A new intellectual type has risen on the American scene, the celebrity intellectual. He addresses a semieducated mass public that makes little claim to expert knowledge or refined taste, and that adheres to no commonly shared cultural standards. The celebrity intellectuals, figures like Erich Segal, Charles Reich, and Marshall McLuhan, come to the fore under identifiable conditions and exhibit a distinct set of relations with an admiring public.
Societies like our own are characterized by a pronounced segmentation of social and intellectual circles.’ Florian Znaniecki has developed the notion that thinkers are likely to speak not to the total society but to a selected public. Specific social circles, he argued, bestow recogn...
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