidri 12
ancient writers. A man of letters was a learned observer of the times, but tended to offer
insights rooted in more timeless truths and principles (Troy 138).
Drawing from a broad knowledge that involves history, philosophy, science,
literature, or art he informed the views of other educated people about various social,
political, or cultural issues of the day. These ‘men of letters’ shared the sensibilities of
later ‘public intellectuals’ in speaking to a broad audience on matters of common concern.
They used writing in an attempt to reform, educate, and elevate their nations clustering
around universities while founding or editing several of the most important periodicals in
the nineteenth century (Butler 5). These associations assured access to public platforms
including high-profile diplomatic positions.
During the seventeenth, eighteenth and even the early nineteenth century highly
educated clergymen enjoyed greater prestige and influence, the eloquence and education
of the scholar could be a springboard to public office, and philosophers were elected
president in the USA, as John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Chester Alan Arthur, and
Woodrow Wilson (Foletta 15). Moreover, the American intellectuals were literary critics,
scholars, and judges highly related to magazines such the Monthly Anthology, The North
American Review, Putnam’s Monthly, Atlantic, Fortnightly, Cornhill…(198), where they
advocated institutional reforms for American education, and the law, as well as their
efforts to strengthen American universities as Harvard, professionalize the fields of
medicine and law, establish graduate professional schools and even reform the American
legal system (11).
Writing in the 1880s, James Bryce revealed that intellectual in America received
more respect than anywhere in Europe, except possibly in Italy, where the interest in
learned men, or poets, or artists, seems to be greater than anywhere else in Europe. A
Hidri 13
famous writer or divine is known by name by a far greater number of persons in America
than would know a similar person in any European country. He was one of the glories of
the country (621).
Although the notion of the intellectual existed along these periods, there is a
considerable debate about when exactly the term intellectuals came into use. Raymond
Williams held that the term ‘intellectual’, from the fourteenth century has been object for
‘intelligence’ in its most general sense, and from the first third of the nineteenth century
the application of the plural “intellectuals” indicated a “category of persons”, often
unfavourably (169). Lord Byron wrote in 1813 “I wish I may be well enough to listen to
those intellectuals” (141). In early nineteenth century Russia, the term ‘intelligentsia’ was
used to refer to small group of university educated people but later writers extended its
denotation to cover all those engaged in non-manual occupations (Bottomore 64).
The term that was first linked to various modern notions and conveying a
collective identity is “intelligentsia”, which originated in nineteenth-century Russia and
referred to persons who had a deep concern for matters of public interest; had a sense of
personal responsibility for the state; tended to view political and social issues as moral
ones; felt obligated to seek ultimate logical conclusions; and were convicted that
something went wrong and needed to be fixed (Confino 118).
Although we cannot say when exactly the term ‘intellectuals’ came into use, but
definitely it became popular in the Dreyfus Affair (Pires 116). It was published in the
article “Manifeste des Intellectuels” in the French newspaper ‘L’aurore’ in 14 January
1898, to describe the collection of writers and teachers that came to the defence of Captain
Alfred Dreyfus an officer who was accused by the army of spying to the enemy and held
guilty even when evidence pointed out that another officer was the spy (Carlbom). The
Hidri 14
term stuck as a description of academics and writers who are active in political causes.
What was new and important about the protest, is the signatories sought to use their
academic qualifications or professional achievements to suggest that their views should be
given privileged standing in a political context (Piereson 52).
According to Suleiman the Dreyfus Affair both inaugurated the current use of the
term “intellectual”, and “also the collective intervention of intellectuals as a self-conscious
group in public affairs” (121). Thus, the day after Zola’s “J’Accuse” appeared in
L’Aurore on13 January 1898 and sold 300,000 copies, a list of people appeared in that
same newspaper calling for a new trial for Dreyfus (Kleeblatt 268). The heading of the list
was called “protestation des intellectuels” and it included the professional associations of
the signers: “professor, writer, architect, and so on” (Suleiman 121). That method of
protest against perceived injustices and outrages continues, of course, to this day and
constitutes an avenue of expression for most intellectual workers who want to affect
public discourse and action.
Naturally, the influence of the Dreyfus Affair was profound upon American
intellectuals. Thomas Bender pointed to two of America’s most important intellectuals in
the twentieth century, William James and Edmund Wilson. He wrote:
The term ‘intellectual’ entered political and cultural discourse in
1898, when the Dreyfusards used it to name themselves and to claim
by it a new sort of oppositional moral authority. Within three
months, the word appeared in America, in an editorial in The
Nation., and by 1900 it was being used in New York’s Lower East
Side, referring to those immigrants who, under settlement-house
auspices or in cafe society, had formed study groups to incorporate
Hidri 15
into their lives American literature and culture. But, it was William
James, who had privately identified with the defenders of Dreyfus
and embraced the designation in 1898, who seems to have given the
word wide public currency in the United States in 1907. (New York
Intellect 228)
2. Defining Intellectuals
To provide a more comprehensive definition of intellectuals, it is important to deal
with the different views of well known figures who studied this phenomenon. These
studies were generally divided into two broad views, the functional view and the structural
2.1. The Functional View
This view is held by a number of thinkers who define intellectuals in connection to
their function in society. Some of them concentrate on defining intellectuals basically, as
producers of ideas and symbolic knowledge. Eric Hansen treats an intellectual as “one
who tends to manipulate and interiorize the symbolic rather than the material environment
as the principal means of ontological self-affirmation” (314). More recently, Robert J.
Brym notes that intellectuals are “persons who, occupationally, are involved chiefly in the
production of ideas” (Intellectuals and Politics 2). Jacques Barzun identifies intellectuals
as those who “consciously and methodically employ the mind” (House of Intellect 5).
Richard Hofstadter thinks of the intellectual as a person who lives for rather than
off ideas and whose thinking is marked by “disinterested intelligence, generalizing power,
free speculation, creative novelty, radical criticism” (27). The American sociologist Louis
Coser (1913-2003), nevertheless, offers generalizations of intellectuals as those who
exhibit “a pronounced concern with the core values of society” (Men of Ideas xvi), and
Hidri 16
“tend to scrutinize the received ideas and assumptions of their times and milieu” (xviii).
In a broader sense, the Italian thinker Antonio Gramsci (1891-1937) wrote in his
famous collection of essays Selection From the Prison Note Books that all humans
perform some intellectual activity so he rejects the distinction between homofaber (the
maker) and homo sapiens (the thinker) and between the manual labour and the mental
labour since “there is no human activity from which every form of intellectual
participation can be excluded” (9). Gramsci presumes that “all men are intellectuals, but
not all men have in society the function of intellectuals” (9).
So, he defines intellectuals as the ‘functionaries’ of the complex of superstructures,
i.e., civil society, political society, or the state (18). Therefore the intellectual function is
organizational connectivity as he put it “the intellectuals are the dominant groups
‘deputies’ exercising the subaltern functions of social hegemony and political
government” (12). Here he talks about the function of intellectuals in civil society or the
private which is bringing hegemony of the dominant group through the consent of masses
to the general direction of social life. The other function in the political society is the
direct domination through the state. So, Gramsci holds that the intellectuals perform the
subaltern function of administrating the state and society.
Others add more emphasis on the distribution of those created ideas including the
American sociologist Edward Albert Shils who was known for his research on the role of
intellectuals and their relation to power and public policy. He considers intellectuals as a
group of minority who are “unusually sensitive to the sacred, an uncommon reflectiveness
about the nature the universe, and the rules which govern their society” (“Intellectuals and
Powers…” 5). He thinks that this minority of people have a distinctive quest about the
world, which needs to be expressed and shared by the rest of people in a form of oral and
Hidri 17
written discourse, in poetic or plastic expressions, in historical recollection or writing in
poetic and acts of worship (5).
Shils also notes that intellectuals and their situation in society is a product of
articulation and compromise between the “intellectual disposition and the need of society,
for those actions which can be performed only by persons who, of necessity, by the virtue
of the actions they perform, are intellectuals” (“Intellectuals and Powers…”6). For
example the society whether it has a complex structure or not needs rulers. To have such
rulers the society needs teacher who provide them with knowledge in order to become
rulers and after they become rulers they need historians who can legitimate their regimes
by providing facts from the past led to continuity of these regimes.
Besides, these rulers need more administrators to issue and record the rules by
which they govern the society. Shils explains that “through their provision of models and
standards, by the presentation of symbols to be appreciated, intellectuals elicit, guide and
form the expressive dispositions within society” (“Intellectuals and Powers”7). The
intellectuals’ contact with the ordinary men provides them with a wider perception and
image of the world. So, he sees that the intellectual function is to create ideas and symbols
to interpret the world for the members of society.
Similarly, other functionalists define intellectuals in these terms. For The
Hungarian-born sociologist and educator Karl Mannheim (1893-1947) who explored the
role of the intellectual in political and social reconstruction, believes that intellectuals or
“intelligentsia” are “social groups whose social task is to provide an interpretation of the
world for that society” (Ideology and Utopia 9). They constituted a social category which
performs a social function of creation, distribution and inculcation of knowledge, world
outlook, ideas and ideology (Choudhary 330).
Hidri 18
Jeffrey Goldfarb examines intellectuals in democratic societies and views them as
“special kinds of strangers, who pay special attention to their critical faculties, who act
autonomously of the centers of power and address a general public, playing the
specialized role in democratic societies of fostering informed discussion about pressing
societal issues” (37). Charles Kadushin examines the “elite intellectual” and defines him
as “an expert in dealing with high-quality general ideas on questions of values and
aesthetics and who communicates his judgments on these matters to a fairly general
audience” (7).
The definition offered recently by Edward Said in his book Representations of
intellectualis a definition which includes the claim that the role of the intellectual “cannot
be played without a sense of being someone whose place it is publicly to raise
embarrassing questions, to confront orthodoxy and dogmas” (11). Edward Said argues
that while so-called intellectuals do otherwise, the true intellectual is the dissenter who
speaks truth to power (Representations of the Intellectual… 85-102). Edward Said makes
a distinction between the “writer” and the intellectual. He sees the “writer” as a person
who produces literature--that is, a novelist, poet, dramatist and has a greater prestige in
society while for him the intellectual belongs to the slightly debased and parasitic class of
“critics”, although at the beginning of the twenty-first century, he adds, the writer has
taken on the intellectual’s adversarial attributes of speaking the truth and supplying a
dissenting voice (“Public Role…” 24-25).
From postmodernist viewpoint, the anthropologist Katherine Verdery suggests
intellectuals may be seen as the “occupants of a site that is privileged in forming and
transmitting discourses, in constituting thereby the means through which society is
‘thought’ by its members, and in forming human subjectivities” (17). So to be an
Hidri 19
“intellectual,” then, “means to make knowledge or value claims, to gain some degree of
social recognition for them, and to participate in social relations on the basis of this
exchange of claims and recognition” (Verdery 16-17).
Some distinctions were made between those who communicate critical ideas and
those who communicate technical knowledge. As early as the first decades of the 20th
century, Julien Benda felt the need to differentiate the intellectuals who seek practical
ends from those who build ideologies. He identified as intellectuals “all those whose
activity essentially is not the pursuit of practical aims, all those who seek their joy in the
practice of an art or a science or a metaphysical speculation, in short in the possession of
non-material advantages” (x). Benda called them the clerc, which in the current usage
would include “academics and journalists, pundits, moralists, and pontificators of all
varieties” (ix).
This emphasis on the technical skills of a group of intellectuals was also voiced by
Gouldner in the 1970s. He saw the intellectuals and the intelligentsia as the two elites
within the new class, and by employing the analogous term “intelligentsia”, he tried to
identify a section of the ruling elite whose intellectual interests were primarily “technical”
as opposed to the intellectuals whose interests are primarily critical, emancipatory,
hermeneutic and hence often political (48). He also notes that the intellectuals are noted
for their “love of books” while the “intelligentsia often wish nothing more than to be
allowed to enjoy their opiate obsessions with technical puzzles”; and argues that the
sociology and the social psychology of the occupational life of the intellectuals and the
intelligentsia (mostly prefixed by ‘technical’) “differ considerably” (48).
In his lecture “What are Intellectuals for?” Denis Smith distinguishes between
those intellectuals who are “useful”, mainly to the “people in power” and the ‘genuine’
Hidri 20
intellectuals who “want to actually influence the way people see and think about the world
and in some cases they want to help set society’s agenda”. The “useful” intellectuals are
“the cogs in a wheel” they are the “experts”. Others like Douglas Kellner tried to
differentiate the “functional” from the critical/oppositional intellectuals in his article
“Intellectuals, the New Public Spheres and Techno-Politics”. According to him the critical
or oppositional intellectuals are the real intellectuals while the “functional” intellectuals
are the “specialists in legitimation and technical knowledge”. He mentions that they are
“mere technicians who devise more efficient means to obtain certain ends, or who apply
their skills to increase technical knowledge in various specialized domains”.
Another article “The Decline and the Fall of the Public Intellectual” by Michael
Ignatieff with the intriguing question “where have all the intellectuals gone?” also builds
up the definition of the intellectuals on the distinction between the “humanist” and the
scientists. Indeed, he argues that by definition the intellectual is “a generalist rather (than
a) specialist, a moralist rather than a technician”.
In the same perspective, Robert Nozick, a Harvard professor of philosophy, is
more specific about the distinction between the two sets of intellectuals. He distinguishes
in his article “Why do Intellectuals Oppose Capitalism?” between the intellectuals who
work with “words” and those who work with “numbers”. He likes both to identify the
intellectuals as those who “deal with ideas as expressed in words, shaping the word flow
others receive”, and to call them the “wordsmiths”. These wordsmiths, according to him,
include poets, novelists, literary critics, newspaper and magazine journalists and many
professors, “they shape our ideas and images of society” (1).
He further argues that from treatises to slogans they give us sentences to express
ourselves. On the other hand, he categorically excludes from his consideration as the
Hidri 21
intellectuals “those who primarily produce and transmit quantitatively or mathematically
formulated information” whom he likes to call the “numbersmiths” and “those working in
visual media, painters, sculptors, cameramen” (1).
2.2. The Structural View
In contrast with the functional view, the structural view defines intellectuals in
terms of position or location in the social structure.Their position was connected to the
class division in society. They performed intellectual functions as part of the other classes.
Karl Marx and Frederick Engels argue that even among the ruling class there is a division
between material and mental labour. They note “inside this class one part appears as the
thinkers of the class...” and these members “rule also as thinkers, producers of ideas and
regulate the production and distribution of ideas of their age” (64-65). Other classes,
including the proletariat, may also have their own intellectuals. Marx and Engels argue
that a small section of the ideologists of the ruling class might even leave their class
permanently and join the revolutionary proletariat (65).
Lenin, also describe the location of intellectuals under capitalism. He notes that
they “Occupy a special position among other classes, attaching themselves partly to the
bourgeoisie by their connections, their outlooks, etc...and partly to the wage intellectual of
his independent position, convert him into a hired worker and threatens to lower his living
standard” (“Lenin: Book Review” 202). Likewise, Karl Kautsky saw “strata of
intellectuals who are according to their working conditions and not-seldom also to their
standard of living, nothing other than wage-workers” (398).
Gramsci too, talks about intellectuals belonging to different groups in the society.
He concludes that “every social group creates with itself, organically one or more strata of
intellectuals which give it homogeneity and awareness of its function not only in the
Hidri 22
economic but also in the social and political field” (5). As an example, he cites the case of
the capitalist entrepreneur who creates along with himself the “industrial technician, the
specialist in political economy, the organizer of a new culture, of a new legal system” (5).
As Pierre Bourdieu puts it in his book In Other Words, intellectuals as “a
dominated fraction of the dominant class” (145). The dominant class’s support of the art
world creates a new class fraction of artists and intellectuals who then seek to strengthen
their own social position, and as the creators of ‘high’ culture enter the struggle for social
dominance, tensions develop between them and the economically dominant class
(Freeman 63). Nevertheless, Bourdieu argues, the lure of social privilege continues to
temper their cultural judgements, and their aesthetic classificatory systems remain
ultimately compatible with the needs of their dominant supporters (Distinction: A
Social… 229-230). Hence, the intellectuals are the dominant holders of cultural capital3,
but they are dominated in relation to the holders of economic and political capital
(Bourdieu and Wacquant 192).
For Marxists and non-Marxists the division of labor in modern society has given
rise to numerous institutions and organizations. From state administration to various
industrial and service oriented jobs have opened up for intellectuals. Therefore,
intellectuals can be defined in terms of their occupational position in society. Some broad
definitions treat all college and university graduates as intellectuals (James 319).
According to Nazrrul Islam, traditionally the intellectuals have been seen as belonging to
the humanities, and mostly they are the philosophers, the literary critics, the artists,
writers, columnists (8). Reinhold Niebuhr sees intellectuals as “the more articulate
members of the community, more particularly those who are professionally or
vocationally articulate, in church and school, in journalism and the arts” (302).
Hidri 23
Defining intellectuals in terms of position may make all college graduates
intellectuals or, more restrictively all full-time college professors, or still more
restrictively the masthead of famous magazines (Kadushin 5). In the United States, those
who frequently contribute to magazines as Commentary or the New York Review of Books
are often considered to be intellectuals (5).
Michel Foucault distinguish between the “universal” intellectual, “a free subject
counter-posed to the service of the State or Capital,” versus “specific” intellectuals,
grounded “within specific sectors, at the precise points where their own conditions of life
and work situate them (housing, the hospital, the asylum, the laboratory, the university,
family and sexual relations)” (The Foucault Reader 67-69). In the same way, Rajendra
Pandey asserts that both society and its economy needed more and more educated men,
well-trained executives, administrators and professionals who may run the government
and introduce modern methods and techniques and it is the intellectual who is expected to
engage in research and push the frontiers of knowledge (9).
According to Brian Martin, the group of those who make their living by mental
activities can be called the ‘white collar class’, the ‘professional-managerial class’, the
‘New Class’ or, the ‘intellectual class’ which includes academics, teachers, members of
the medical, legal and other professions, and office workers in corporate and government
employment, among others (“Academics and Social Action”). Brian Martin assumes that
by most definitions, intellectuals are academics but he makes a clear-cut distinction
between the intellectuals in teaching and those in research (Tied Knowledge… 14).
He argues that research is of greater interest outside the academia, where the
researchers have “more to offer to powerful groups” than do teachers (14), and the
researcher can sell his knowledge, which is seen as “expert knowledge” to the outsiders
Hidri 24
like the state and the corporation’s (18). Concluding the same, Nazrul Islam thinks that
knowledge and advice are sought by corporations and state bureaucracies as a result those
in research are more likely to become consultants for the government or industry and have
personal links with the state and corporate elites (Nazrul 11).
Some thinkers noted that defining intellectuals is unsettled matter. The criteria that
determine who can be called an intellectual differs considerably. Zygmunt Bauman admits
that the question ‘who are the intellectuals’ is notoriously difficult to answer in a way
which would not invite contention (81). He thinks that one factor making “intellectual” a
highly contested term is probably that any definition is ultimately a matter of selfconstruction, for various definitions are always proposed by intellectuals themselves (81).
As Lewis Coser notes, “Few modern terms are as imprecise as the term
‘intellectual’ ” (xv). Pierre Bourdieu rejects the notion that there can be an “objective”
definition of intellectuals, as the action of defining is a matter of symbolic power (Homo
Academicus 267). In other words, who are the intellectuals is itself a site or object of
struggle within cultural fields. To Bourdieu, what truly matters and begs for explanation is
the struggle itself, not its product, i.e. the definition of intellectuals (269).
In line with Bourdieu’s argument, Michel Foucault proposes to replace the
traditional intellectual who transcends his class roots and defends universal values by the
expert specialist, and insists that no value is untouched by power (“Truth and power” 126128). Bourdieu’s and Foucault’s opinions are becoming increasingly influential among
sociologists, as more and more studies have moved their attention away from the
definition of intellectuals to the struggle for symbolic power, as well as the implications of
the struggle .
Whether intellectuals are attached or independent individuals; they are
Hidri 25
distinguished as intellectuals because they interpret the world, create ideas, and distribute
them, they are first of all concerned with knowledge which make them necessary both
socially and politically. This concern with knowledge can be seen in their ideas and works
which consequently situates them in some occupational and organizational or even
individual positions. Definitely, in the modern society, intellectuals are needed more than
ever. Their significance in society and its politics raises the question of their status. To
answer such a question, it is important to examine the concept of “status”.
3. The Status of Intellectuals
The notion of status was mainly examined in the twentieth century by sociologists
as the German philosopher and political economist Max Weber (1864-1920) and the
American anthropologist Ralph Linton (1893-1953).
3.1. Definition of ‘Status’
The term status is derived from Latin ‘statum’, literary ‘standing’. According to the
Oxford dictionary Status is the social or professional position or standing of someone in
relation to others. In a broad sense, the term refers to one’s value and importance in the
eyes of the world (Botton vii). Social status, also called status, is the relative rank or
position that an individual holds, with attendant rights, duties, and lifestyle, in a social
hierarchy based upon honor or prestige.
According to the social anthropologist Ralph Linton a status has come to be a
synonym for any position in a social system and it is marked off by the fact that
distinctive beliefs about, and expectations for, social actors are organized around it (113).
Furthermore, Max Weber stated that a status situation is every typical component of a
men life that determines a positive or negative social estimation of honor such as the
property, ethnicity, employment and parties (From Max… 187-194).
Hidri 26
A common method of identifying the statuses of a social system is to discover its
“list” of status designators (Zelditch). There are many factors when examining status as
Cultural bonds, family ties, religion, race, gender, age, marital status, education,
occupation, accomplishments, or other factors (“social status” Britannica). Many societies
place higher esteem on some races or religions than on others, and different occupations
bring different forms of respect, but occupation is not the only indicator of social status,
for example, a physician doctor will have higher status than a factory worker, but an
immigrant doctor from a minority religion may have a lower social status (“Social status”
New World). America most commonly uses this form of status with jobs; the higher you
are in rank the better off you are and the more control you have over your co-workers
(“Social status” New World).
To identify the social and political status of intellectuals in a given society, it is
important to identify how the social and political positions that an intellectual may have
can influence his status. The society judges the intellectuals according to their success and
the importance of their roles or positions. A number of factors can influence the
intellectuals’ status. The society may put emphasis on some factors more than others.
Each factor may grant the intellectuals a relatively high or low status.
3.2. The Factors
Most contemporary sociologists suggested a number of factors that can be
considered in determining a status. The factors that have been mentioned more often in
the case of intellectuals include education, occupation, income, ethnicity, and selfidentification in addition to other possible ones.
Hidri 27
a. Education
A number of sociological studies have treated education as a major determinant of
objective status and as a dimension of stratification. On the theoretical level, it is argued
that education, like the various economic dimensions, affects the life chances of
individuals, their degree of security, their status, and their ability to interact with others.
People are given differential degrees of respect and influence according to their level of
education (“Stratification, Social”).
Education is a social marker for intellectuals. Advanced education is the one thing
that intellectuals have had in common throughout history. Kahan assumed that Bohemians
such as independent writers, artists, novelists, journalists, and poets might drop out
college, but one way or another they had learned what they needed outside the classroom.
Over the course of the twentieth century, he added, that status had increasingly required
academic proof in form of college degree, an increasingly an advanced degree but
bohemians were partly excepted (Kahan 6-7). In the main process, proving one’s
educational pedigree had replaced proving one’s noble ancestry. Intellectuals’ education
provided their ancestry, their life style whether academic or bohemian, and separated them
not very far from the middle class.
According to Alvin Gouldner, the intelligentsia disposes of a cultural capital
something like a body of expert knowledge and skills, which is to a large extent acquired
through education more than all social groups possess, thereby occupying a specific
position in relation to the means of production which is the basis for their distinct class
status (26). The development of a differentiated educational system generates a system of
credentials in which knowledge and occupational groups seek to control access to
particular places. The hierarchical structuring of credentials helps to sustain the
Hidri 28
intellectuals’ claim that their labor is predominantly mental, requiring specific educational
credentials, which in turn legitimate rewards and privileges (Dahlström 98).
Education also has an impact over the status of intellectuals in the political world
of governing and public affairs. Diana Coben noted that Gramsci’s traditional intellectuals
such as teachers, scholars, and members of the clergy served the status quo by allowing
education to reproduce the existing social structures (214). Since the state’s power was in
large part premised upon the consent of the governed, public re-education could affect
social change through the collective efforts of a vanguard of reformist intellectuals
(Hoben 3).
In the same logic, Henry Giroux urges critical scholars to recognize that “by
connecting the role of the intellectual to the formation of democratic public cultures
educators can work to provide ethical and political referents for cultural workers who
inhabit sites as diverse as the arts, religious institutions, schools, media, the workplace,
and other spheres” (56). Michael Apple, like Gramsci and Giroux, maintains that, even
when portrayed as exclusively technical, neutral and pragmatic, knowledge remains
inherently political (46). This includes not only its function, but also in the ways in which
it tends to reinforce existing class structures by “helping maintain a distinction that lies at
the heart of the social division of labour—that between mental and manual labour” (46).
Similarly, in his famous book Ideology and Utopia, Mannheim thinks that the
education of intellectuals oriented them toward the whole and led them to oppose the
tendencies of social reality while a person with no such education participates directly in
social reality and tend to follow the views of the group in which he find himself (156). In
the same line of thought, Emile Durkheim blamed general education, among other things,
for the rise of anomie in modern society (307). Likewise, Seymour Martin Lipset noted
Hidri 29
that intellectuals could express anomic resentment even when their social status and
employment opportunities were favourable, as in the United States of the 1950s (Political
Man 323). Accordingly, education or the concern of knowledge is the basic core of being
an intellectual, which distinguishes him from the rest of society, and allows him to enter
the world of politics.
b. Occupation
Variation in the relative status of different occupations has been seen as an
important criterion for differentiating positions in the economic hierarchy. Occupation is
another factor, which can distinguish the intellectuals socially. The usual definition
underlying much of the sociological debate about intellectuals claims that an intellectual is
someone qualified and accepted as qualified to speak on matters of cultural concern. This
has led many sociologists to enumerate certain recognized professions in society as
automatically qualifying an individual as an intellectual. The occupations intellectuals
practice have changed over time. A number of thinkers specified the occupational
positions intellectuals can have whether as independent bohemians or institutionalized
In the nineteenth century, bohemia made up a much larger portion of the
intellectuals than did the academia; and the change in proportions and numbers has been
enormous (Kahan 6). Shils observed that:
The creation of cultural objects for consumption by the educated was
until nearly the end of the nineteenth century the work of the freelance intellectual...who sold his work to an enterpriser...or who
worked on the commission of the latter, recent developments bring
the intellectual producer of this kind of cultural object within the
Hidri 30
frame work of a corporate organization, e.g., film studio, or
television network. (“Intellectuals and the Powers” 14)
Several thinkers observed these different times and specified the jobs that
intellectuals occupied. Reinhold Niebuhr identifies intellectuals as “the more articulate
members of the community, more particularly those who are professionally or
vocationally articulate, in church and school, in journalism and the arts” (302). Shils notes
that intellectuals have at times “played a great historical role on the higher levels of state
administration”—mandarins, civil services, even philosopher-kings (“Intellectuals and the
Powers” 8–9). In the west in modern times, he notices the participation of intellectuals in
the political life as professors, teachers, authors, scientists, and journalists (“Intellectuals in
the Political…” 330). As for Gramsci’s intellectuals, they can take the form of managers,
civil servants, the clergy, professors and teachers, technicians and scientists, lawyers,
doctors (3-23).
From another perspective, Seymour Martin Lipset, the American sociologist,
divides intellectuals into creators of culture that comprises scholars, artists, philosophers,
authors, some editors, and some journalists, distributers of culture consists of performers
in the various arts, most teachers, and most reporters, and those who apply culture (the
symbolic world of men including (art, science, and religion) as the peripheral group of
professionals like physicians and lawyers (Political Man 311).
Author Andre Béteille divides the intellectuals into three broad categories: the first
category includes poets, playwright, novelists, or creative writers, the second category
contains scholars, or intellectuals in the academic profession, and the last category consist
of critics and journalists (Ideologies and Intellectuals 30). Similarly, for Bottomore
intellectuals are those who create, transmit, and criticize ideas comprising writers, artists,
Hidri 31
scientists, philosophers, religious thinkers, social scientists, and political commentators
According to Milton M. Gordon, intellectuals are characteristically found in the
professions - teaching, carrying on research, practicing law, medicine, social work, or
architecture, for example; in the arts - writing, painting, dancing, directing; or, if in
business, in those areas of buying and selling which deal with communications and the
transmission of ideas and art - for instance, advertising or publishing (“Social
Class…”519). He thinks that none of these occupations is made up entirely of
intellectuals, and intellectuals will be found, if less frequently, in other occupations (519).
In his article “Academics and Social Action” Brian Martin asserts that academics,
especially tenured ones, are a privileged group in society with high salaries, job security,
and a large degree of control over their work which makes academia one of the very best
places for the intellectual class to work. He argues that academics are a privileged group
because their research serves corporations and governments, their teaching trains skilled
labor for these areas, and they may articulate as defenders or critics of the status quo;
those who fund academia are aware of the power of university intellectuals in legitimating
or illegitimating current social arrangements. Martin notices that academics who works
for corporations and governments as consultants are accepted, encouraged, and enjoy
advantages whereas, academics consulting for trade unions or community groups mostly
have low prestige.
Taking in consideration all these views, the occupational positions which
correspond to being an intellectual would be a scholar, a professor, a writer, a philosopher,
an artist, a religious thinker, an editor, a journalist, a reporter, a political commentator. It
is also possible that some managers, lawyers, technicians, doctors can perform intellectual
Hidri 32
functions. The status of intellectuals is related to the perceived prestige of these
occupations. Consequently, the study of the occupational prestige and hence the social
status of these occupations determines the status held by intellectuals.
In the United States, two dominant approaches emerged as a basis for defining and
evaluating the status of occupations. The first one is made up of measures based on the
prestige evaluation such as the studies made by Counts in 1925, North and Hatt in 1947,
Hodge, Siegel, and Rossi in 1964, Siegel in 1971, Treimanin 1977, Nakao and Treas in
1990. The second one is made up of measures based primarily on socioeconomic
characteristics of occupations such as the studies realized by Edwards in 1943, Nam,
Powers, and Glick in 1964, and Nam, LaRocque, Powers and Holmberg in1975 (Nakao
One of theefforts to measure such a concept involve the landmark survey fielded in
1947 by the National Opinion Research Center (NORC) under the direction of Cecil C.
North and Paul K. Hatt in which respondent’s ratings are aggregated by taking the
percentage who adjudged the occupation as having ‘excellent social standing’(Reiss et al.
249). The resulting aggregate rank-order gives the scale (Gordon).
One might readily fault the ambiguous instructions calling for both a “personal”
opinion and a reading of “general” standing (“Occupational Prestige”). Nonetheless, the
results proved virtually identical to those of the 1964 and 1989 surveys, which asked
respondents to sort cards bearing occupational titles onto a ”ladder of social standing”
(“Occupational Prestige”).
Perhaps the best known product of the North-Hatt study was Duncan’s
Socioeconomic Index (SEI) in 1961, which assigned to each detailed occupational
category a predicted prestige score based on the age, standardized education and income
Hidri 33
characteristics of occupational incumbents reported by the 1950 Census of Population
(“Occupational Prestige”). In the 1960s, a second generation of studies was carried out by
the National Opinion Research Center (NORC) (Hodge et al. 286).
In their article “Occupational Prestige in the United States, 1925-1963”, Robert
Hodge, Paul M. Siegl and Peter H. Rossi noted modest gains for blue-collar occupations,
an upswing in scientific occupations and the “free” professions (e.g., “physician”), and a
downturn in artistic, cultural, and communication occupations (287). Chaim Fershtman
and YoramWiess assume that the main characteristics of an occupation which influence
its status are the average wage and the average level of skill (946).
c. Other Factors
Besides that the influence of education and the occupation on the intellectual status
other factors may interfere. In some societies, each group is differentially ranked in
honorific or status terms according to its race, ethnicity, and religion (“Stratification,
Social”). Those groups which were present first and retain the highest economic and
political positions tend to have the highest status such as the case of the United States,
where being white, Anglo-Saxon, and Protestant preferably of the historically earliest
American denominations, convey high status on those possessing them (“Stratification,
Reinhard Bendix and Martin Seymour Lipset wrote that style of life has a decisive
role in status which makes status group the specific bearers of all conventions (26). Milton
M. Gordon considered generally the status dimension, in the case of American society he
noted rough divisions based on a rather generalized concept of social status which derives
from income, occupation, and style of life (“Social Class and …”520). He states that we
must also consider, if briefly, his position along the economic continuum and his role in
Hidri 34
the political struggle (520). Besides, he urges to ask about the nature of his cultural
behaviour patterns and the outlines of his relationship to the ethnic group system (520521).
This point of view, briefly adumbrated by Max Weber and developed more
systematically by recent writers, including members of this symposium - recognizes that,
under the rubric of stratification, an economic dimension, a social status dimension, and a
political power dimension may be distinguished, and that other variables, such as cultural
way of life, group separation, class consciousness, social mobility, and ethnic group
identification, are a part of the total picture (Economy and Society…520).
Alvin Gagnon mentions that the unique qualities of the American society such as
its greater social mobility, cultural regionalism, ethnic and racial diversity, the prominence
of technical professions and the relative lack of strongly institutionalized cultural
traditions may have contributed to making cultural capital a lesser factor in the positioning
of actors in the class system, in contrast to wealth and income (175). He also adds that the
impact of the US intellectuals in defining American culture is also influenced by the lesser
place occupied by high-status ideas in American cultural capital as well as the absence of
a strong radical tradition in the United States until the 1940s (175-176).
James A. Tillman Jr. and Mary Norman Tillman admit that in America the most
basic criteria by which people are divided on a group basis are sex, economic position and
race, therefore, the race of white scholars is a central factor in determining the social
direction and ultimate goals of their scholarship (55). Some of these factors are
interrelated as the education, occupation, income, and style of life while others have
independent influence as race, religion. In some cases the influence of some factors is
insignificant on the general status.
Hidri 35
3.3. The Political Status of Intellectuals
According to the Oxford Dictionary, something political means that it is related to
the state, government or public affairs. As mentioned before status refers to a rank or
position of a person or group within society. Consequently, the political status of
intellectuals is their rank or position related to government or public affairs.
Historically, the intellectuals have played an oppositional role in Europe and
America and are, thus, expected to continue to play a similar political role. Nazrul Islam
lists that they were the critics in the Dreyfus affair; they were the critics that Benda
mourned in his 1927 essay, “The Treason of the Intellectuals”, and they were the radicals
and later the Left in most societies (13). According to Sartre “the duty of the intellectual is
to denounce injustice wherever it occurs” and the domain of the intellectual is “to write
and speak within the public sphere, denouncing oppression and fighting for human
freedom and emancipation” (qtd. in Kellner).
Indeed, for many, the real intellectual is the one who plays a political role. Murray
Bookchin, though he used the term intelligentsia, to identify the ‘true intellectuals’ argues
that intelligentsia is a concept of Russian origin where it referred to the “people who
thought and still lived in a public arena, and who tried to create a public sphere.” For him
the intelligentsia are the people who not only engaged in thinking and writing but also
“engaged in confrontations with the system instead of shying away from them.
Much of what could be translated as the public role of the intellectuals was in the
past confined to radicalism and later identified with the left. For much of the past century
the most important public issue that the intellectuals concerned themselves with was the
debate between capitalism and socialism (Nazrul 18). In the same logic, Starr notes that,
“for much of the twentieth century, the principal debate among intellectuals took place
Hidri 36
between liberals and the left, and the overriding question was socialism versus capitalism,
revolution or radicalism versus reform”. Likewise, Ignatieff argues that for most of the
twentieth century intellectuals enlisted on behalf of the “great narrative” battle between
communism and capitalism which gave point to their polemics and meaning to their lives,
with the loss of the “grand narrative” of communism the intellectuals of today are lost.
In Junpeng Li words, “an intellectual’s political attitude is determined or affected
by her family background, economic well-being, national political culture, and the relative
vulnerability or openness of the polity” (10). He further adds that “intellectuals’ political
consciousness and ideas are seen as formulated in accordance with their positions in social
structure” (11). Similarly, Robert Brym divides the factors that influence an intellectual’s
political attitude into three dimensions: social origins, economic opportunities, and
political opportunities (“Intellectuals, Sociology of” 7633).
Since the advent of universal education, the number of people who would be
considered as intellectuals or those who work in the intellectual professions have
increased phenomenally, definitely over the past century (Nazrul 14). Only a handful of
the intellectuals may be involved in shaping the public sphere and the others simply as
passive as the rest of the public, while some may even be apathetic to the public need or
be truly apolitical (14).
Tevi Troy notices a subset of intellectuals who are particularly involved in public
affairs, either inside or outside of government, usually well-known, well-educated
generalists who can speak or write about most subjects, injecting their own overarching
worldviews into their pronouncements (138). Those with specialized knowledge and or
training and have willing to engage in public discourse that engages with fundamental
issues of human condition, issues that bring the intellectual to extend their specialized
Hidri 37
knowledge to non-specialized audiences are known as public intellectuals. Thus, the
political status of intellectuals is the status of the positions held by public intellectuals.
Public intellectuals can be present outside the government walls. Some of them are
academics; others are writers, critics, or journalists; most have attended a few elite
universities, at least as undergraduates; all try to contend with social and political reality
at the conceptual level, to offer a perspective that provides some coherence to politics and
current events (Troy 138). According to Barbara A. Misztal in Intellectuals and the Public
Good: Creativity and Civil Courage,public intellectuals may be “ authors, academics,
scientists, and artists who communicate to general public outside their professional role on
the basis of their knowledge and authority gained in their specific disciplines” (27). Jean
Paul Sartre suggests that to be an intellectual is to be something other than a technician, an
expert, or even a scientist, a scholar or an artist but they are those who use their expertise,
their access to special knowledge, and their capacity to manipulate symbols for broader
public purposes (qtd. in Goldfarb 30).
Gouldner’s The Future of Intellectuals and the Rise of the New Class contains two
theoretical foundations necessary to the building of a general theory of a new class of
intellectuals: a theory of its distinctive language behaviour called “culture of critical
discourse” (CCD) which provides the basis for a common identity of intellectuals trained
in different fields of knowledge and for different occupations and professions centred
around the university and other institutions of higher learning; and a general theory of
capital which grant the intellectuals the claim of income and power using knowledge as a
“cultural capital” (27).
According to Michael Hanchard, this idea broadens the category of the public
intellectual to include those who engage in debate and political action with fellow citizens,
Hidri 38
yet it also limits the category to those who write (106). Grassroots organizers, academics,
journalists, nurses, lawyers, and grand-mothers in communities across the American
country who engage in sustained collective action against the burning of books,
antiabortion guerillas, teenage violence, and the contract with America, are also public
intellectuals who operate within a distinctive public realm in which they are highly visible
to some and invisible (for lack of celebrity) to others (106).
Ron Eyerman pays particular attention to movement intellectuals—“individuals
who gain the status and the self-perception of being ‘intellectuals’ in the context of their
participation in political movements rather than through the institutions of the established
culture” (Between Culture… 15). In his book Secular Vocations, Intellectuals: Aesthetics,
Politics, Academics, and Cosmopolitics, Bruce Robbins contends that the figure of the
socially detached intellectual has little foundation in historical reality. He shows that
whether intellectuals operate as freelance writers within the realm of the free market or as
academic professionals they are always located within some kind of social space and are
therefore subject to broader social and political forces which place into question the “freefloating” status of symbolic historical figures like the New York intellectuals and the
critical role of the contemporary academic intellectual (7). Robbins explains that the
society makes room for professionals’ credentialed carriers of institutionally defined
expertise who sell their commodity on the market, academic or otherwise, and are thus
constitutionally incapable of carrying on the intellectuals’ public, independent, critical
functions (31).
In addition, intellectuals were also present within the government. According to
Christopher Lasch,
When he assumes the first of these roles, the intellectual becomes a
Hidri 39
member of the establishment, an adviser to power, a consultant, an
expert, a technician, a professional problem solver, a mandarin, in
short, in the most general sense of the term and when he assumes the
second role, he identifies himself with a counter-establishment, often
conceived as a revolutionary vanguard that speaks for the oppressed
and attempts to lead them to power. (29)
In his 1967 book The New Industrial State, John Kenneth Galbraith argued that the
educational and scientific strata held all the critical technical and theoretical resources
needed to run the modern industrial system, which positioned members of these highly
educated strata as both technical experts and policy advisors in the liberal states of late
capitalism (303).
Robert Michels argues that the state occasional need for more positions in its
service is associated with two types of intellectuals, the defenders and the partisans, those
who have succeeded in securing a post at the manager of the state, whilst the others
consist of those who have assaulted the state without being able to force their way in
To conclude, the term intellectual comes from the Latin language referring to
people concerned with knowledge. These people existed in different times and societies.
These individuals were distinguished by their knowledge in different matters that
concerned the others and helped them in solving their problems. They were mainly men
who developed knowledge about religion, medicine, and ruling. Hence, their concern with
knowledge entailed some functions that put them in specific positions. With the
development of societies and appearance of more domains of life, new functions and
positions opened for them. They served monarchies then governments as advisers, and
Hidri 40
they were integrated in society layers as teachers, journalists, and other professions.
Their status depends on a number of factors mainly occupation along other
possible ones such as education, family background, cultural bonds, race, gender, religion,
wealth or income, and power. These factors can have a considerable influence on the
perceived status of intellectuals according to society. Therefore, when studying the case of
intellectuals in the USA some factors are going to be taken into consideration, in
particular specific factors that would indicate the social status of intellectuals.
More specifically, intellectuals concerns was highly related to politics and even
considered crucial to being an intellectual. This was more noticed with the fame of the
term by the end of the nineteenth century. Besides their direct involvement in politics
through advisory positions that helped administrating and legitimizing current regimes,
they adopted an oppositional stance from other positions in society. Their relation with
politics became much more intertwined when the intellectuals become part of the
institutions they were supposed to criticize.
Hidri 41
Liberal derives from the Latin ‘liber’, ‘free’, and the liberal arts are those subjects
taught in schools during the Middle ages for training a free person, unlike a slave, was
presumed to be someone who did not need to work for a living, and thus the subjects included
in a liberal education had no direct professional purpose. In contrast, the illiberal arts are
pursued for economic purposes; their aim is to prepare student not for gaining a livelihood,
but for the pursuit of science. Kahan, Alan S. Mind Vs Money: The War Between Intellectuals
and Capitalism. New Brunswick, New Jersey: Transaction Publishers, 2010. (p7)
The members of the natural elite were only rarely intellectuals themselves (i.e.,
people spending all of their time on scholarly pursuits,) but were instead people concerned
with the conduct of earthly enterprises. They were typically at least as bright as their
intellectual employees, so the esteem for the achievements of ‘their’ intellectuals was only
modest. Hoppe, Hans-Herman. “Natural Elites, Intellectuals, and State.” Ludwing Van Mises
Institute. 1995. Web. 23 Nov 2011. <http://mises.org>. (p 2).
The concept of cultural capital, made popular by the French sociologist Pierre
Bourdieu, refers to the general cultural background, knowledge, disposition, and skills that are
passed on from one generation to another. It represents ways of talking, acting, and
socializing, as well as language practices, values, and styles of dress and behavior. McLaren
Peter, Life in Schools: An Introduction to Critical Pedagogy in the Foundations of Education,
ed 4, Boston: Allyn and Bacon. 2003. Google Books. 12 Sep, 2013. (p18-9)
Hidri 42
Chapter Two
The Social Status of American Intellectuals in the 1950s and 1960s
Intellectuals are the mind of societies. With the changes in times, they functioned
within different circumstances. The American society as much as it was connected to its
European origins, it tried to be different from it. The American intellectuals were part of
this combination. They developed an American situation in which they articulated as
intellectuals. The twentieth century witnessed major events that brought about changes
and new atmosphere. The United States and its various types of intellectuals came to be
governed after the war by a new regime and a new image, or conception, of intellectual
life. By the middle of the century, the American intellectuals stood somewhere in this
environment. The American intellectuals themselves observed the conditions surrounded
them. They even examined their stand in their studies.
The factors that may contribute to the status of intellectuals in the American
Society according to different thinkers come from their social affiliations. Their prestige
comes mainly from their occupations and incomes that are attributed to them because of
their education, besides the influence of their ethnic affiliations such as race, religion, or
gender. Many thinkers examined these factors’ influence on the American intellectuals’
status in 1950s and 1960s.
1. Education
Education is one of the direct grounds linked to the status of intellectuals,
especially in the United States of America in the post WWII period. Education then
became much more prominent condition for getting occupations and hence better
incomes. This change was so massive that it definitely had an apparent influence on the
jobs open to intellectuals. Education had a positive influence on the status the American
Hidri 43
intellectuals and of course some drawbacks. The following thinkers consolidate the idea
that education was behind the high status of the American intellectuals at that time.
Tevi Troy described the entrance of intellectuals to the American life in his book
Intellectuals and the American Presidency. He mentioned that when America became an
industrial power toward the end of the nineteenth century, the status of intellectuals
changed, and explains that industrialization brought affluence, which facilitated
intellectual development in many ways. He advanced the example of some industrialists
like John D. Rockefeller and Andrew Carnegie, who accumulated vast new fortunes, used
part of their wealth to endow universities, foundations, magazines, and later think tanks,
which of all helped create financial support mechanism for intellectuals (4).
Rockefeller helped endow a university in Chicago, other wealthy individuals
contributed to the existence of Stanford University, Carnegie-Mellon University, the
Brookings Institution; and the New Republic magazine (Hofstadter 285). The affluence
also helped create the middle class which could afford to send their children to school for
longer periods of time (Intellectuals and…Troy 4). The professional men and women of
the middle class believed in that anyone could acquire the skills of a profession, along
came the professionalization, the establishment of standards to govern fields which
required education such as law, medicine, and education (4).
As historian Burton Bledstein notes, “For the middle class in America, degreegranting education was an instrument of ambition and a vehicle to status in the
occupational world” (34). The increasing level of education of the middleclass helped
establishing the Progressive Era belief in expertise and perfectibility, and paved the way
for the professional intellectual that Christopher Lasch defines him as a “person for whom
thinking fulfils at once the function of work and play” (xi).
Hidri 44
The middle class provided a pool of future intellectuals who no longer needed to
come from the upper class, in the years following the Progressive Era, and as America
became more democratic and more affluent, intellectuals became more numerous and
more important (Troy 5). The intellectual activity, which had been marginalized in the
past with the intellectual taking the role of the alienated outsider, was given a pivotal
place in the new scientific and technological state (Jamison and Eyerman 5).
The admiration of the intellectuals by the American society intensified after the
Soviet Union beat the United States into space with the launch of Sputnik in 1957 (Troy
“Bush, …” 139). Washington issued a call for scientific and technical expertise which
quickly grew into an appreciation for experts and academics of all sorts including
intellectuals. American institutions of higher learning granted almost 240,000 more
degrees and employed almost 150,000 more faculty members than they had at the time of
the G.I. Bill’s1 enactment twelve years earlier (139).
Joseph Ben-David wrote about the growth of professions and class system in
different countries (460). Relying on the Census2 covering the period between 1945-1957,
he indicated that the United states of America in the 1950 ascending order of prevalence
of higher education. According to this Census the United States had the highest numbers
of people possessing higher education. The age level was above twenty five years old with
four years or more of higher education, and excluding those whose education is unknown.
According to this Census, 41.286 thousand Male or 7.3 percent of the American
population possessed higher education, and 43.784 thousand female or 5.2 percent of the
American population possessed higher education in 1950 (Ben-David 460).
One of the largest sections of growth has been the social sciences. In the 19601961 academic year 15.4 percent of all B.A. and first professional degrees were in the
Hidri 45
social sciences; by 1970-1971, 24 percent of B.A. and first professional degrees were in
these fields in the United States (Reitman and Greene 150). The phenomenal growth in
advanced degrees (masters and PhDs) granted in the humanities and social sciences in the
1960s and the 1970s is probably a better index to the growth of the organizational
intellectual stratum.
While there were 59,460 master’s degrees granted in 1959-60, there were 179,940
such degrees granted in 1970-71. Similarly, 5,132 PhDs were granted in the humanities
and social sciences in 1959-60 and 17,350 in 1970-71 (150). This influx of students and
faculty not only provided more jobs for the intellectuals, but also changed the attitudes of
a vast swath of the country about the significance of academic training and the value of
those who possessed it.
In the other hand, education had a negative influence on the American
intellectuals’ life at that time. The aims of the educational institutions had anti-intellectual
direction along the US History. The critic Theodore Brameld stressed the fact that during
the nineteenth and first half of the twentieth century, schools were vehicles for the
democratic and capitalistic ideals of American society, and this fact made them,
ironically, anti-intellectual (Bain 25). In United States, common schools were founded on
economic aims rather than the pursuit of knowledge.
In this respect, Richard Hofstadter argued that American schools’ goals were to
take a heterogeneous group of students and instil in them national identification by
making them literate and giving them the minimum education they needed to function as
citizens (Hofstadter 305). This led educational institutions to favor practical knowledge in
the form of life skills and vocational training over rigorous academic curricula (341).
The range of curricula choices was shrinking as well. Instead of fostering
Hidri 46
intellectual growth, the hallmarks of education became citizenship, efficiency, and
practicality, and those who were intellectually curious began to be treated as pariahs (Pells
203). Good students were not those who were smart but those who were “well behaved.”
Further, in the early years of the Cold War, the fear inspired by a communist threat
created a fear of teachers’ influence, which led to a further constriction of subjects to be
studied and a curtailing of educational experimentation (Brameld 36). This period saw the
addition of a new negative, the suspension of teachers who did not conform.
Russia’s announcement that it had sent an unmanned satellite into orbit in October
of 1957 led to a reawakening of interests in education, especially in regard to the
intellectually gifted (Bain 26). Sputnik called America’s gifted youth into service and
brought a much-needed change in educational thinking, now arguing that “today’s gifted
are tomorrow’s leaders” and “society needs these individuals’ gifts” (Riesman 2).
As America asked itself how the Russians had surpassed it, this inquiry led to rapid
changes in education, most notably the National Defence Education Act of 1958, which
offered scholarships in practical, high need areas like math, science, and foreign language;
but which also demanded loyalty oaths stating that one would not work against the
government from those who received such awards. Similarly, there was an increasing
interest in reports detailing how gifted children had been ignored, such as the 1950
Educational Policies Commission’s report that stated that this neglect was leading to
“losses in the arts, sciences, and professions” (Davis and Rimm 7).
While Sputnik resulted in a greater interest in the type of education offered on the
elementary and secondary levels, the atomic bomb had already begun to influence the way
the government viewed the university. Similar to changes brought about by previous wars,
World War II brought an increased interest in the benefits of science. Before the World
Hidri 47
War II, there was a low technological level of expectation concerning the developments
scientists made. Increasing the level of technological study required greater financial
backing than most businesses could afford. Additionally, the research that was done relied
heavily on successful, marketable outcomes and prevented sharing between rival
corporate interests (Bain 27).
To facilitate technological growth, the “cost and conduct of research needed to be
socialized,” and this was most easily done by the nation developing patronage of the
universities (Lewontin 8-9). In 1944, Roosevelt asked for recommendations on “how to
continue the wartime relationship between the state and science”, and in 1950 the National
Science Foundation was established with a budget of $100, 000; and by 1961 this budget
had grown to $100 million with 85% of that money going to universities for research
(Lewontin 15-16). This influx of funds led to an increase in the number of scientists, and a
considerable growth of university faculties as well.
While science did gain support from the government, it did little to change public
opinion, and for intellectuals, the “pursuit of science had not made man sane or improved
relations to his fellow man” (Thompson 48). This was a responsibility scientists usually
left to their colleagues in the humanities. Literature was separated from the world and was
studied and appreciated for its artistic merits rather than its contributions to political or
psychological understanding. In short, it was a “pastoral retreat” from the turmoil of
1950s antagonisms (Ohman, “English and…”77). Hence, many scholars removed
themselves from the entanglements of social involvement and failed to provide ethical and
moral solutions for themselves or society.
As such, public life in the United States was barely intellectual at all when it came
time to face the scientific-technological state even many intellectuals were obliged to
Hidri 48
accept the anti-intellectual and entrepreneurial spirit that formed a central part of the
American history (Jamison and Eyerman 13). Just at the time when anti-intellectualism
was at its height in the form of anti-communism, the status of professional expertise and
science had never been higher; thus science was seen not primarily as an intellectual path
to national and individual enlightenment but rather as a path to national and individual
power (13). Post war America had been called the “era of the expert” since the elimination
of the social movements and their innovative barrier-breaking movement intellectuals; and
with the so many people moving out to the suburbs and leaving behind their historical
tradition and their sense of community gave the chance to experts to fill in the gap with a
new kind of professional advice.
2. Occupation
Occupationally, the intellectuals can be free lancers or institutionalized and even
when they are institutionalized, they can be academics or non-academics. The
development in many areas has created more occupations for the intellectuals. The
American intellectuals faced working conditions in the middle of the twentieth century.
Some writers clarified some of the conditions lived by the American intellectuals around
this period.
Russell Jacoby described the intellectuals born around the nineteen hundreds as
“classical American intellectuals, lived their lives by way of books, reviews, and
journalism; they never or rarely taught in universities” (17), while the generation born
around and after nineteen forty emerged in a society in which “to be an intellectual meant
being a professor” (16). Jeremy Jennings and Kemp-Welch, too, observed that in this
period the independent intellectuals transformed from critics and bohemians into
academics governed by realities of bureaucratization and tenured employment (14).
Hidri 49
Likewise, Hugh Wilford talked about the case of New York Intellectuals, first in
the time of Depression where they did not needed institutional employment as low living
costs enabled them to subsist on earnings from temporary jobs or private incomes, then in
the fifties, when the rise of the cost of living associated with the post-war economic boom
forced the intellectuals waiting to stay in New York to obtain permanent institutional
employment (The New York…10-11).
In 1951, the American sociologist Charles Right Mills brought to the attention of
the Americans that they had to be dominated by a collection of “white-collar” workers in
various layers of corporate management, the media, the public sector, and in the
universities (White Collar 74). In addition, the expansion of the state and the growth of
mass media provided employment opportunities for many previously unattached and
unemployed intellectuals (Jamison and Eyerman 13).
Many of those who had been partisans (generation of the Partisan Review) of the
Thirties became the white-collar workers of the Fifties (13). As individuals, the partisan
critics of post-war America were all concerned with intellectual craftsmanship, keeping
distance from the new range of opportunities for intellectual labor, and with breaking
down academic boundaries and distinctions while many academics were becoming
organization men (22). Few of the critical intellectuals worked in isolation; they found
sustenance in small groups and journals as well as in small temporary places in and
around the universities.
Many thinkers identified the various occupational positions that the American
intellectuals occupied in the mid of the Twentieth century. Victor Fuchs has documented
the extent to which the service sector has grown most rapidly in the United States from
1947 to 1965 (14). Moreover, McCarthy and Zald mentioned that Singelmann and
Hidri 50
Browning documented a considerable increase in the number of labor force generally in
the social services and specifically within the personnel employed in education and the
state and local government in the United States between 1940 and 1970 (348).
Schoolteachers and government employees are not necessarily intellectuals but
these sectors include the educated and the more literate in the humanities and social
sciences which make them an audience for creative, dissenting intellectuals in the media,
they are taught by liberal professors, and many of them are organizational intellectuals
themselves (348). Consequently, the number of American intellectuals has grown with the
growth of these professions at that time.
According to Lipset, the number of intellectuals in the United States was very large
and distributed all over the country as follows:
The Boston area has about 9000 teachers of college and university
rank, the northern California area of which San Francisco is the
center has 14,000 in Greater New York City alone there are well
over 20,000 persons teaching in about forty institutions of higher
learning and no city in the world approaches New York in the
number of intellectuals employed in publishing houses, magazines,
and other intellectual enterprises, in addition to those in universities.
Important schools of painters and writers exist in various parts of the
country, from Seattle and Los Angeles on the West Coast to New
Mexico, New Orleans, Chicago, and Boston. (Political Man 330-31)
David Paul Haney took some time to talk about the status of social sciences and
hence of the sociologists of the post World War Two period. With the war’s end, social
sciences greatly benefited from the windfall of economic recovery. New funding sources,
Hidri 51
the G.I. Bill, the expansion of American colleges and universities, and new defencerelated service in the struggles of the Cold War, all moved sociology into a position of
increasing influence and responsibility (Haney 3).
Seymour Martin Lipset observes that most leading sociology departments had by
the mid-1950s hired Columbia students, which illustrates the process of diffusion of
Columbia sociology throughout the sociological profession as a whole (“The Department
of Sociology” 299). During the 1950s, foundation, government, and corporate largesse
fostered the rapid growth of applied sociology, in which academic researchers provided
clients with useful information in policy making, market research, labor relations, and
other endeavors unrelated to the project of constructing a science of society (Haney 18).
Lewis Coser has observed that the audience for sociological communication had
changed between the Progressive Era and the end of World War II from one consisting of
‘‘lawyers, reformers, radicals, politicians’’ to a professional clientele of ‘‘social workers,
mental health experts, religious leaders, educators, as well as administrators, public and
private’’ (The Functions… 29). Non-academic opinion journals such as Partisan Review,
Politics, Dissent, Harper’s, The Nation, The New Republic, and Commentary offered nonacademic readers access to a growing national forum for the discussion of salient political,
economic, social and cultural concerns, while expanded local channels of communication
offered yet-another communicative forum, as well as the opportunity to create one’s own
organ of opinion (Haney 18).
The status of different occupations in the post World War II Era was measured by
different studies including the occupations that contained the American intellectuals. In
the nationwide opinion poll on occupations carried out by the National Opinion Research
Center of the University of Chicago in the middle 1940s, as reported by North and Hatt,
Hidri 52
one out of a total possible score of one hundred, College Professor and Scientist scored 89
(North and Hatt 466). The highest score was 96, earned by the occupational category ‘US
Supreme Court Justice’. Physician scored 93, Architect 86, Artist who paints pictures that
are exhibited in galleries 83, and Author of novels 80.
All of these scores are in the upper reaches of the scale, as may be seen by a glance
at the average for clerical, sales, and kindred workers of 68.2 and for nonfarm labourers of
45.8 Business men also rank high on the scale. Sociologist, incidentally, was rated at 82,
seven points below college professor (North and Hatt 466). Two sociologists, Alex
Inkeles and Peter Rossi, have compared the results completed in Japan, Great Britain, the
United States, Germany, Australia, and among a sample of Russian “defectors”, and they
conclude that occupations receive approximately the same rank in each country (339).
Some of The United States’ occupations scores are presented in table 2.
College professors ranked above every non-political position except that of
physicians; artists, musicians in a symphony orchestra, and authors ranked almost as high
(Bendix and Lipset 412-14). Essentially, this study suggests that those in the intellectual
occupations enjoy about the same prestige in America as do important business men,
bankers, and corporation directors. In March 1950, the national opinion survey conducted
by the regular field staff of the National Research Center reported similar results (Centers
545). This study asked people to place various jobs in the “upper, middle, working, or
lower classes.” Among twenty-four categories, professors came out fourth, 38 percent of
those polled placed them definitely in the “upper” class, Doctors and Lawyers came out
second with 57 percent, and Schoolteachers came out sixth with 13 percent placed them in
the upper class (Centers 546).
In 1955, Columbia University sociologist Paul Lazarsfeld received a grant from
Hidri 53
The Ford Foundation’s newly established Fund for the Republic –chaired by former
University of Chicago President Robert M. Hutchins – to study how American social
scientists were faring in the era of McCarthyism. A pioneering figure in the use of social
surveys, Lazarsfeld employed interviewers from the National Opinion Research Center
and Elmo Roper and Associates to speak with 2451 social scientists at 182 American
colleges and universities. Lipset suggested these professors, who constitute a good sample
of university social scientists, turn out to come from “relatively high status . . . family
backgrounds” (“American Intellectuals…” 468). Almost half the respondents have fathers
who are in managerial posts or professions other than teaching, and only 15 percent are
the children of manual workers as the data in Table 1 indicates.
Table 1: Opinion Research Center of the University of Chicago, Social Origins of
University Social Scientists
Fathers Occupation
Other Professional
White collar and small business
Manual labor
No information given
100 (2451)
Source: (Lazarsfeld and Thielens 7)
Lipset argued that the fact that professors are able to attract to their ranks men from
relatively privileged origins suggests that their occupation is highly valued (“American
Intellectuals…” 468).
Hidri 54
A comparison of these data with those reported on different samples of the
American business elite, the heads of the largest corporations, indicates that the origins of
both groups are roughly similar (Lipset and Bendix 128). Actually, the comparison may
be unfair to the academic profession, since the sample of college professors is drawn from
all institutions of higher learning in the United States, whereas the professors at the better
institutions (which are on the average the larger schools) come from higher
socioeconomic backgrounds: 62 percent of those at very large schools ( above 9000
students ) are from managerial or professional families, as contrasted with 49 percent at
very small schools (700 or below); two-thirds of the social scientists at private nondenominational schools are from high-status backgrounds, as compared with 44 percent at
institutions with a religious affiliation or at teachers colleges (Lazarsfeld and Thielens 2326).
Robert William Hodge, Paul Siegl, and Peter Henry Rossi reported that the overall
correlation between the 1947 North-Hatt study and their own in the mid-1960s was 0.99
(Hodge et al. 289). Some of the scores they obtained are presented in the following table.
Table 2: Distribution of Prestige Rating, United States, 1947 and 1963
March 1947
June 1963
NORC Score
NORC Score
U.S. Supreme Court Justice
Nuclear physicist
State governor
Cabinet member in the federal government
Hidri 55
College professor
U.S. representative in congress
Diplomat in the U.S. foreign service
County judge
Member of the board of directors in a large
Mayor of a large city
Instructor in public school
Public schoolteacher
Artist who paints pictures that are exhibited in
Musician in a symphony orchestra
Author of novels
Hidri 56
Official of an international labor union
Newspaper columnist
Reporter on a daily newspaper
Radio announcer
Head of dep. In state government
Railroad engineer
Owner of factory that employs about 100 people
Accountant for a large business
County agricultural agent
Building contractor
Farm owner and operator
Trained machinist
Welfare worker for a city government
Source: (Hodge et al. 290-291).
This stability is not surprising. First, the relative income and education levels
associated with various occupations are quite stable over time (Treiman and Terrell “The
Process of…” 563-64). Second, to the extent that prestige is fixed by the division of
labour and workplace authority, it is not expected that the prestige of flight attendants to
soar above that of pilots. This is not to say that prestige never changes. Robert William
Hodge, Paul Siegl, and Peter Henry Rossi noted modest gains for blue-collar3 occupations,
an upswing in scientific occupations and the “free” professions (e.g., “physician”), and a
downturn in artistic, cultural, and communication occupations (286-302).
Hidri 57
Rankings are closely correlated across countries and are correlated across time in
the about 0.9 in the United States (Hodge et al. 289). According to Donald J. Treiman
“people in all walks of life, rich and poor, educated and ignorant, urban and rural, male
and female view prestige hierarchy in the same way” (Occupational Prestige… 59).
Trying to explain these subjective evaluations by observable characteristics of
occupations, one finds that the proportion of respondents who gave excellent or good
score is best explained by the mean income and education or the percent with high school
education and the proportion of workers with high incomes in each occupation (Fershtman
and Wiess 948). The table 4 is another example of the correlation between these studies of
occupational Prestige.
Table 4: Prestige Scores for Selected Occupations in the United States, 1964 and 1989
(1980 Census Major Occupational Categories)
Occupational Title
Department head in a state government
General manager of a manufacturing plant
Lunchroom operator
Public grade schoolteacher
Musician in a symphony orchestra
Managerial and Professional Specialty Occupations
Hidri 58
Technical, Sales, and Administrative Support
Medical technician
Manager of a supermarket
Insurance agent
Travel agent
Cashier in a supermarket
Telephone solicitor
Post office clerk
Shipping clerk
Bill collector
Bank teller
Housekeeper in a private home
Cook in a restaurant
Farm owner and operator
Service Occupations
Farming, Forestry, and Fishing Occupations
Hidri 59
Precision Production, Craft, and Repair Occupations
Airplane mechanic
Superintendent of a construction job
House painter
Saw sharpener
Assembly line worker
Bus driver
Locomotive engineer
Filling station attendant
Operators, Fabricators, and Labourers
Source: Web. 21 Feb. 2010. (http://what-when-how.com/sociology/occupational-prestige)
It is quite clear that the occupations that American intellectuals were likely to
occupy especially between the fifties and the sixties were mostly scored by occupational
status studies between 60 and 90, which means that they granted their occupants a high
status including intellectuals. According to these studies the jobs that may include the
American intellectuals acquired a relatively high status according to the level of education
required to occupy them, the incomes associated with them, and the prestige attributed to
those who occupy them.
Hidri 60
2.1 Income
Milton Gordon thinks that if the social status of the intellectual is likely to be high,
his economic position is likely to be highly variable covering the range from the low-paid
college instructor at the beginning of his career “making do” at $3500 per annum to the
public relations or radio network executive with a passion for Proust who banks yearly at
$18,000 (“Social Class…” 524). Lipset believes that the American intellectual compared
with businessmen and independent professional men, he is impecunious, but around the
fifties, the minimum salary for full professors at certain good universities was $12,000 for
the academic year and many earn above this minimum (“American Intellectuals…” 472473).
The Data in the study of social-science professors showed that 62 percent of all in
this field have outside sources of income, and that the more productive faculty members
(earning presumably the highest regular salaries) are most likely to secure extra income
(Lazarsfeld and Thielens 239). Until the 1960s, American intellectuals seemed to live
easily if not prosperously enough, enjoying some of the comforts of a coterie existence.
Not least among those comforts was the feeling of being vastly superior to their
countrymen, of being among Stendhal’s happy few (Epstein 191). The median family
income of elite intellectuals in 1969 was about $35,000, considerably more than that
earned by leading university or college professors (Kadushin 26). This consolidated the
idea that the education and occupations of the American intellectuals provided them with
relatively good incomes.
Hidri 61
2.2. Self-Image
In 1950s and 1960s American Intellectuals attributed to themselves a low status for
some reason clarified differently by some writers. The image of the American intellectual
as held by his fellow citizens is quite different from what he himself thinks they hold. He
may feel himself neglected and scorned, his work poorly valued by the community.
Lazarsfeld and Thielens study of college professors in 1957-58 clearly indicated
that they do not feel that they are much appreciated by businessmen or congressmen
(Lazarsfeld and Thielens 12). According to Lipset the intellectuals’ feelings of inferiority
derived from his glorified conception of the status of the European intellectual, when the
American treatment of the intellectual is no more or less than the difference between a
fairly rigid class society and a society that emphasizes equality (“American Intellectuals”
469). Similarly, Merle Curtis asserted that the American intellectuals were not then, nor
they had ever been regarded, and honored as in Europe (260). When comparing the
situation of the American and the British intellectual, A. G. Nicholas observed that:
The British intellectual has been in some degree sheltered by his
very position in what Bagehot called a ‘deferential society’. Not
very deferential to him, perhaps; less deferential than to the
landowner, the administrator, the soldier, the clergyman or the
lawyer, over all of whom the protective gabardine of the appellation
‘gentleman’ has fallen more inclusively, with fewer loose ends
sticking out. Nevertheless the [British] intellectual has shared in it
too, whether he was behaving as a rebel or as a hired apologist.
(“Intellectuals…” 47)
The American intellectual believes that people are paid according to what they are
Hidri 62
worth, and consequently lower pay implies lower value but they neglect the fact that the
public position of high status is always more poorly paid than is a corresponding private
one (Lipset, “American Intellectuals” 472). In the United States, on the whole,
intellectuals perceived themselves as outsiders by both the governing elites and by the
American public, but America provided more comfortable incomes and more provision
for employment in universities and other institutions which means that the American
society had not given diffuse elite status to intellectuals or anyone else and had
differentiated between experts and intellectuals in the post world War Two period (Lipset
and Basu 459).
2.3. Ethnicity
In the United States, the intellectual has an ethnic background. He is an African
American, a Jew, an Irish or Italian Catholic, a white Protestant, or something else. Milton
Gordon distinguished three “ideal types” of response to the dual pressures of ethnicity and
intellectualism calling them “the actively ethnic intellectual,” “the passively ethnic
intellectual,” and “the marginally ethnic intellectual” (“Social Class…”526). He
mentioned the “actively ethnic intellectual”, focuses his intellectual interests precisely on
his ethnicity, and his primary interests and passions are reserved for the racial, religious,
or nationality background ethos who may be a white Protestant as well as a member of a
minority (526).
He is the cultural historian of the group, the theologian, the communal leader, the
apologist, the scholar of its art, its music, and its literature who remains within his ethnic
group. He also states that the large group of intellectuals falls in the category of “passively
ethnic intellectuals” who remain predominantly within the subcultural boundaries of their
ethnic group and social class whether they are Negroes, most of their friends may be
Hidri 63
intellectuals but they will also be African Americans or a Jews who confine their
friendships primarily to other Jewish intellectuals; while their interests are mostly of the
broader, non-ethnic variety (527).
The third type is the “marginally ethnic intellectual” that wears his ethnicity lightly
to other, he is very occasionally a traitor, sometimes a snob, mostly they let him alone; if
he is successful, they will claim him - and he will be pleased by their claim (527).
American intellectuals from some ethnic groups did enjoy a good status as an intellectual,
especially in the post World War Two. This was the case of the white ethnics as the
majority of WASPs or other white minorities as the Jews.
Wilson Record suggested that the white intellectuals are usually engaged in
occupations having a relatively high place on the job prestige scale, they obtain
substantially higher than average shares of the community’s material goods and services
and the social prestige which it has to confer which enables them to live at middle-class
and in some cases at upper-class levels, and among certain segments of the population,
primarily among the better educated group who constitute an increasingly larger
proportion of the public, they secure a rewarding amount of recognition and prestige
(“Intellectuals in Social…” 232).
Besides, William M. Banks and Joseph Jewell in their article “Intellectuals and the
Persisting Significance of Race” synthesized that by the mid of the twentieth century,
most of non-WASP white ethnics concluded that trans-ethnic educational, social, and
business networks were more promising supports for social advancement than were ethnic
organizations and allegiances (77).
The best illustration of this category involvement as American white intellectuals
is the Jews. After their persecution and huntin the Holocaust, things get better for them as
Hidri 64
American citizens. Herbert J. Gans indicated that Jewishness took on a “symbolic
ethnicity” as members of the dominant racial group in America along other whites of
European descent who are free as intellectuals to choose which group they identify with
Robert Boynton observed that the New York Jewish intellectuals adopted a
cosmopolitan style; as writers, they sought a place in the tradition of American literature.
In Addition, Boynton demonstrated that they were by the mid-sixties nearly all safely
ensconced in the university, Bell and Nathan Glazer were hired by Harvard, Howe and
Kazin by City College, Rosenberg and Saul Bellow by the University of Chicago; even
the Partisan Review’s fiercely independent co-founder, Philip Rahv, took a job at
Wilson Record revealed that in the Jewish community there are social as well as
financial rewards for the man of learning, the teacher, and professionals in law and
medicine, but there is usually forthcoming from Jewish groups the funds necessary to
insure the leisure and facilities for educational contributions (“Social Stratification…”
In the same way, Lipset agreed with Wilson that the Jews are among the wealthiest
group in America, and added that they presented disproportionate section among many
groups of elites largely from the college educated; they presented 45 percent of the
leading intellectuals, 30 percent of professors in major universities, 21 percent of highlevel civil servants, 26 percent of the reporters, editors, and executives of the major print
and broadcast media, and 59 percent of the directors, writers, and producers of the fifty
top-grossing motion pictures from 1965 to 1982 (American Exceptionalism 152). Equally
important to know is the fact that in the 1960s, the Jewish intellectuals reached a
Hidri 65
comparatively secure status in the American society (qtd. in Friedman 3).
That was not the whole picture. Oppositional views asserted that the ethnicity of
African American intellectuals between the 1950s and the 1960s had a negative influence
on their status. African American intellectuals and other non-white intellectuals are
members of a subordinated racial group (Banks and Jewell 83).
The African American sociologist Edward Franklin Frazier noted that while the
African American Intellectuals were generally committed to joint endeavours with whites
to improve the position of the race, they find that in specific circumstances they are
usually in subordinate roles in organizational structures (100). Record demonstrated that
when African American intellectuals participated in non-technical or non-professional
interracial organizations, the key positions probably and so often occupied by whites, and
although the coloured intellectuals may have prominent formal roles, much of the power
is exercised by a few members of the dominant group (“Social Stratification…” 248).
It comes as no surprise that as late as 1963, the US Census Bureau found from
studies which it conducted that a white eighth grade dropout can expect to earn in his
lifetime more money than the African American college graduate-only because of the
African American college graduate’s colour, and once employed, the black employee can
expect to remain at the bottom of his profession with respect to promotions and
supervisory responsibilities (J. Tillman and M. Tillman 60).
For African American professor Michael Eric Dyson, skin and colour of the public
intellectual—the black public intellectual, in particular become the more visible index of a
regime and hierarchy of privilege and status that was associated with a different
understanding of species (169). His income may be above the average of the African
American community, but much lower than the average of his white counterparts of
Hidri 66
similar training and occupation, and his is job may have relatively high social value in the
African American community, but it will not permit him the recognition attached to
similar work and accomplishments in the white world (Record, “Intellectuals in Social…”
In another work, Record talked about the marginality of African American
intellectuals first as a feeling of exclusion from the general African American community
because of their personal distinctiveness, and second as the white world cannot accept
them despite their personal or intellectual equality (247). Moving to another point, he
asserted that the African American intellectuals in the various professions have a wide
range of identifications with professional organizations (247).
In this perspective, Cornel West proclaimed that the African American community
praises its intellectuals who stand out as political activists and cultural artists but for only
short-term political gain and social status, while they view the intellectual life as neither
processing native qualities nor maintaining emancipatory possibilities (61). He deduced
that the African American intellectuals are either ‘successful’ and distant from the African
American community, or ‘unsuccessful’ and disrespected by the white intellectual world
On the other hand, African American intellectuals fought to improve their status.
Franklin and Collier-Thomas asserted that an increasingly important group was the
African American lawyers who challenged in the courts legal segregation, political
disfranchisement, and economic discrimination in the US as Dean of Howard University’s
Law School, and Charles Hamilton Houston (170). Michael Hanchard suggested that with
the grip of McCarthyism, the black public sphere shrank even further, subsequently;
integration provided African American thinkers with a larger theatre but with fewer roles
Hidri 67
to play in media vehicles dominated by whites (101).
African American public intellectuals, like other African American middle-class
professionals, have had to provide defences for their personal successes amid high black
unemployment, urban violence, and whatever else has been deemed to be a “black
problem”, as if their successful dance with United States capitalism and racism required
them to explain why they had become neither middle managers, athletes, nor crack heads
(Hanchard 103).
Many African American intellectuals have successfully matriculated at higher
educational institutions or other training centers where universalistic imperatives shaped
the life of the mind (Banks and Jewell 78). Before the acceptance of African American
undergraduate students to elite white universities and colleges in the late 1960s, top
quality African American educational institutions gave the opportunity for potential
African American intellectuals (West 59).
The ethnicity of American intellectuals, specifically in the middle of the Twentieth
century, did have a differential impact on their status. Weather they were part of a
religious or racial or any other kind of ethnic group, being an intellectual did help them to
fight the perceived status connected to their ethnicity and even improve it. It was
somehow more difficult for some ethnic groups such as the African Americans but it was
a matter of a lot of persistence and time to reach a better status.
2.4. Gender
By the middle of the Twentieth century, the American society witnessed a growing
concern with feminism. American Women witnessed the economic changes of the period.
This situation reopened the discussions about their status.
In his Book Grand Expectations which was an overview of the United Stated
Hidri 68
States history from 1945 to 1974, James T. Paterson talked about the women’s life at that
time. He mentioned that the World War II, in so many ways, was a driving social force
that changed the lives of millions of women; bringing them into the marketplace in record
numbers and into new and sometimes better-paying kinds of jobs, and demobilization
drove many of these women from such jobs, but it only briefly slowed what was already a
powerful long-range trend toward greater female participation in the market (32). By
1950, he stated, there were 18 million women working for pay, only a million or so fewer
than in 1945. By then the percentage of women who worked had risen to 29, three points
higher than in 1940. The percentage kept going up, to 35 percent in 1960 and 42 percent
in 1970 (34).
Vanessa Martins Lamb mentioned that during the war, millions of women had
returned to work, they were encouraged to work in industrial factories to help with the war
effort (11). She observed that these women discovered that they were able to carry out the
“men’s work” and could earn the higher salaries usually associated with those jobs. For
this reason, many of them refused to leave this professional life after the war; and in
response to this phenomenon, the government launched a campaign to convince them to
return to their role of housewives (11).
A great deal of women of the lower classes returned to work as soon as the
children started school, despite of the government’s campaign for women to stay at home.
Women were represented in almost every 446 professions listed by the 1955 census, but
very few of them had important or leading positions (15). Most of them were doing jobs
that men didn’t want to do or that were qualified as “women’s occupations” with a salary
about third less than of a men (15). In fact, in 1950 57 percent of black women worked
outside the house, while white women doing the same were only 37 percent (16).
Hidri 69
Chametzky argued that most people in the 1950s felt that ideally women should be
homemakers and men should be breadwinners which the booming economy helped to
make it possible: 35 percent of women did go to college in the 1950s; although 46 percent
of women worked during the 1950s, 75 percent of them worked in simple clerical or sales
jobs, and the average working woman in the 1950s earned 60 percent of the average
working man’s salary (“The 1950s- The Pill: Birth of a New Woman” 217). Among the
Twenty four Participants of the famous American magazine Partisan Review in the 1950s,
only one was a woman ‘Louise Bogan’, and there were no people of colour whatsoever
(217). In 1969, about one quarter of American professors were women (Cummings and
Finkelstein 28).
One result was that the educated woman tended to become a marginal individual in
that she could not fit into the traditional and pre-scribed role of mother and housewife,
while at the same time she could not enter the male world of politics, business, industry
and the professions on any basis approaching an equal footing (Lewis 9). In this respect
intellectual women were placed in a position highly similar to that of the contemporary
African American intellectual who finds it difficult to belong either to the Negro world or
to the white (Park 373).
As regards women, Richard Ohmann contended that female intellectuals were
neglected in Russell Jacoby’s book The Last Intellectuals and he believed that if any
group of academic and non-academic intellectuals have changed minds and changed the
world around that period, it is feminists through self-organized small groups, through
conferences and journals, through a body of revisionist scholarship that has changed how
we understand reality, through challenges in the streets and in the electoral process,
through the building of thousands of feminist organizations and institutions; through
Hidri 70
pressure on gender relations in the recesses of the Professional-Managerial Class domestic
sphere…and the list could go on (“Graduate Students… 255-256).
Bruce Robbins asserted that female, working class, black, Hispanic, and other
groups were not represented in the white, male, largely upper-middle class intelligentsia
of the past (xvi). He further noted that the subject of intellectuals had been gender neutral
taking as an example the title of Louis Coser book Men of Ideas (xvi). Charles Kadushin
notices that very few women were among the top American intellectuals by the end of the
1960s (27). It could be argued that the New Left’s most successful legacy was the rebirth
of feminism (Isserman and Kazin 295). As the leaders of the New Left were largely white
men, women reacted to the lack of progressive gender politics with their own social
intellectual movement (McMillian and Buhle 6). American culture is extremely fickle,
alternately celebrating and neglecting its most venerable figures before finally giving
them the recognition they deserve.
The status of women and subsequently intellectual women was relatively low as
the other marginalized groups in the American society, however, the social condition lived
by women in the in the middle of the century did push the intellectual women to fight for
an equal status of women in the world of men. The 1960s was the appropriate atmosphere
for intellectual women to be active intellectuals in the American society.
3. Other Factors
Other factors influenced the status of the American intellectuals in the fifties and
sixties in a less piquant way. The perceived status of American intellectuals can be
influenced by the public stereotypes held about them or by their intellectual roles in
society. In examining a number of writings which deal, at least in part, with the general
status of intellectuals in contemporary American society, one can distinguish two
Hidri 71
polarized views.
One view is represented by Leo Gurko in his book Heroes, Highbrows, and the
Popular Mind, in which he decries the picture of the man of ideas and the arts presented in
the stereotypes of popular fiction and the movies. In this respect, he thinks that “the image
of the schoolteacher as an impractical fellow, cloistered in an ivory tower, with nothing
important to say about the real affairs of life, has been created by society as a strait” (99).
In his book Civilization in the United States, which deals with the era extending
from the 1920s till the 1950s, Ernest Boyd asserts that the college professors are
“terrorized by economic fear and intellectual inhibitions, they have no independence.
They are despised by the plain people because of their failure to make money; and to them
relegated all matters which are considered of slight moment, namely, learning and the
arts” (491-492). One of the intellectuals who contributed to this image is Henry Louis
Hencken. In his long war against professors he said: “Two-thirds of the professors in our
colleges are simply cans full of undigested knowledge, mechanically acquired; they
cannot utilize; they cannot think” (113).
Writing about intellectuals, Bell Hooks and Cornel point out that:
A prevailing cultural stereotype of an intellectual is someone who is
usually self-centredly preoccupied with their ideas even in those
cultural arenas where intellectual work is most respected, it is most
often seen as work that emerges from self-engagement and selfinvolvement. (Breaking…155)
The other view, according to Milton Gordon, points the impact of scientists, both
natural and social, the availability of music, books, and magazines of fine quality, the role
of academics and other intellectuals in business and governmental operations in the
Hidri 72
American culture (“Social Class …” 521).
Thus, Russell Lynes suggests in his article “Highbrow, Lowbrow,
Middlebrow” that the more familiar class system based on wealth or family lineage is
gradually being replaced by a status order predicated on intellectual ability and artistic
taste in which “highbrows” lord it over “upper-middle and lower-middle brows”, and
establish an uneasy camaraderie with the noncompeting and slightly suspicious“lowbrows” (19-28).
In his article “America’s Passion for Culture”, Jacques Barzun retorts: “Pro Arte is
not just the name of a quartet, it is the motto of the age;” and goes on to add: “In the
public eye the man of art and the man of thought have achieved status. We think we are
riding a wave of anti-intellectualism because certain such men are attacked; the fact is that
they are attacked because they have become important” (40-41).
Correspondingly, Talcott Parsons emphasizes that intellectuals, through the
enormous development of the sciences and their growing practical applications, and
indeed through the development of mass communication outlets for “high culture” such as
literature and history through paperback sales, classic music, etc., had been rising more
rapidly in importance and status, and because of this fact they tend to feel that they had
not risen fast enough (Schlesinger et al. “Comments on…”493). Whereas Daniel Bell
suggests that in terms of status, that is esteem, recognition and possibly income, the
Knowledge class may be the highest in the new society (374).
The status of American intellectuals can be related to who have the upper hand of
power and control. The attitude toward the intellectual in the United States, writes Arthur
Schlesinger Jr., is cyclical not stationary. For example, the intellectuals was taken
seriously in the first decade of the century and in the nineteen thirties; he was not taken
Hidri 73
seriously in the nineteen twenties or fifties (Schlesinger et al. “Comments on…” 488). He
adds that when the business community is in control of the national political government,
the intellectual is rejected and mocked; when the coalition of non-business forces is in
control of the national political government, the intellectual has a much higher status
Taking prestige into account, Charles Kadushin notes that the prestige of American
intellectuals in the late 1960s was related to the intellectual journals they read; the greater
the prestige of an intellectual, the more of the top journals he was likely to read (42). He
deduces that intellectuals make some journals more prestigious than others because they
approve the topics, style, and writers of these journals, but once they have attained
positions of eminence, they have the power to increase or break the prestige of individual
intellectuals (51).
One may say that the status of American intellectuals depended on various aspects.
Being an intellectual during the period of the 1950s and 1960s did carry many different
connotations for thinkers, for the American Public, and for those who can be considered
intellectuals. Mostly, these different perspectives can meet on the fact that the famous
thinkers who managed to share their perception with the American society in many
aspects are the most effective intellectuals of this period. These intellectuals faced a set of
conditions that situated them in a set of occupations.
The studies of the occupational prestige ranked the prestige of occupations. The
occupations that mostly involved the American intellectuals at the mid of the century were
granted in general a high status by the American Public. The incomes of these occupations
were not the highest but mostly good. The American intellectuals themselves did not share
this vision of their status with the rest of the public then. According to them their status
Hidri 74
was low.
These intellectuals may not fall in the majority category of White Anglo-Saxon
Protestant males. The white American intellectuals at these times were mostly men who
enjoyed high status occupations with good incomes. The Jews also shared this status if not
a better one since they constituted a large portion of the group. However, being an African
American intellectual male granted him a high status among his fellow African Americans
but put him in an inferior status to that of the White American male.
Intellectual women were less numbered and less fortunate than their male
counterparts but not less effective. Well, the case of the intellectual woman was quite
similar to that of African American males. This social status did not constitute the whole
picture. The American intellectuals had a position world of politics too. After the Second
World War, they were confronted by a new set of conditions in which they had to carry
out important political works and roles. Hence, the main intention of the following chapter
is to extend this idea.
Hidri 75
The Servicemen's Readjustment Act of 1944, known informally as the G.I. Bill, was a
law that provided a range of benefits for returning World War II veterans. Benefits included
low-cost mortgages, low-interest loans to start a business, cash payments of tuition and living
expenses to attend college, high school or vocational education, as well as one year of
unemployment compensation. It was available to every veteran who had been on active duty
during the war years for at least ninety days and had not been dishonorably discharged;
combat was not required. By the end of the program in 1956, roughly 2.2 million veterans had
used the G.I. Bill education benefits in order to attend colleges or universities, and an
additional 6.6 million used these benefits for some kind of training program.See: Glenn C.
Altschuler and Stuart M. Blumin, The GI Bill: a new deal for veterans.NY: Oxford University
Press, (2009): 118.
More details in Basic Facts and Figures International Statics Relating to Education
Culture and Mass Communication, UNESCO, 1950, 15-23, Table3
Blue-collar work may involve skilled or unskilled, manufacturing, mining, oil
field, construction, mechanical, maintenance, technical installation and many other types of
physical work. Often something is physically being built or maintained.Blue-collar work is
often paid hourly wage-labor, although some professionals may be paid by the project or
salaried. There is a wide range of payscales for such work depending upon field of specialty
and experience.
Hidri 76
Chapter Three
The Political Status of American Intellectuals in the 1950s and 1960s
Historically, public intellectuals in America were, in fact, members of a wider
public. They shared with other Americans access to religious and civic idioms that pressed
the moral questions embedded in political debate; they were prepared to live, at least most
of the time, with the give-and-take of political life, and they favored practical results over
This political life had its own shape by the mid of the twentieth century.The
American public intellectuals attempted to capture the new level of intellectual
involvement in American public affairs, both in and outside the government (Elshtain 82).
Charles Kadushin opined that there were ways leading American intellectuals related to
men of power in political life: as an insider who held or recently held government
positions or an outsider with other means of access to government or politics (304).
1. The Political Status of American Intellectuals within the Governments of
the 1950s and 1960s
Many writers paid attention to the status of American intellectuals in political life
within and outside the US governments from the 1950s to the 1960. Some of them
endorsed the view that their involvement in the American bureaucratic system of the US
governments especially in this period improved their status whereas others believed that
this institutionalized position did not provide them the importance of the intellectual role
in comparison with their counterparts. In the middle of the twentieth century, American
intellectuals were needed more than ever before in the US governments, especially that
they were not welcomed a lot in the earlier governments.
In his book Intellectuals and the American Presidency, Tevi Troy asserted that the
Hidri 77
development of the modern presidency brought intellectuals into American Politics, and
supposed that since the intellectuals’ inability to interact with the public, they rarely ran
for political office and limited themselves to writing books on political subjects or
informally advising politicians. He added that, although progressive presidents Woodrow
Wilson and Theodore Roosevelt both had intellectual tendencies and had written books
before reaching the White House, neither of them had intellectuals on his White House
staff (5). Woodrow Wilson was the only Ph.D. to serve as president, he did use a
temporary committee called The Inquiry, a group of scholars enlisted to help plan for
peace after the World War One; but he too had a very limited circle of advisers.
Some intellectuals visited Washington and a selected few even served in
presidential administrations before the Kennedy era. For instance, the novelist Fannie
Hurst who chaired a national housing commission and the committee on workmen’s
compensation, a member of the national advisory committee to the Works Progress
Administration, a member of the board of directors of New York Urban League in the first
half of the 1900s “was as likely to appear in the pages of leading newspapers as she was in
the conference rooms of the White House, where her friends the Roosevelts gave her an
open invitation” (Kaplan 8).
Troy mentioned too that Franklin Delano Roosevelt is believed to have been the
first president in this century to have brought intellectuals to the White House, which
“contributed to an opening and an increased role for intellectuals in politics” (Intellectuals
and… 6). According to Troy, Roosevelt consulted with intellectuals such as Columbia’s
President Nicholas Murray Butler (1862-1947) who served as an advisor for seven
presidents, yet he lacked an administrative apparatus for hiring assistants full-time
(Intellectuals and… 5).
Hidri 78
This improvement started first as a way to overcome the Great depression by the
Roosevelt government. Richard Pells believed that it was during the 1930s, when the
president Franklin Roosevelt needed the intellectuals to overcome the devastating results
of the 1929 economic crisis; that a new kind of intellectuals emerged in the United States
Franklin Roosevelt gathered a “Brain Trust”1 of prominent academics and policy
experts selected from elite universities as Harvard and Columbia. These intellectuals
contributed significantly in designing and shaping the different programs of the New Deal
administrations. The president pressed an ambitious legislative agenda that included both
the first and second New Deals, but often lacked the administrative staff to meet the needs
of his expanding presidency. As a consequence, in 1937 the Louis Brownlow the head of
the president’s Committee on Administrative Management suggested that Congress give
the president the right to hire six administrative assistants of high competence, each at a
salary of $10,000 (Troy Intellectuals and… 8).
The Intellectuals in the American government included names such as Arthur
Schlesinger, Jr., and Richard Neustadt, the author of Presidential Power (Etzioni 20).
Professor Arthur Schlesinger Jr., described the New Dealers in terms of the following
occupations—“they were mostly lawyers, college professors, economists, or social
workers” (Draper 207-208). Lawyers had long had a virtual monopoly of the American
government, but college professors in second place—that was something new; and
presumably some of the economists as well as the social workers were intellectuals, too
The reputation of the Brain Trust during the Great Depression was a good
opportunity that allowed a broader amelioration in the standing of intellectuals who were
Hidri 79
suspected before by most of the American population (Troy “Bush…” 139). The Second
World War completed the process that the New Deal began since it brought in
intellectuals in great numbers.
The Second World War brought over a hundred new agencies of the executive
branch that swallowed up thousands of older and younger intellectuals as the Office of
Strategic Services (OSS)2, predecessor of the Central Intelligence Agency (C.I.A.)
(Draper 208). The war and its aftermath produced a new type of American intellectuals in
politics, the foreign affairs intellectuals. The earlier variety had almost always been
brought in to advise on domestic policies, such as financial reform or criminal justice, and
what had been a fairly small field became a minor industry with branches in international
politics, international economics, international arms proliferation and control, foreign aid,
area specialization, and the like (Draper 208-209).
The Truman Doctrine of 1947 and the Marshall Plan of 1948 reinvigorated the
war-time and post-war boom in the procreation, care, and feeding of politicized
intellectuals which enabled large numbers of American intellectuals to fan out all over the
world at government expense, scattering their largesse and advice far and wide (209).
John Fischer asserted, “The Eisenhower administration employs more professors
than the New Deal ever did” (18). Statistics on the composition of the Senate published in
The New York Times in 1959 indicated that in the United States Senate there are fourteen
former members of college faculties (eleven Democrats and three Republicans), while
more than half the remaining Senators have earned advanced degrees (65).
One of the intellectuals who held a high rank government positions was Paul
Henry Nitze who came along with the rest of the Franklin Dwight Roosevelt bureaucracy
when Truman became president—and when he was named head of the president’s policy
Hidri 80
planning staff he wasted no time in selling the new president on the Communist threat
(Abella 6).
Later in the decade, Daniel Moynihan, an executive insider in the administrations
of Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon, argued that academics in government were markedly
liberal and “During the 1960s, in particular, they [social scientists] have had quite
extraordinary access to power. And they have used this access in considerable measure to
promote social change in directions they deem necessary and desirable” (177). Despite
their differences with liberals and government and conservative critics, then, radicals also
believed that academic power in government was growing in the 1960s (Townsley 741).
The White House was not the only source of political advancement for intellectuals
in the transition from the 1950s to the 1960s. Representative John Brademas of Indiana
played down his Harvard-Oxford background when he first ran for office in 1954 (Draper
211). Four years later, his local backers were urging citizens to “vote for Brademas
because he has a fine education” (Macdonald 103-104). Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr.
admitted that the White House was not the only source of political advancement for
intellectuals, and by the mid-1960s almost a seventh of the members of the U.S. Senate
were former professors (The Crisis of … 79).
John Fitzgerald Kennedy was not the intellectuals’ first choice. Most of them
preferred Adlai Stevenson and distrusted Kennedy. By winning over two of Stevenson’s
most important intellectual backers (Arthur Schlesinger and John Kenneth Galbraith),
Kennedy turned the intellectual tide in his favor. They preferred to pick a winner, an
advocate not evidently characteristic of previous generations of liberal intellectuals
(Draper 211). Arthur M. Schlesinger also explained why the intellectuals had changed
their attitude toward Kennedy from cold to hot: “their gradual recognition of his desire to
Hidri 81
bring the world of power and the world of ideas together in alliance” (Thousand
The Pulitzer Prize winner John Fitzgerald Kennedy understood the importance of
intellectuals so he worked to secure intellectual support for his presidential campaign
through the Academic Advising Committee (AAC), a group of professors from elite
universities, brought together by Kennedy’s adviser Ted Sorensen, who coordinated
policy proposals and academic endorsements (Troy “Bush…” 140).
Kennedy’s closest aide, Theodore C. Sorensen, claimed that Kennedy had
appointed to important posts a higher proportion of academicians (including sixteen
Rhodes scholars who studied at Oxford University by winning the Rhodes scholarship)
than any other president in history and even more than any European government had ever
done. Sorensen also boasted that Kennedy’s appointees had written more books than the
president—a fast reader at twelve hundred words a minute—could read in a four-year
term (246).
In addition to tapping prominent academics to serve in cabinet posts and as White
House advisors, he even created a role for an administration “in-house intellectual”
designed for and filled by his special assistant and court historian Arthur Schlesinger who
saw himself as part cultural advisor, part liaison to the academy and the world of ideas,
part one-man liberal idea factory, and the one who makes the left feel better about
Kennedy (Troy, “Bush…” 140). By shunning any particular policy responsibility,
Schlesinger excluded himself from Kennedy’s inner circle, and his activities suggested
that he was kept at a distance from key policy decisions and debates (141).
In his time at the White House, Schlesinger wrote articles and film reviews for
various publications, corresponded with the nation’s intellectual and cultural elites
Hidri 82
including those who offered important public support (like Archibald Cox and John
Kenneth Galbraith), advised Kennedy on assorted cultural matters, worked with the
political organization Americans for Democratic Action (ADA) to promote the liberal
agenda, accumulated research for the book he eventually wrote in his Pulitzer Prizewinning book, A Thousand Days about the Kennedy White House, and he enjoyed a
considerable salary.
Kennedy’s successor, the democrat Lyndon Baines Johnson, did follow Kennedy’s
example of hiring a court intellectual to help burnish his image and manage his relations
with the academy and the world of high culture. Johnson’s intellectuals were enormously
productive during his first two years of domestic reforms, but the Vietnam War destroyed
him politically and isolated them morally (Draper 212).
In the late 1960s and early 1970s, particularly as a result of the Vietnam debate
(though also in connection with the broader culture war then heating up), America’s elite
intellectuals — from perches at leading universities, prominent publications, and key
cultural institutions — gradually transformed themselves from the voice of the
establishment to the leading edge of a newly radicalized liberalism. Johnson’s attempts to
contend with this change would come to embody the Democrats’ approach to presidential
relations with American intellectuals — offering symbolic gestures meant to borrow some
cultural cachet, while often ignoring the intellectuals’ substantive views on policy
questions (Troy 142).
Years before President Johnson called in an army of “defence intellectuals”
(civilian scientists and social scientists) to fight the War on Poverty in the nation’s cities,
the research and development arm of the US security establishment already had taken a
strong interest in urban analysis (Light 234). With the escalation of urban crisis at home
Hidri 83
and an increase in federal spending on domestic issues during the 1960s, defence
intellectuals from universities, think tanks, and aerospace companies were well positioned
for entry into urban markets (234).
After 1963, the Johnson administration’s Great Society established stronger ties
with social scientists so government agencies called upon sociologists to devise and assess
the efficacy of the antipoverty programs of the 1960s, thereby establishing their authority
over crucial areas of public policy such as, the Johnson administration’s acceptance in
1965 of Daniel Patrick Moynihan’s report on problems of poverty and social decay within
African American communities (Honey 237). Furthermore, American political elites had
by the late 1960s come to rely upon pollsters to construct effective campaigns, thereby
enhancing the profile of survey research (238).
Johnson’s successor, Richard Nixon pursued what would become a Republican
model for contending with the radicalization of the academy and the arts by the elevation
and cultivation of alternative intellectuals, men and women disenchanted by the
radicalism of their colleagues and more inclined toward cultural and political
conservatism which gave the intellectuals more meaningful roles in the management of
the government. President Richard Nixon never had the intellectuals and would have had
trouble with them even had trouble giving away jobs to well-known intellectuals, and
those few who took them felt as isolated and embattled as if they had decided to sacrifice
themselves in a lost but somehow necessary cause (Draper 212).
Another viewpoint expresses the limited power that influences the political status
of American intellectuals inside the US government. Some thinkers pointed out that the
American intellectuals holding state offices were playing limited function with no
significant influence on sensitive matters.
Hidri 84
In the United States, where state power tends to be monopolized to a far greater
degree by the old class, mobilizations of teleological theory have been strictly limited to
the Keynesian management of severe crises, and even then such theoretical politics has
been suspect as essentially un-American. For this reason, the role of intellectuals in
American government has been limited largely to advisory and professional technical
roles, a situation hardly likely to impress superficial observers with the growing political
power of a “new class” (Disco 77).
Milton Gordon suggests that on the American scene intellectuals, as a group, have
virtually no political power (“Social Class…”525). The intellectual stands on the sidelines, functions as an occasional supporting lobby, or draws his salary and his orders as an
individual spokesman for one of the more powerful blocs; or he may play a key and
relatively anonymous role in a specific issue as the staff member of a Congressional or
executive committee (525).
Writing in the midst of the Eisenhower period, C. Wright Mills did not consider
intellectuals to be part of “the power elite”, barely bothered to discuss them at all, and
then only to dismiss them contemptuously as “hired men” (Power of Elite 351).
In his second term, President Dwight Eisenhower came to the realization that the
United States would not be able to survive a nuclear confrontation with the Soviet Union.
He became convinced that coexistence and eventual disarmament were the best way to
assure the survival of the nation and the world (Abella 10). He even refused to increase
the Pentagon budget in spite of the complaints of what he would term the militaryindustrial complex, with its constant bewailing of a so-called missile gap with the Soviet
Union-which in the event proved to be in our favor by a factor of over a hundred to one
(11). When The Gaither Committee3 approached Eisenhower and asked for forty billion
Hidri 85
dollars to augment civil defence so that the nation could survive a Soviet sneak nuclear
attack, Eisenhower rebuffed them although Eisenhower himself had appointed them to
look into the nation’s defence preparedness in the wake of the successful launching by the
Soviets of the first unmanned space vehicle, the Sputnik (11).
The political connections intellectuals had formed during the 1930s under FDR
were no longer tight, and politicians like Joseph McCarthy saw an opportunity to win
public favor by picking on intellectuals. The upsurge of McCarthyism in 1950 and the
defeat of Adlai Stevenson by General Eisenhower for the presidency in 1952 gave
intellectuals in general and politicized intellectuals in particular a feeling of rejection if
not persecution (Draper 209).
After the defeat of Adlai Stevenson in 1952, the majority of intellectuals paid little
attention to the internal squabbles and daily tribulations of the major parties probably
because neither the Republicans nor the Democrats were doing anything exciting enough
to talk about (Pells 392). A few writers like Arthur Schlesinger and John Kenneth
Galbraith rejoined Adlai Stevenson in his doomed campaign of 1956 (393). Other
intellectuals, however, considered foreign affairs’ analyses, social and economic
problems, popular culture, and the mentality of the middle class as the truly interesting
subjects; while the subjects inside the political arena such the programs and fortunes of
America’s leading politicians went largely ignored (393).
Intellectuals were a minority, and they did not attract political support because they
were not going to win anyone an election, as Adlai Stevenson’s failed bid for the
presidency attested. McCarthy became the bully in a schoolyard fight, and as would be
expected of the weak nerd, intellectuals backed down. Lipset assumed that McCarthy
attacked those occupations whose practitioners were university educated precisely
Hidri 86
because these professional groups were the most effective opponents of McCarthyism
(“The Sources of …” 210-212). They retreated to the protective enclaves of the
universities where they could attempt to influence the next generation.
2. The Political Status of American Intellectuals outside the Governments of
the 1950s and 1960s
The Public American intellectuals in the cold war time were present also outside
the government walls. Some writers considered their status as public intellectuals was in
better shape with their most noticeable political activism in the period of the sixties, while
others noticed that there were a less spirit of activism and involvement of intellectuals in
the world of politics especially during the boom years of the fifties.
Eric Goldman defined the liberal intellectuals of the 1950s and 1960s as “a large,
amorphous group of academics, writers, editors, staff people at foundations, certain types
of lawyers, and a scattering of others who made their living primarily from writing,
research or some combination of these”, and he recognized that artists could be
intellectuals, although he limited his definition to individuals with a policy orientation
Public intellectuals usually supported themselves without institutional
employment, and the most famous group of public intellectuals, the New York
intellectuals, often worked as freelance writers, edited small magazines, and taught parttime in universities (Troy, Intellectuals and... 12). Given this unaffiliated status, their
livelihood depended on their productivity, and hence, encouraging prolific writing. Their
influence beyond their numbers among the growing New Class made the politicians, and
presidential candidates pay more attention to them than other larger prolific groups.
Among American intellectuals, the editors of and contributors to the famous
Hidri 87
magazine Commentary Elliot Cohen, Irving Kristol, Hannah Arendt, Daniel Bell, Sidney
Hook, Irving Howe, and Norman Podhoretz displayed the greatest scepticism about the
Soviet Union intentions, while the editors of Partisan Review Philip Rahv and William
Phillips felt that it was time to disentangle the magazine from the current American
orthodoxies (Pells 352).
Likewise, Hugh Wilford saw that the New York intellectuals are known as a group
of intellectuals, mostly Jewish centred in New York City, and their early political
activities were during the nineteen thirties and World War Two. He also mentioned that
they were well known of their involvement in the communist movement, and their
renouncement of Stalinism, their brief adherence to Trotskyism4, their eventual
disillusionment with communism (“An Oasis…” 209), advocating left-wing, and many of
them were associated with left-wing political journals the Partisan Review, Commentary,
and Dissent.
The Partisan Review was one of the determinedly appealing centers of inquiry,
which became by the end of the 30s and into the 40s and 50s (edited and largely written
by ex-Trotskyites and ex-Communists), a leading organ of the politically engaged
intellectuals (Chametzky 213). The Partisan Review magazine was an organ of
independent radicalism, forum for the New York intellectuals who were portrayed with
their internationalism, exclusion from universities, and their distance from cultural and
political power (Dickstein 50).
Mad, a comic book that appeared in 1952, which provided a harshly satiric, with an
extremely perceptive insight into many aspects of cold war America during the fifties.
Those wrote and drew for Mad formed an alternative New York intellectual circle and
many of them were Jewish (Abrams 435). Mad turned its attention to politics most
Hidri 88
importantly in 1954 in its attack on Senator Joseph McCarthy, then it ridiculed cold war
fears of communism to a set of banal clichés, it also parodied the advertising strategies
that Eisenhower administration used to fight cultural cold war (445-47).
Though conservative intellectuals were a conflicted and minority voice in 1945, by
the mid-1950s, they had an important institutional presence in National Review magazine
(edited by William F. Buckley, a leading conservative intellectual) (Mattson 263).
Throughout these years, the intellectuals’ criticism of American diplomacy were
still famed in the vernacular of anti-Communism, each writer presented his particular
recommendation as a more effective tactic in pursuing the Cold War (Pells 360). Although
the majority of writers in the late 1950s regarded détente with varying degrees of
suspicion, they acknowledged the necessity of negotiations with the Soviet Union,
particularly to control the proliferation of nuclear weapons- discordant set of emotions
that continue to plague American politicians, diplomats, and intellectuals up to the present
time (360). Unfortunately, the White House, the National Security Council (NSC), and the
State Department did not share the intellectuals’ budding sympathy for neutralism or for
nationalist revolutions in other parts of the globe.
In 1957 and 1958, several articles by the political analyst Samuel Lubell, the
professors of history Oscar Handlin, and Comer Vann Woodward appeared in
Commentary evaluating the dispatch of federal troops to Little Rock and the chances for
congressional passage of civil rights legislation (387). In 1958 and 1959, the journal
Commentary started to publish a greater number of articles dealing with specific social
and economic issues: the recession, unions, urban decay, youth delinquency, and civil
Thinkers like David Riesman, the sociologist William Whyte, John Kenneth
Hidri 89
Galbraith, and C. Wright Mills concentrated on the mental habits and anxieties of the
middle class, the dilemmas peculiar to affluence, and the structure of the national elite,
assuming these to be the dominant concerns of the post-industrial society (Pells 385). In
the political climate of the late 1950s, the political sciences professor Michael
Harrington’s proposals seemed imaginary, yet they helped inspire Lyndon Johnson’s war
on poverty in the late 1960s (387).
There were a few writers in 1959 and 1960 who did feel somewhat less confident
about the where this resurgence of political activism might lead. Others like Irving Howe,
the historians H. Stuart Hughes, Arthur Mitzman, and the political scientist Andrew
Hacker were all interested and generally pleased by the numerous signs of revival on the
left. For instance, Hughes stated to his Partisan Review readers that a new young
generation of radicals was re-awakened and Howe no longer consider himself and his
colleagues at Dissent quite alone (Pells 390-1).
By 1960, a number of intellectuals, especially the professor and co-editor of
Dissent Michael Walzer, the critic and editor Dwight Macdonald, and David Riesman
were debating whether the tactic of nonviolent disobedience could serve as a political
action (387). The social and the cultural analyses of writers like the sociologist C. Wright
Mills, the anarchist intellectual Paul Goodman, the radical editor Dwight McDonald, the
critical attorney and professor David Riesman, the economic intellectual John Kenneth
Galbraith, the critical editor of Dissent Irving Howe, and the critical professor and radio
commentator Michael Harrington were being translated into political action, particularly
with the birth of the “New Left” and the growing reliance on civil disobedience (348).
Talking about the American intellectuals during the cold war, Robert Tomes
mentioned that the Nation and the New Republic repeatedly addressed the American
Hidri 90
policy in South Vietnam during the early 1960s, and within few years intellectual protest
of the Vietnam War become larger, causing most American intellectuals to re-evaluate
and often redefine their entire outlook on American life (9-10).
Similarly, Iqbal Ahmed reckoned that the misadventure that occurred in 1963-64 in
the Dominican Republic, it can be cited that behind the scene intellectuals could not
assess the situation correctly, and the United States damaged her reputation in Latin
American countries. The author also stated that in 1964 and 1965 the intelligentsia of this
country very seriously deliberated the Vietnam issue, and warned the Johnson
Administration and the public of the grave consequences of the war but with no avail
(331). In short one had to conclude that most of the American intellectuals had strongly
opposed the War in Vietnam since 1965, long before any other group in the American
All the events of the 1960s helped shatter confidence in American institution while
the intellectuals were typically nonviolent protesters. In its cover story on the New York
riots of summer 1967, the New York Review of Books, a left-wing intellectual journal,
printed a diagram showing how to build a Molotov cocktail for urban warfare (Troy 3).
Many intellectuals influenced the tone and tenor of the demonstrations, as leaders of the
student protests cited radical antiwar intellectuals to justify their actions (3).
Charles W. Mills, Paul Goodman, William Appleman Williams, Arnold Saul
Kaufman, and the editors of small magazines were at ease with their social and political
roles. They were usually comfortable “speaking American,” that is, referring to values
embedded in the nation’s identity, such as democracy and equality. They were “connected
critics,” in Michael Walzer’s evocative phrase, who used their nation’s best ideals to
criticize their nation’s worst practices. This becomes clearest in their critique of American
Hidri 91
foreign policy, especially in Cuba and Vietnam. Some of them were also comfortable
evoking “universal values”—e.g., truth and justice—that transcended national ideals. At
the same time, these New Left intellectuals believed that universal and national principles
needed to find their way into particular, institutional, and historical practices and
transformations (Mattson 11).
In the United States, revulsion with the Vietnam War united intellectuals on the left
and a “sense of solidarity” arose among them (Coser xi). Many New Left thinkers in the
United States were influenced by the Vietnam War and the Chinese Cultural Revolution.
Some in the United States New Left argued that since the Soviet Union could no longer be
considered the world center for proletarian revolution, new revolutionary Communist
thinkers had to be substituted in its place, such as Mao Zedong, Ho Chi Minh and Fidel
Castro (Bacciocco 21). Todd Gitlin, describing the movement’s influences, stated that:
“The New Left, again, refused the self-discipline of explicit programmatic statement until
too late - until, that is, the Marxist-Leninist sects filled the vacuum with dogmas, with
clarity on the cheap” (179).
Russell Jacoby’s last generation of intellectuals were freelance writers
predominantly male and Jewish based in New York who were formed by their encounters
with socialism and European culture, whereas most of the new group of intellectuals is
ensconced in elite universities across the country, including women and African
Americans who worked solidly within the American grain, and were products of the
political upheaval of the 1950s and 1960s (7-11).
What most accounts of the New York Left fail to mention is the existence of
African American public intellectuals, academic and otherwise, in New York between the
1930s and the 1950s. Important figures such as Ben Davis (a radical lawyer and
Hidri 92
Communist Party member in the 1940s), Marvel Cooke (the first woman to write
regularly for a daily newspaper in the United States and a communist as well), the African
American singer, lawyer and political activist Paul Robeson, and others were in New
York during this period (Hanchard 97). The alliances between the New York (read white)
intellectuals and African American activists during this time were strategic but often
uneasy. Since the 1920s, African American leftists have struggled to emphasize racism’s
importance in maintaining capitalist dominance in the United States. More often than not,
however, the New York intellectuals’ tendency (like that of many white leftists then and
now) was to treat racial oppression as mere flotsam on capitalism’s undulating surface
(97). African American intellectuals are rarely, if ever, situated within broader analyses of
the history of public intellectuals more generally, either in the United States or anywhere
For instance, Harold Cruse attacked James Baldwin and other intellectuals for,
“trying to place the onus of their social predicament on white liberals” when the white
liberals were “the real patrons and sponsors of their position as Negro intellectuals” and
the Negro intellectuals were “unable to even hint at the outlines of another kind of
program” beyond the integrationist one they were attacking (200). With the advent of the
Black Power Movement, and the accompanying Black Arts Movement, many African
American writers began to insist, at least rhetorically, that African American artists and
intellectuals should address only black issues and only black audiences.
The Civil Rights movement made great changes in society in the 1960s. The
movement began peacefully, with the pastor Martin Luther King Jr. and the African
American activist Stokely Carmichael leading sit-ins and peaceful protests, joined by
whites, particularly Jews. Then, other Black activists continued the movement resorting to
Hidri 93
religion and violence such as the African American Muslim minister Malcolm X and the
Black Panthers whose protests turned to broke out (Goodwin; Bradley).
The mid-and late 1960s saw a radical transformation in the African American Civil
Rights Movement and a concomitant change in the expectations for what an AfricanAmerican intellectual was to do (MacPhail 58). In his study of Black Power as a cultural
and political moment, William Van Deburg traced the origins of this shift to the
experiences of Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) activists in
Mississippi during the summers of 1964 and 1965 (49). The young activists’ response to
this realization was to set up Freedom Schools to increase knowledge about black history
and pride in the black community (51).
The goals of the SNCC activists, and those of the Black Power Movement that
emerged in their wake, were in agreement with those articulated by Malcolm X in his June
1964 speech “Statement of Basic Aims and Objectives of the Organization of AfroAmerican Unity” (MacPhail 59). Here Malcolm X called for a renewed attention to
cultural issues in order to unify and raise the consciousness of African Americans: “We
must recapture our heritage and our identity if we are ever to liberate ourselves from the
bonds of white supremacy....We must launch a cultural revolution to unbrainwash an
entire people” (qtd. in Van Deburg 5).
In a 1965 essay, Amiri Baraka offered a vision of the artist and intellectual that
suggests the kinds of artistic and intellectual strategies that would produce a black art that
black America “needs”:
The Black artist ... is desperately needed to change the images his
people identify with, by asserting Black feeling, Black mind, Black
judgment. The black intellectual, in this same context, is needed to
Hidri 94
change the interpretation of facts towards the Black Man’s best
interests, instead of merely tagging along reciting white judgments
of the world. (167)
Baraka’s goals as a Black Power/ Black Arts Movement intellectual are twofold:
To simultaneously reach and hold the attention of the African American, whose very
existence enables a thing called Black Arts; and also to write and speak in ways that will
bring about this audience’s transformation to their black selves (MacPhail 61). Baraka, in
the 1960s, moves away from the role of the familiar African American spokesperson to a
more militant and separatist position marked by changing perceptions of the relationship
between the African American intellectual and his audience.
As women made a bid for equality as political activists, women activists, and
especially white women, proved particularly vulnerable to criticism of their political
adequacy. The story differed in significant ways for Black women, whose relation to the
community was less likely to be questioned and whose long history of participation in the
economic as well as political sphere established them independently as workers (Fisher
Yet, any woman who challenged the sexual division of labour or the sexual
prerogatives of male activists might be charged with defective political commitment. In
this regard, Fisher argued that the radical ideal of political action contained a special
obligation for women: compassion and support for male political workers (197). For both
Black and white women, the re-emerging women’s movement questioned the co-optation
of traditional definitions of femininity. As a female African American intellectual, June
Jordan shifts her position and tactics in order to better serve the interest of all three terms
of the hyphenated moniker “African- American Woman” (MacPhail 66).
Hidri 95
Three elements became particularly important to the burgeoning of the women’s
movement: the commitment to resistance, based in ourselves and our feelings, and
validated by the community of those who are oppressed. No one synthesized them more
convincingly than activist Ella Baker whose years of organizing within the Black
movement led her to side with the 1960s’ generation of African American activists in their
quest for a new political form (Fisher 194). To these young protesters, Baker voiced an
ideal in which leadership grew out of the community itself, in which the political
organizer’s role was to help community members share experiences and voice feelings, to
strengthen understanding of oppression and capacity to resist (194).
The political orientations of intellectuals in the mid of the century had an influence
on their political status and granted them a reputation in the history of the United States.
The ability of American intellectuals to win office is especially striking, given the fact that
the American electoral and party system, with its lack of central party control of the
candidates, makes it difficult for men to obtain party nominations unless they come up via
machine politics and enjoy the backing of local party officials (Lipset, Political Man...
336). Lipset noted that few American intellectuals were prepared to follow the path of
direct participation in local politics, as has been successfully done by Paul Douglas,
Richard Neuberger, Ernest Gruening, or Hubert Humphrey (Political Man 336).
In politics, the two party-system has made it necessary for intellectuals to align
themselves with one party or the other (Ahmad 231). The elite intellectuals’ rise to
prominence was especially noticeable in Democratic Party politics (Troy “Bush,
Obama…” 139), and demonstrated best by the party’s presidential nominee in 1952 and
1956 Adlai Ewing Stevenson who was a counsel to the Agricultural Adjustment
Administration of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s “New Deal” (Henry). CBS reporter Eric
Hidri 96
Sevareid noted that Stevenson “captured the imagination of intellectuals, of all those who
are really informed; he has excited the passions of the mind” (qtd. in Troy, Intellectuals
and…10). A number of prominent intellectuals also worked on Stevenson’s campaign.
Irving Howe argued that Stevenson’s status as a presidential candidate perfectly
mirrored the intellectuals’ mixed feelings about the participation in national affairs (Pells
394). The Democrats’ growing reputation as the party of the brainy avant-garde
associated with the educated elite Adlai Stevenson did have its political advantages (Troy,
“Bush, Obama…” 140). Partially as a result of perceptions created by the Stevenson
campaign, calling someone an intellectual in the 1950s and 1960s effectively meant
calling that person a liberal since most intellectuals were liberals but not all liberals were
intellectuals (Troy, Intellectuals and… 10-11). In an important review of the politics of
American and Soviet intellectuals, Lipset and Dobson concluded, on the basis of Carnegie
study of American Professors and other data, that intellectuality itself seems to make a
person more liberal and more critical of the policies of the regime (Kadushin 27).
The absence of conservatism among intellectuals was so complete in this period
despite individual conservative intellectuals such as the author and commentator William
Frank Buckley Jr. (1925-2008) and the political scientist Willmoore Kendall (1909–1968)
but liberalism and intellectualism seemed inextricably linked through the mid1960s, a
situation that thrilled liberal and infuriated conservatives (Troy Intellectuals and...11).
Adlai Stevenson served as a prototype for a new breed of politicians (Pells 395).
A survey conducted in 1937 in Chicago reported pro-New Deal sentiments among
84 percent of the professors of social science and 65 percent of natural-science faculty
members, as contrasted with 56 percent among manual workers, 16 percent among
lawyers, physicians, and dentists, and 13 percent among engineers. Roughly similar
Hidri 97
results were obtained by this survey with regard to attitudes on various socioeconomic
issues (Kornhauser 264). Almost two decades later, interviews conducted with a
systematic national sampling of over 2000 social scientists teaching in American
universities in 1955 revealed that three-quarters were Democrats and that two-thirds had
voted for Stevenson in 1952, a year in which nearly half the manual workers and members
of trade unions had voted for Eisenhower, and as in the case of the two studies of religious
belief, this investigation found that the more distinguished professors included an even
higher proportion of liberals (Lazarsfeld and Thielens 14-17).
In his book American Exceptionalism, Lipset noticed that the study in 1955 by Paul
Lazarsfeld and Wagner Thielens was intended to evaluate the effect of McCarthyism on
social scientists since it was an attempt from Senator Joseph McCarthy to push professors
toward a conformist direction (181). Indeed, Paul Lazarsfeld and Wagner Thielens’ 1955
national survey of 2,500 social scientists found that 8 percent had backed left third-party
candidates in 1948, compared to 2 percent in the electorate generally, 63 percent voted for
Harry Truman and only 28 percent voted for Thomas Dewey (402).
In 1947 a survey conducted by Time magazine, 60 percent of the respondents who
reported their occupation as “scientist” voted Democratic, 80 percent of those listed as
“engineers” had voted Republican in 1944 (Kornhauser 264). In the mid-thirties, a study
of 104 Washington correspondents, a highly paid elite group, found that the large majority
had backed Roosevelt, the average salary of this group was over $6000, a considerable
income for that period (Rosten 342-353).
Straw votes conducted among reporters in later years on the campaign trains of the
Presidential candidates of both parties suggest that as a professional group, journalists
have remained sympathetic to the Democratic Party and to liberal causes (Lipset, Political
Hidri 98
Man... 316). A survey of another elite group, the foreign correspondents in Western
Europe, reported that, in the winter of 1953-1954, 58 percent of those interviewed stated
that they favoured Stevenson, while 36 percent supported Eisenhower for re-election
(Kruglak 87-89). The arts have contributed heavily to Democratic support and a large part
of the membership of what is basically the left wing of the Democratic Party, Americans
for Democratic Action (ADA), has come from intellectuals, and its strongest sections have
been in academic communities (Lipset 317).
According to Lipset, American intellectuals appear to have shifted toward the
center, although most probably they remain to the left of that position, while a significant
minority have become conservative mainly because of the long lasting post-war
prosperity, and the reaction of liberal leftist intellectuals in America as elsewhere to the
rise of Communism as a main threat to freedom (Politican Man 341). The relatively small
leftist third parties, both Socialist and Communist, seem to have secured more support
from intellectuals than from any other stratum of the population. Librarianship, an
occupation closely linked with the intellectual world, also shows strong leftist in addition
to liberal propensities.
Andrew Ross has located four significant moments in American history that helped
shape the “non-institutionalized” intellectual tradition in the United States: “the
Progressivism of the pre-war and post-war years, the radicalism of the thirties, Cold War
liberalism, and the New Left of the sixties” (217). In the 1930s and 1940s the publicly
engaged intellectuals were primarily concerned with Depression, anti-capitalism, and antifascism. The same views were fought publically by intellectuals during the tension of the
cold war in addition to the new straggles against proliferation of nuclear weapons and
their testing; the arming of the west and aiming it against the Soviet Union as part of the
Hidri 99
struggle between communism and capitalism (Chametzky 213).
Between 1945 and 1948, American politicians and intellectuals clashed over the
future of the nation and the world before arriving to a general consensus on domestic and
foreign policy. From 1948 to the mid-fifties, their concern with the Cold War and the
dangers of communism made them less attracted to political and economic conflict within
the United States of America (Pells 346). But writers started to explore the cultural and
the psychological dilemmas of affluence, few attempted to connect the tensions in
people’s private lives to the nation’s public institutions and social arrangements (346).
Politically speaking, Hugh Wilford asserted that non-Jewish intellectuals were
more reluctant than their Jewish colleagues to abandon political radicalism in favor of
cultural avant-gardism and less inclined to desist from criticism of American society and
culture (The New York…11-12). In his book, The Liberal Mind in a conservative Age:
American intellectuals in the 1940s and 1950s, Richard Pells observed that many studies
of that era can refer to the New York intellectuals as an ethnic or generational tribe,
bonded by the same political traumas, transfixed by shared cultural obsession, and
inspired by the city that become after World War Two the home of western art and
thought (xvii).
The atmosphere of conformity did not prevent the critical intellectuals from
establishing a firm base to rebirth the spirit of activism in the post-war American society.
The Civil Rights Movement, as Walzer and Dwight McDonald described it, appeared to
be a blend of differing values intellectuals have championed in the 1950s: it depended on
decentralized and semi-anarchist methods and face-to-face encounters; it seemed a
product related to local social needs; it was accessible to new leaders who understood the
advantages of popular participation; and it represented a politics for citizens who wanted
Hidri 100
to have some effect on decision making (Pells 389). Once more, as with the concept of
“autonomy”, the intellectuals were trying to find a theory and a cause that allow them both
challenge the structure of American society and to continue to flourish within its
institutional arrangements (390).
Many of these thinkers saw the ideology of liberalism as outdated and living on
past assumptions no longer relevant for current socioeconomic or political realities
(Mattson 269). These thinkers drew a number of their own ideas straight from the liberal
tradition: civil rights (such as the right to free speech that Charles Wright Mills, for
instance, thought needed to be put into practice rather than simply celebrated), democratic
publics, and political and social reform within a constitutional and representative
democracy. Perhaps this is best captured in the idea of radical liberalism, a concept hinted
at by Mills and fully developed by the Jew professor Arnold Saul Kaufman (1927-1971)
The 1960s can best be seen as the ramification of those ideas the intellectuals
advanced to explain and criticize their society in the 1940s and 1950s. Thus, the
intellectuals contempt for the doctrines of the Old Left, their dissatisfaction with the
quality of American life, their conviction that the country’s crucial problems were postindustrial, their scorn for suburbia and the mentality of organization man, their
disparagement with conformity, their frustrations inherent in modern work, sensitivity to
bureaucratic manipulation and centralized power and their loss of faith in the
revolutionary potential of the working class, prompted some writers in the post period to
celebrate the tactics of liberal reform, inspired a quest in the 1960s for new radical
constituencies among students, African Americans, and the poor (Pells 402).
Edward Shils believes that intellectuals, too, professors and teachers, scientists,
Hidri 101
journalists, authors, have had a substantial share in all these radical activities, much more
than conservative, politics have been their province, but there too they have had to share
the territory with politicians and trade unionists who were not intellectuals (“The
Intellectuals in the Political...” 330).
Tevi Troy indicated that Intellectuals gained status in this period because of the
Cold War. He argued that the Korean War had already demonstrated that military
confrontation between West and East could be bloody and inconclusive which gave
chance to the American intellectuals to emerge as the key to gaining the upper hand in the
post-World War Two geopolitical struggle against the Soviet Union (Intellectuals and…
11). In 1960, American intellectuals were at the peak of their influence. They tended to
live in New York or Boston, shared similar political views, largely associated with the
Democratic Party, and for the most part supported America in its Cold War struggle with
the Soviet Union (Troy 12).
The American intellectuals entered the world of politics in the period of the fifties
and sixties with occupational positions in government more than any time before. The
boom that touched the world of education grants them important positions such as
advisers. This status was high according to the studies of occupational prestige. In reality
this positions allowed these intellectuals to enlighten the world of politics with their
perceived knowledge but sometimes their opinions were ignored and ineffective which
shows their power limit in governmental policy.
This was not the only position through which they could affect the world of
politics. Their occupations outside the government did not stop them from entering the
political arena. Their writings and even the protests they participated in gave them more
power and status than before. They fulfilled their purpose and status in this period more
Hidri 102
noticeably than any period in the history of intellectuals in the United States.
Hidri 103
Brain Trust, the group of close advisers to Franklin Delano Roosevelt when he was
governor of New York state and during his first years as President. The name was applied to
them because the members of the group were drawn from academic life. This informal
advisory group on the New Deal included Columbia Univ. professors Raymond Moley, Adolf
A. Berle, Jr., and Rexford G. Tugwell and expanded to include many more academicians. It
soon disintegrated, but the term has remained in common usage for similar groups.
See study by R. G. Tugwell (1968).
The Office of Strategic Services (OSS) was created by President Franklin D.
Roosevelt in July 1942. The OSS replaced the former American intelligence system, Office of
the Coordinator of Information (OCI) that was considered to be ineffective. Roosevelt
selected Colonel William Donovan as the first director of the organization. The OSS had
responsibility for collecting and analyzing information about countries at war with the United
States. It also helped to organize guerrilla fighting, sabotage and espionage.
The Gaither Committee was a special commission established by Eisenhower in May
1957 as a response to the pressures of his various critics. It was named after its Chairman H.
Rowan Gaither. This group of outside experts included Paul H. Nitze, a drafter of the earlier
call to arms, nsc-68.
Trotskyism is the theory of Marxism as advocated by Leon Trotsky. Trotsky
considered himself an orthodox Marxist and Bolshevik-Leninist, arguing for the
establishment of a vanguard party. His politics differed sharply from those of Stalinism,
most prominently in opposing Socialism in One Country, which he argued was a break
with proletarian internationalism, and in his belief in what he argued was a more
authentic dictatorship of the proletariat based on democratic principles, rather than the
unaccountable bureaucracy he saw as having developed after Lenin’s death.
Hidri 104
Identifying intellectuals has never been clearly set. They are always born as
intellectuals of their time. Their knowledge comes from their surrounding and put them
somewhere in that environment. The American intellectuals are not an exception. In the
mid of the twentieth century, they got their knowledge from their experience of life which
was somehow connected to European life.
The established tradition of intellectual life was writing in periodicals. They were
positioned where their concern put them. The economic boom of the period expended the
educational opportunities for everybody. This meant that most Americans can be
intellectuals. The new experts and technicians did not fit the established tradition of
intellectuals who engaged in public policy and public concerns. It may be viewed that
technical knowledge is of public concern too. This concern can be expressed differently
and this made intellectuals those who share it with the public.
American intellectuals were no longer from the bourgeoisie they have to work to
afford living. Their status depended on their occupations. Mostly, they were not far from
magazines. Then, they were connected to universities. Even when they were found in
other jobs, this did not lower their status. Their work within the government was getting
better and brought them status.
The Jews dominated the intellectual world. Most famous magazines were the home
of the Jewish intellectuals. They were the brightest sociologists in universities. Their
opinions and voices were heard in the American society. The African American
intellectuals still had to fight for their race and their own status. They were influential
activists who fought hardly a century of established racial practices. Women entered the
intellectual world notably by the end of the nineteenth century, but they were still the
Hidri 105
shadow of the other male intellectuals. They wanted to be independent minds by
defending other women’s status.
The American intellectuals’ status was not a perfect one especially when compared
to the Europeans intellectuals. They were often considered poor and ridiculed for their
wired passion for knowledge. Some of them were part of the minorities, which meant that
they have to fight to reach such status. The governments did not take their prepositions in
consideration in all instances. This was the other side of the story, but this did not prevent
them from taking their place in the American society.
Opening government positions for them ameliorated their status in the public eyes.
They were needed more in advisory positions. They worked with presidents as personal
advisers or in other established committees. They became Senators or representatives.
They had the chance to become presidents. Their involvement in political parties
advocated their opinions.
Writing about political matters gave them the status of policy monitors. The fact
that they had different positions in and outside the government gave them the chance to
cover all the political views. Their positions as supporters or critics of political issues kept
the balance in the political world. This can be the key behind the American success.
Studying the status of intellectuals is an important quest that should be taught to all
students pursuing to understand that being an intellectual is not only about gathering
information and being specialized in a specific field of knowledge. It should be
understood through scrutinized analysis of the intellectuals’ functions. The status of
American intellectuals during the fifties and sixties was not just chasing high status,
prestige and fame; it may be seen rather as a quest for knowledge that lights out the way
of intellectuals themselves and to help the others share this vision of their age.
Hidri 106
It is undeniable that the intellectuals’ occupational positions with their associated
incomes are vital aspect of being an intellectual but they can be seen as a means that
assists the intellectual and encourages him to function as an intellectual more influentially.
There is a line between using status and power for functional purposes and between
making them goals of an intellectual career.
The case of the American intellectuals during the fifties and sixties is a lesson from
history of the United States that teaches valuable lessons for the next generations. Some
may see it as a mere story about historical figures but this history proves that being an
intellectual is not just title that may be written then forgotten. This history means that
being an intellectual is hard work full of challenges starting with challenging one’s own to
the context in which he lives and even go beyond one’s time and space.
The difficulties that faced the intellectuals in the history of nations and more
specifically the American intellectuals in this study is part of their journey as intellectuals
which granted them immortality in the history of the United States. They contributed to
building their nation and its history. They opened opportunities for the next generations to
carry on the quest and live in a world they contributed to drawing its course. Their critical
spirit during the fifties and the sixties set up a tradition for the following generations,
which allowed for the development of the aspects of life in the United States mainly and
set it as an example for the rest of the world.
In the fifties American intellectuals motivated a spirit of activism that emerged in
the sixties and led to the liberation of minorities as African Americans and women
throughout the following decades. They may not reach perfection in everything but they
did better by trying to reach it every one according to the way he believes it is the right
way to do. They may not intend to send such a particular lesson for the future but their
Hidri 107
experiences may do. The study of their status is not to say that they did enjoy high status
and some drawbacks but to see beyond and learn more from the hidden messages in the
history. The social status American intellectuals did affect their way of living at that time.
Hidri 108
Primary Sources
Centers, Richard. “Social Class, Occupation, and Imputed Belief.” American Journal of
Sociology 58.6 (1953): 534-555. JSTOR. Web. 15 Dec. 2011.
Hodge, Robert W., Paul W. Siegl, and Peter Rossi. “Occupational Prestige in the United
States, 1925-1963.”American Journal of Sociology 70 (1964): 286-302. JSTOR. Web.
23 July. 2012.
Inkeles, Alex and Peter Henry Rossi. “National Comparisons of Occupational
Prestige.”American Journal of Sociology 61.4 (1956): 329-339. JSTOR. Web. 8 Sep.
Lazarsfeld, Paul Félix and Wagner Thielens. “The Academic Mind.” Chicago: The Free
Press, 1958. Google Books. Web. 8 Sep. 2012.
North, Cecil C., and Paul K. Hatt. “Jobs and Occupations: A Popular Evaluation.”
Sociological Analysis:an Introductory Text and Case Book. Ed. Wilson, Logan and
William Lester Kolb. New York: Harcourt, Brace, 1949. 464-474. Google Books.
Web. 30 Aug. 2012.
“Occupational Prestige.” What-When-How. Crankshaft Publishing.n.d. Web. 23 July 2012.
Hidri 109
Secondary Sources
Apple, Michael W. Education and Power. New York: Routledge, 1995. Google Books.Web.
30 Sep. 2012.
Bacciocoo, Edward J. The New Left in America: Reform to Revolution 1956 to 1974.
Stanford: Hoover Institution Press, 1974. Google Books. Web. 21 Feb. 2013.
Baraka, Amiri. The LeRoi Jones/Amiri Baraka Reader. New York: Thunder's Mouth Press,
1991. Google Books. Web. 23 Feb. 2013.
Barzun, Jacques. The House of Intellect. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1959. Google
Books. Web. 23 Aug. 2012.
Bell, Daniel. The Coming of Post-Industrial Society: A Venture in Social Foracasting. New
York: Basic Books, 1976. Amazon. Web. 28 Feb. 2013.
Benda, Julien. The Treason of the Intellectuals. New Jersey: Transaction Publishers, 2007.
Google Books. Web. 7 Feb. 2013.
Hidri 110
Ben-David, Joseph. “The Growth of the Professions and the Class System.” Class, Status,
Power: Social Stratification in Comparative Perspective. Ed. Reinhard Bendix and
Seymour Martin Lipset. New York: The Free Press, 1966. 460-572. Google Books.
Web. 13 Sep. 2012. <
Bender, Thomas. New York Intellect: A History of Intellectual Life in New York City From
1750 to the Biginning of Our Time. New York: Knopf, 1987. Amazon. Web. 2 Oct.
2012. < http://www.amazon.com/New-York-Intellect-IntellectualBeginnings/dp/0801836395>
Bendix, Reinhard and Seymour Martin Lipset. Class, Status, and Power: Social Stratification
in Comparative Perspective. 2ndEd. London: Routledge, 1967. Google Books. Web. 30
Aug. 2012. < http://books.google.dz/books/about/Class_status_and_power.html
B teille, Andr . Our Intellectuals: A Symposium on the Crisis of Relevance and Credibility.
New Delhi: Romesh Thapar, 1978. WorldCat. Web. 17 Aug. 2012.
—. Ideologies and Intellectuals. Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1983. Google Books. Web.
19 Aug. 2012. < http://books.google.dz/books/about/Ideologies_and_intellectuals.html
Bledstein, Burton. The Culture of Professionalism: The Middle Class and The Development of
Higher Education in America. New York: Norton, 1976. Goodreads. Web. 28 Dec.
2012. <
Hidri 111
Bottomore, Tom B. Elites and Society. Basic Books, 1964. Google Books. Web. 15 Apr 2011.
< http://books.google.co.uk/books/about/Elites_and_Society.html ?id=BScA5iPpOMC>
Bourdieu, Pierre. Distinction: A Social Critique of the Judgement of Taste. Trans. Richard
Nice. Harvard University Press, 1984. Google Books. Web. 16 Dec. 2011.
—. Homo Academicus. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1988. Google Books. Web. 25
Aug. 2012. < http://books.google.dz/books/about/Homo_Academicus.html
—. “The Intellectual Field: A World Apart.” In Other Words. Ed. Bourdieu, Pierre. Stanford:
University of Stanford Press, 1990. 140-149. Google Books. Web. 29 Feb. 2012.
Bourdieu, Pierre and Loic J. D. Wacquant. An Invitation to Reflexive Sociology. Chicago:
University of Chicago Press, 1992. Amazon. Web. 29 Dec. 2012.
Boyd, Ernest. “As an Irishmen Sees It.” Civilization in the United States: An Inquiry by Thirty
Americans. Ed. Harold E. Stearns. New York: Harcourt Brace, 1922. 489-507. Internet
Archive. Web. 28 Aug. 2012.
Bryce, James. The American Commonwealth. Vol. II. Toronto: The Clark Pub., 1891. Internet
Archive. Web. 13 Sep. 2012.
Brym, Robert J. Intellectuals and Politics. London: Routledge Revivals, 2010. Google Books.
Web. 21 Oct. 2011.
Hidri 112
Choudhary, Kameshwar. Intellectuals and Society: a Study of Teachers in India. Mubai:
Popular PraKashan, 2004. Google Books. Web. 9 Mar. 2011.
D0C&redir_esc=y >
Coben, Diana. Radical Heroes: Gramsci, Freire and the Politics of Adult Education . New
York: Garland, 1998. Google Books. Web. 29 Dec. 2012.
Coser, Lewis. Men of Ideas: a Sociologist's View. New York: Free Press, 1965. Google
Books. Web. 30 Dec. 2011.
—. The Functions of Social Conflict: An Examination of the Concept of Social Conflict and
Its Use in Empirical Sociological Research. New York: The Free Press, 1956.
Amazon. Web. 16 Mar. 2013. < http://www.amazon.com/The-Functions-SocialConflict-Sociological/dp/002906810X>
Cruse, Harold. The Crisis of the Negro Intellectual: A Historical Analysis of the Failure of
Black Leadership. New York Review of Books, 1967. Amazon. Web. 17 Dec. 2012.
Cummings, William K; Finkelstein, Martin J. Scholars in the Changing American
Academy.Dordrecht : Springer, 2012. Print.
Hidri 113
Dahlström, Edmund. “Intellectuals, Porfessionalization, and Class Relations.” Eyerman, Ron,
Lennart G. Svennson and Thomas Söderqvist. Intellectuals, Universities, and the State
in Western Modern Societies. University of California Press, 1987. 95-110. Bookos.
Web. 21 Oct. 2012.
Davis, Gary A. and Sylvia B. Rimm. The Education of the Gifted and Talented. 4th Ed.
Boston: Allyn and Bacon, 1998. Google Books. Web. 8 Sep. 2012.
Disco, Cornelis. “Intellectuals in Advanced Capitalism: Capital Closure, the ‘New Class’
Dissertation.” Intellectuals, universities, and the state in Western Modern Societies.
Ed. Eyerman, Ron, Lennart G. Svennson and Thomas Söderqvist. California:
University of California Press, 1987. Bookos. Web. 21 Oct. 2012.
Draper, Theodore. “Intellectuals in Politics.” Public Intellectuals: an Endangered Species. Ed.
Etzioni, Amitai and Alyssa Bowditch. Maryland: Rowman and Littlefield Publishers,
2006. Libgen Online Library. Web. 17 Oct. 2012.
Durkheim, David Emile. The Division of Labour in Society. New York: The Free Press, 1997.
Amazon. Web. 15 Dec. 2011. <http://www.amazon.com/Division-Labor-SocietyEmile-Durkheim/dp/0684836386>
Elshtain, Jean Bethke. “Why Public Intellectuals?” Public Intellectuals: an Endangered
Species. Ed. Etzioni, Amitai and Alyssa Bowditch. Maryland: Rowman and Littlefield
publishers, 2006. 81-91. Libgen Online Library. Web. 17 Oct. 2012.
Epstein, Joseph. “Intellectuals: Public and Otherwise.” Public Intellectuals: an Endangered
Species. Ed. Etzioni, Amitai and Alyssa Bowditch. Maryland: Rowman and Littlefield
Publishers, 2006. Libgen Online Library. Web. 17 Oct. 2012.
Etzioni, Amitai. “Are Public Intellectuals an Endangered Species?” Public Intellectuals: An
Hidri 114
Endangered Species. Ed. Amitai Etzioni and Alyssa Bowditch. Maryland: Rowman
and Littlefield Pulishers, 2006. Libgen Online Library. Web. 17 Oct. 2012.
Eyerman, Ron. Betwen Culture and Politics: Intellectuals in Modern Society. Cambridge:
Polity, 1994. Google Books. Web. 9 Feb. 2013.
Foletta, Marshall. Coming To Terms with Democracy: Federalist Intellectuals and the
Shaping of an American Culture. Charlottesville: Press of Virginia, 2001. Print.
Foucault, Michel. “Truth and Power.” The Foucault Reader. Ed. P. Rabinow. New York:
Pantheon, 1984. 67-69. Amazon. Web. 5 Dec. 2011. <http://www.amazon.com/TheFoucault-Reader-Michel/dp/0394713400>
—. “Truth and Power.” Power. New York: New Press, 2000. 109-133. ebookbrowse. Web. 23
Aug. 2012.
Fuchs, Victor R. The Service Economy. New York: Columbia University Press, 1968.
National Bureau of Economic Research. Web. 2 Mar. 2013.
Gagnon, Alvin G. Intellectuals in Liberal Democracies: Political Influence and Social
Involvement. New York: Praeger, 1987. Questia. Web. 30 June. 2012.
Galbraith, John Kenneth. The New Industrial State. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1976. Google
Books. Web. 26 Jan. 2013.
Gans, Herbert. “Symbolic Ethnicity: The Future of Ethnic Groups and Cultures in America.”
On The Making of Americans: Essays on the Honor of David Riesman. Ed. Glazer, N.
Hidri 115
and J. Gusfield. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania, 1979. 193-220. Google
Books. Web. 20 Sep. 2012.
Giroux, Henry. “Education in Unsettling Times: Public Intellectuals and the Promise of
Cultural Studies.” Power/Knowledge/Pedagogy: The Meaning of Democratic
Education in Unsettling Times. Ed. Dennis Carlson and Michael W. Apple. Boulder:
Westview Press, 1998. 41-60. Google Books. Web. 29 Sep. 2012.
Gitlin, Todd. The Whole World is Watching: Mass Media in the Making and Unmaking of the
New Left. University of California Press, 2003. Google Books. Web. 21 Feb. 2013.
Goldfarb, Jeffrey. Civility and Subversion. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1998. Net
Library. Web. 12 May. 2011.
Goldman, Eric. The Tragedy of Lyndon Johnson. New York: Knopf, 1969. Google Books.
Web. 28 Dec. 2012.
Gouldner, Alvin Ward. The Future of Intellectuals and the Rise of the New Class. New York:
Oxford University Press, 1982. Google Books. Web. 7 Feb. 2013.
Gramsci, Antonio. Selection From the Prison Note Books. Trans. Geoffrey Nowell Smith and
Hidri 116
Quintin. Hoare. New York: International Publishers, 1971. Marxist Internet
Archive.Web. 24 Sep. 2011.
Gurko, Leo. Heroes, Highbrows, and the Popular Mind. Ayer Publishing, 1953. Google
Books. Web. 28 Aug. 2012.
Haney, David Paul. The Americanization of Social Science. Philadelphia: Temple University
Press, 2008. Libgen Online Library. Web. 20 Oct. 2012.
Hencken, Henry Louis. Selected Prejudices. New York: Knopf, 1927. Amazon. Web. 28 Aug.
2012. < http://www.amazon.com/Prejudices-Selection-Maryland-PaperbackBookshelf/dp/0801885353>
Hofstadter, Richard. Anti-intellectualism in American Life. New York: Vantage Books, 1966.
Amazon. Web. 23 Aug. 2012. <http://www.amazon.fr/Anti-Intellectualism-AmericanLife-Richard-Hofstadter/dp/0394703170>
Hooks, Bell and Cornel West. Breaking Bread: Insurgent Black Intellectual Life. Boston:
South End Press, 1999. Amazon. Web. 1 Oct. 2012.
Isserman, Maurice and Michael Kazim. America Divided:The Civil War of the 1960s. New
York: Oxford Univesity Press, 2000. Questia. Web. 22 Feb. 2013.
Hidri 117
James, William. “The Social Value of the College Bred.” Memories and Studies. Ed. James,
William. New York: Longmans, 1911. 309-325. Internet Archive. Web. 26 Aug. 2012.
Jacoby, Russell. The Last Intellectuals: American Culture in the Age of Academe. New York:
Basic Books, 1989. Print.
Jamison, Andrew and Ron Eyerman. Seeds of the Sixties. Brekeley: University of California
Press, 1995. Google Books. Web. 4 Dec. 2012.
Jennings, Jeremy Ralph and Anthony Kemp Welch. Intellectuals in Politics: From the
Dreyfus Affair to the Rushdie Affair. London: Routledge, 1997. Net Library. Web. 5
Dec. 2011.
Kadushin, Charles. The American Intellectual Elite. 2nd Ed. New Jersey: Transaction
Publishers, 2006. Google Books. Web. 25 Apr. 2011.
Kahan, Alan S. Mind Vs Money: The War Between Intellectuals and Capitalism. New
Brunswick, New Jersey: Transaction Publishers, 2010. Google Books. Web. 25 Apr.
2011. <http://books.google.dz/books/about/Mind_Vs_Money.html ?id=so6gs82MLQC&redir_esc=y>
Kautsky, John H. The Materialist Conception of History. New Haven: Yale University Press,
1988. Google Books. Web. 10 Mar. 2012.
Kleeblatt, Norman L., ed. The Dreyfus Affair: Art, Truth, and Justice. Berkeley: University of
California Press, 1987. Google Books. Web. 16. Dec 2011.
Hidri 118
Kruglak, Theodore E. The Foreign Correspondents: A Study of the Men and Women
Reporting for the American Information Media in Western Europe. Geneva: Librairie
E. Droz, 1955. Google Books. 14 Sep. 2012.
Lasch, Christopher. The New Radicalism in America 1889-1963: Intellectuals as a Social
Type. New York: W.W. Norton and Company, 1997. Amazon. Web. 6 Oct. 2012.
Lewis, Helen Matthews. The Women Movement and the Negro Movement. Virginia:
Publications of the University of Virginia, 1949. Google Books. Web. 24 Sep. 2012.
Lewontin, R. C. “The Cold War and the Transformation of the Academy.” The Cold War and
the University: Toward an Intellctual History of the post War Years. New York: New
Press, 1997. 1-34. Amazon. Web. 10 Sep. 2012. <http://www.amazon.com/The-ColdWar-University-Intellectual/dp/1565843975>
Light, Jennifer S. From Warfare to Welfare: Defence Intellectuals and Urban Problems in
Cold War America. Baltimore: The John Hopkins University Press, 2003. Libgen
Online Library. Web. 20 Oct. 2012.
Linton, Ralph. The Study of Man. New York: Appleton Century Crofts, 1936. Internet
Archive. Web. 23 Aug. 2012.
Lipset, Seymour Martin. American Exceptionalism: A Double-edged Sword. New York:
W.W.Norton, 1996. Find pdf. Web. 23 Sep. 2012. <http://findpdf.net/reader/american-
Hidri 119
—. Political Man. Garden City, New York: Doubleday, 1960. Internet Archive. Web. 24 Jan.
—. “The Department of Sociology.” A History of the Faculty of Political Science, Columbia
University. Ed. Hoxie, Ralph Gordon. New York: Columbia University Press, 1955.
Google Books.Web. 16 Mar. 2013.
—. “The Sources of the Radical Right.” The New American Right. Ed. Daniel Bell. New
York: Criterion Books, 1956. Google Books. Web. 12 Sep. 2012.
Lipset, Seymour Martin, and Asoke Basu. “Intellectual Types and Political Roles.” The Idea
of Social Structures: Papers in Honor of Robert K. Merton. Ed. Louis A. Coser.
Brunswick: Transaction Publishers, 2012. 433-471. Google Books. Web. 19 Mar.
Lipset, Seymour Martin and Reinhard Bendix. Social Mobility in Industrial Society. Berkeley:
University of California Press, 1959. Questia. Web. 23 Sep. 2012.
Macdonald, H. Malcolm. The Intellectual in Politics. Austin: Humanities Research Center,
University of Texas, 1966. Amazon. Web. 29 Dec. 2012. <
Hidri 120
Mannheim, Karl. Ideology and Utopia. New York: Hartcourt Brace and World, 1964. Internet
Archive. Web. 16 Feb. 2012.
Marx, Karl and Frederick Engels. The German Ideology: Part One with Selections from Part
Two and Three and Supplementary Texts. New York: International Publishers, 1970.
Google Books. Web. 27 Aug. 2012.
Mattson, Kevin. Intellectuals in Action: The origin of the New Left and Radical Liberalism,
1945-1970. The Pennsylvania State University Press, 2002. Netlibrary. Web. 5 Apr.
McMillian, John Campbell and Paul Merlyn Buhle, ed. The New Left Revisited. Philadelphia:
Temple University Press, 2003. Google Books. Web. 22 Feb. 2013.
Michels, Robert. Political Parties; A Sociological Study of the Oligarchical Tendencies of
Modern Democracy. New York: Hearst's International Library, 1915. Internet Archive.
Web. 22 Oct. 2012.
Mills, Charles Wright. The Power of Elite. New York: Oxford University Press, 1999. Google
Books. Web. 2 Oct. 2012.
—. White Collar: The American Middle Classes. New York: Oxford University Press, 2002.
Google Books. Web. 2 Oct. 2012.
Hidri 121
Misztal, Barbara A. Intellectuals and the Public Good: Creativity and Civil Courage. New
York: Cambridge University Press, 2007. Amazon. Web. 26 Aug. 2012.
<http://www.amazon.com/Intellectuals-Public-Good-CreativityCourage/dp/B007MXTL6C >
Moynihan, Daniel Patrick. Maximum Feasible Misunderstanding: Community Action in the
War on Poverty. Free Press, 1969. Google Books. Web. 1 Mar. 2013.
Ohman, Richard. “English and the Cold War.” The Cold War and the University: Toward an
Intellectual History of the Post War Years. Ed. Andre Schiffrin. New York: New
Press, 1997. 73-105. Google Books. Web. 4 Sep. 2012.
Pandey, Rajendra. The Role of Intellectuals in Contemporary Society. New Delhi: Mittal
Publications, 1990. Google Books. Web. 19 Apr. 2011.
Park, Robert Ezra. Race and Culture. Illinois: Glencoe, 1950. Google Books. 25 Sep. 2012.
Paterson, James T. Grand Expectations:The United States, 1945-1974. Vol. x. New York:
Oxford University Perss, 1996. Google Books. Web. 3 Mar. 2013.
Pells, Richard. The Liberal Mind in a Conservative Age: American Intellectuals in the 1940s
Hidri 122
and 1950s. 2nd ed. Wesleyan University Press, 1989. Google Books. Web. 8 Sep.
Reiss, Albert J., et al. Occupations and Social Status. Free Press of Glencoe, 1961. Google
Books. Web. 17 Aug. 2012.
Reitman, Jerry I. and Jon S. Greene. Standard Education Almanac. Orange: Academic Media,
1972. Google Books. Web. 2 Mar. 2013.
Robbins, Bruce. Secular Vocations: Intellectuals, Professionalism, Culture. New York:
Verso, 1993. Google Books. Web. 29 Dec. 2012.
Ross, Andrew. No Respect: Intellectuals and Popular Culture. London: Routledge, 1989.
Amazon. Web. 7 Oct. 2012. <http://www.amazon.fr/No-Respect-Intellectuals-PopularCulture/dp/0415900379>
Rosten, Leo. The Washington Correspondents. New York: Harcourt Brace, 1937. Google
Books. Web. 14 Sep. 2012.
Said, Edward. Representations of the Intellectual: the 1993 Reith Lectures. New York:
Pantheon Books, 1994. Internet Archive. Web. 29 Aug. 2012.
Hidri 123
Schlesinger, Arthur M Jr. The Crisis of Confidence: Ideas, Power, and Violence in America.
Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1969. Google Books. Web. 30 Dec. 2012.
—. A Thousand Days: John F. Kennedy in the White House. Boston: Horighton Mifflin, 1965.
Google Books. Web. 28 Dec. 2012.
Sorensen, Theodore C. Kennedy. New York: Harper and Row, 1965. Google Books. Web. 25
Nov. 2012.
Suleiman, Susan Rubin. “The Literary Significance of The Dreyfus Affair.” The Dreyfus
Affair: Art, Truth, and Justice. Ed. Kleeblatt, Norman L.Berkeley: California
University Press, 1987. 117-239. Google Books. Web. 16 Dec. 2011.
Treiman, Donald J. Occupational Prestige in Comparative Perspective. Academic Press,
1977. Google Books. Web. 8 July 2012.
Troy, Tevi. Intellectuals and the American Presidency: Philosophers, Jesters, or Technicians.
New York: Rowman and Littlefield, 2002. Google Books. Web. 6 Dec. 2012.
Hidri 124
Van Deburg, William. New Day in Babylon: The Black Power Movement and American
Culture: 1965-1975. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1992. Google Books.
Web. 23 Feb. 2013.
Verdery, Katherine. National Ideology Under Socialism: Identity and Cultural Politics in
Ceausescu's Romania. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1991. Google Books.
Web. 29 Dec. 2012.
Weber, Max. Economy and Society: An Outline of Interpretative Sociology. Berkeley:
University of California Press, 1978. Google Books. Web. 29 Dec. 2012.
—. From Max Weber: Essays in Sociology. New York: Oxford University Press, 1946.
Internet Archive. Web. 20 July. 2012.
Wilford, Hugh. The New York Intellectuals: From Vanguard to Institution. Manchester
University Press, 1995. Google Books. Web. 26 Aug. 2012.
Williams, Raymond. Key Words: A Vocabulary of Culture and Society. New York: Oxford
University Press, 1976. Google Books.Web. 10 Mar. 2011.
Hidri 125
Dissertations and Lectures
Bain, Stephen J. “The Position of the Intellectual in the 1950s: Case studies of J.D. Salinger
and Agn Rand.” Diss. University of Tennessee, 2005. Trace: Tennessee Research and
Creative Exchange. Web. 4 Sep. 2012. <http://trace.tennessee.edu/utk_gradthes/582>.
Lamb, Vanessa Martins. “The 1950's and 1960's and the American Woman: the Transition
from the ‘Housewife’ to the Feminist.” Diss. University of Sud Toulon-Var, 2011.
DUMAS. Web. 2 Apr. 2012.
Smith, Dennis. “What are Intellectuals for?” Loughborough University. 16 May 2001.
Lecture. Web. 1 Dec. 2012. <homepages.lboro.ac.uk/~ssds3/d.smith/what are
intellectuals for .pdf>.
Starr, Paul. “Liberalism, Conservatism, and the Intellectuals.” New York University Institute
for the Humanities. 8 Feb 1995. Lecture. Web. 5 Oct. 2011.
Encyclopaedias and Dictionaries
Brym, Robert J. “Intellectuals, Sociology of .” International Encyclopaedia of the Social and
Behavioral Sciences. Ed. Neil J. Smelser and Paul B. Baltes. Ontario: University of
Toronto, 2001. 7631-7635. Science Direct. Web. 27 Aug. 2012.
Gordon, Marshall. “occupational prestige.” A Dictionary of Sociology. Encyclopedia.com,
1998. Web. 23 July. 2012.
Hidri 126
Henry, Richard. “Adlai Stevenson.” Dictionary of Unitarian and Universalist Biography.
1999-2012. Web. 29 Dec. 2012.
“social status.” Encyclopedia Britannica Online.Encyclopedia Britannica. 2012. Web. 21
June. 2012. <http://www.britannica.com/EB checked/topics/551450/social_status>.
“Social status.” New World Encyclopaedia. New World Encyclopedia. 4 April 2008. Web. 21
June. 2012. <http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/p/index.php?title=Social_status
and oldid=687781>.
“Stratification, Social.” International Encyclopaedia of the Social ciences. Encyclopedia.com.
1968. Web. 20 Jul. 2012. <http://www.encyclopedia.com/topic/Social_structure.aspx>
Zelditch, Morris. “Status, Social.” International Encyclopedia of the Social ciences.
Encyclopedia.com. 1968. Web. 16 July 2012.
Journal Articles
Abrams, Nathan. “From Madness to Dysentery: Mad's Other New York Intellectuals.”
Journal of American Studies 37.3 (2003): 435-451. JSTOR. Web. 16 Dec. 2011.
Banks, William M. and Joseph Jewell. “Intellectuals and the Persisting Significance of Race.”
The Journal of Negro Education 64.1 (1995): 75-86. JSTOR. Web. 16 Dec. 2011.
Bauman, Zygmunt. “Love in Adversity: On the State and the Intellectuals, and the State of
Intellectuals.” Dissertation Eleven 31 (1992): 81-104. SAGE Journals. Web. 9 Feb.
Brameld, Theodore. “Anti-intellectualism in Education.” Journal of Social Issues 11.3 (1955):
36-40. Wiley Online Library. Web. 9 Sep. 2012.
Chametzky, Jules. "Public Intellectuals: Now and Then." MELUS 29.3/4 (2004): 211-226.
JSTOR. Web. 16 Dec. 2011.
Hidri 127
Centers, Richard. “Social Class, Occupation, and Imputed Belief.” American Journal of
Sociology 58.6 (1953): 534-555. JSTOR. Web. 15 Dec. 2011.
Confino, Michael. “On Intellectuals and Intellectual Traditions in Eighteenth and Nineteenth
Century Russia.” Daedalus 101.2 (1972): 117-149. JSTOR. Web. 30 Dec. 2010.
Curtis, Merle. “Intellectuals and Other People.” The American Historical Review 60.2 (1955):
259-282. JSTOR.Web. 15 Dec. 2011.
Dickstein, Morris. “Up from Alienation: The case of the New York Intellectuals.” Revue
Française D'études Américaines 16 (1983): 45-54. JSTOR. Web. 24 Mar. 2012.
Fisher, Berenice. “Guilt and Shame in the Women's Movement: The Radical Ideal of Action
and its Meaning for Feminist Intellectuals.” Feminist Studies 10.2 (1984): 185-212.
JSTOR. 16 Dec. 2011.
Franklin, V. P., and Bettye Collier-Thomas. “Biography, Race Vindication, and African
American Intellectuals.” The Journal of African American History 87 (2002): 160-174.
JSTOR. Web. 16 Dec. 2011.
Freeman, June. “The Discovery of the Commonplace or Establishment of an Elect:
Intellectuals in the Contemporary Craftworld.” Journal of Design History 2.2/3
(1989): 61-75. JSTOR. Web. 16 Dec. 2011.
Friedman, Norman L. “The Problem of Runaway Jewish Intellectuals: Social Definition and
Sociological Perspective.” Jewish Social Studies 31.1 (1969): 3-19. JSTOR. Web. 24
Mar. 2012.
Gordon, Milton. “Social Class and American Intellectuals.” Bulletin of the American
Association of University Professors 40.4 (1954-1955): 517-528. JSTOR. Web. 24.
June. 2012.
Hanchard, Michael. “Cultural Politics and Black Public Intellectuals.” Social Text 48 (1996):
95-108. JSTOR. Web. 15. Dec. 2011.
Hidri 128
Hansen, G. Eric. “Intellect and Power: Some Notes on the Intellectual as a political Type.”
Journal of Politics 31.2 (1969): 311-328. Cambridge Journals Online. Web. 23 Aug.
Hoben, John. “Blue Collar Pedagogue: Democracy, ‘Vocational’ Schooling and Antonio
Gramsci’s Organic Intellectual.” The Morning Watch 35.3-4 (2007): 1-23. Memorial
University. Web. 29 Dec. 2012.
Iqbal, Ahmad. “The Role of Intellectuals in American Society.” Peabody Journal of
Education 47.4 (1970): 229-232. JSTOR. Web. 16 Dec. 2011.
Kornhauser, Arthur. “Attitudes of Economic Groups.” Public Opinion Quarterly 2:2 (1938):
260-268. JSTOR. Web. 13 Sep. 2012.
Li, Junpeng. “Intellectuals’ Political Orientations: Toward an Analytical Sociology.” Asian
Social Science. 6. 12. (2010): 3-15. Web. 18 Nov. 2010. <http://www.ccsenet.org/ass>
Lipset, Seymour Martin. “American Intellectuals: Their Politics and status.” Daedalus. 88.3.
(1959): 460-486. JSTOR. Web. 15 Dec. 2011.
MacPhail, Scott. “June Jordan and the New Black Intellectuals.” African American Review
33.1 (1999): 57-71. JSTOR. Web. 16 Dec. 2011.
Nakao, Keiko. “Occupations and Stratification: Issues of Measurement.” Contemporary
Sociology 21.5 (1992): 658-662. JSTOR. Web. 23 July 2012.
Nazrul, Islam. “Towards a Theory of the Intellectuals and their Political Ideology.”
Bangladesh e-Journal of Sociology 2.2 (2005): 1-27. Web. 29 Sep. 2011.
Ohmann, Richard. “Graduate Students, Professionals, Intellectuals.” College English 52.3
(1990): 247-257. JSTOR. Web. 16 Dec. 2011.
Piereson, James. “The Rise & Fall of the Intellectual.” The New Criterion 25 (2009): 52.
Hidri 129
Manhattan Institute. Web. 9 Sep. 2011. <http://www.manhattaninstitute.org/html/_the_new_criterion-the_rise_and_fall.htm>
Pires, Maria Laura Bettencourt. “Public Intellectuals: Past, Present and Future.” Comunicação
& Cultura 7 (2009): 115-130. Web. 18 Sep. 2011.
Record, Wilson. “Intellectuals in Social and Racial Movements.” Phylon 15.3 (1954): 231242. JSTOR. Web. 16 Dec. 2011.
—. “Social Stratification and Intellectual Roles in the Negro Community.” The British
Journal of Sociology 8.3 (1957): 235-255. JSTOR. Web. 23 Sep. 2011.
Riesman, David. “Some Observations on the Intellectual Freedom.” The American Scholar
23.1 (1953/1954): 9-26. JSTOR. Web. 9 Sep. 2012.
Schlesinger, Arthur M. Jr., et al. “Comments on "American Intellectuals: Their Politics and
Status."” Daedalus 88.3 (1959): 487-498. JSTOR. Web. 16 Dec. 2011.
Shils, Edward. “The Intellectuals and the Powers: Perspectives for Comparative Analysis.”
Comparative Studies in Society and History 1.1 (1958): 5-22. JSTOR. Web. 16 Dec.
—. “The Intellectuals in the Political Development of the New States.” World Politics 12.3
(1960): 329-368. JSTOR. Web. 16 Dec. 2011.
Thompson, Clara. “Anti-intellectualism in the Individual.” Journal of Social Issues 11.3
(1955): 48-53. Wiley Online Library. Web. 13 Dec. 2012.
Tillman, James A. and Mary Norman Tillman. “Black Intellectuals, White Liberals and Race
Relations: An Analytic Overview.” Phylon 33.1 (1972): 54-66. JSTOR. Web. 16 Dec.
Townsley, Eleanor. “A History of Intellectuals and the Demise of the New Class: Academics
and the U.S. Government in the 1960's.” Theory and Society 29.6 (2000): 739-784.
JSTOR. Web. 16 Dec. 2011.
Hidri 130
Treiman, Donald J. and Kermit Terrell. “The Process of Status Attainment in the United
States and Great Britain.” American Journal of Sociology 81.3 (1975): 563-83.
JSTOR. Web. 2 Oct. 2012.
Troy, Tevi. “Bush, Obama, and the Intellectuals.” National Affairs 3 (2010): 137-155. Web.
23 Nov. 2012. <http://www.nationalaffairs.com/publications/detail/bush-obama-andthe-intellectuals>
West, Cornel. “The Dilemma of the Black Intellectual.” The Journal of Blacks in Higher
Education 2 (1993-1994): 59-67. JSTOR. Web. 24 Sep. 2011.
Wilford, Hugh. “An Oasis: The New York Intellectuals in the Late 1940s.” Journa of
American Studies 28.2 (1994): 209-223. JSTOR. Web. 16 Dec. 2011.
Zald, Mayer N. and John D. MacCarthy. “Organizational Intellectuals and the Criticism of
Society.” Social Service Review 49.3 (1975): 344-362. JSTOR. Web. 16 Dec. 2011.
Magazine and Newspaper Articles
Magazine Articles
Barzun, Jacques. “America's Passion for Culture.” Harper's. March 1954: 40-41. Web. 29
Aug. 2012. <http://harpers.org/archive/1954/03/americas-passion-for-culture/>
Fischer, John. “The Editor's Easy Chair.” Harper's Magazine. March 1958: 16-18. Web. 18
Sep. 2012. <http://harpers.org/archive/1880/10/editors-easy-chair-2706/>
Frazier, Franklin E. “Human, All Too Human.” Survey Graphic. January 1947: 99-100.
Internet Archive. Web. 5 Oct. 2012.
Ignatieff, Michael. “The Decline and Fall of the Public Intellectual.” Queen's Quarterly
104.3.n. pag. (1997). Free Online Library. Web. 7 Feb. 2013.
Lubel, Samuel. “Racial War in the South A Test of the American Character.” Commentary
Magazine. Augst 1957: 113-118. Web. 5 Dec. 2012.
Hidri 131
Lynes, Russell. “Highbrow, Lowbrow, and Middlebrow.” Harper's Magazine. Feb 1949: 1928. Web. 28 Aug. 2012. <http://harpers.org/archive/1949/02/highbrow-lowbrowmiddlebrow/>
Nicholas, A G. “Intellectuals and Politics in U.S.A.” Occidente 1954: 47. Amazon. Web. 23
Sep. 2012.
Newspaper Articles
Kaplan, Carla. «Citizen Hurst.»Los Angeles Times 8 August 1999: 8. Web. 5 Dec. 2012.
<http//: articles.latimes.com/1999/aug/08/books/bk-63585>
Web Sites and Web Pages
Abella, Alex. “The Role of US Defence: Intellectuals and Domestic Political Trends.”
Journalist and NY Times Notable Book author Alex Abella - Official Site. 22 Feb 2011.
Web. 29 Sep. 2011. <http:// www.abellaweb.com/pdf/writings-defense.pdf >.
Bookchin, Murray. “Intelligentsia and the New Intellectuals.” Dana Ward's Home Page. 15
March 1996. Web. 7 Feb 2013.
Boynton, Robert. “The New Intellectuals.” Robert S. Boynton. March 1995. Web. 14 Feb.
2013. <http://www.robertboynton.com/articleDisplay.php?article_id=23>.
Carlbom, Terry. “International P.E.N and the Role of the Intellectual in Western Society from
Emile Zola to our Days.” Tcarlbom: PEN Essays. Web. 10 Aug. 2011.
Goodwin, Susan and Becky Bradley. “1960-1969.” American Cultural History. Lone Star
College-Kingwood Library. 7 Feb. 2011. Web. 12 Sep. 2012.
Hoppe, Hans-Herman. “Natural Elites, Intellectuals, and State.” Ludwing Van Mises Institute.
Hidri 132
1995. Web. 23 Nov 2011. <http://mises.org/etexts/intellectuals.asp>.
Kellner, Douglas. “Intellectuals, the New Public Spheres and Techno-Politics.” UCLA
Gradute School of Education and Information Studies Pages. 16 Aug 2004. Web. 7
Feb 2013. <http://www.gseis.ucla.edu/faculty/kellner/>.
“Lenin: Book Review:Kautsky, Karl.Bernstein tend das sozial demokratische Programm.
EineAntikritik.” Marxists Internet Archive. 2003. Web. 10 Mar. 2012.
Martin, Brian. “Tied Knowledge: Power in Higher Education.” 1998. Brian Martin. Web. 7
Feb. 2013. <http://www.uow.edu.au/~bmartin/pubs/98tk/>
—. “Academics and Social Action.” Brian Martin.n.d. Web. 15 Dec. 2012.
Mora, José Ferrater. “The Intellectual in Contemporary Society.” Ferrater Mora. The Ferrater
Mora Foundation. 31 Dec. 2001. Web. 23 Nov. 2011.
Said, Edward. “The Public Role of Writers and Intellectuals.” The Public Intellectual. Ed.
Helen Small. Malden: Blackwell Publishers, 2002. 19-39. CICAC- Centre for
Innovation in Culture and the Arts in Canada. Web. 3 Oct. 2011.
“The 1950s- The Pill: Birth of a New Woman.” 4 Jan. 1965. Nhd.Weebly. Web. 30 June
2011. <http://93778645.nhd.weebly.com/the-1950s.html>