Tag: intellectual labor

The Abdication of the Cultural Elite

2013-05-05

Andrew Reynolds reviews Stephen Schryer’s Fantasies of the New Class: Ideologies of Professionalism in Post-World War II American Fiction, which argues for an instrumental form of intellectual labor in the service of broader social goals. Comparing novelists and sociologists representative of this new class, Schryer detects a self-defeating strategy in their rejection of collective instrumentalism in favor of individual dissemination of cultural education. Where Schryer closes by criticizing recent conceptions of an alternative economy of non-instrumental intellectual work within the university as a fantasy, Reynolds observes a “performative contradiction” at work in Schryer’s text and suggests that it is a good thing.