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Beyond Class: The Many Facets of Gramsci’s Theory of Intellectuals

Gramsci’s theory of intellectuals is widely cited but rarely closely studied. This article makes a case for a rereading of this theory. This is both desirable and necessary because, as the article shows, it is a more nuanced and yet also encompassing theory than recognized in current scholarship on the sociology of intellectuals, and it actually has much to contribute to a comprehensive modern sociology of intellectuals. This is chiefly by the way it took class into account while transcending it. Far from being limited to a description of intellectuals as class-bound, Gramsci’s theory in fact also saw intellectuals as class-less and a class-in-themselves. It also took into account intrinsic qualities of intellectual production and can contribute to questions in subaltern studies and the study of counter-hegemony.