New Molecular Intellectuals and the Making Sense of Action in Social Movements
The differences between the critique and the political actions, knowledge workers and political intellectual function, are declining in the global world. Dignity as focus of the action and the critique, autonomy by big bureaucratic political machines, the opportunity to communication without the intermediation of mass media, self-organizations, are the main features of them. So, if it is going to analyze and understand intellectuals in contemporary world, it need to focus on intellectual actions (both critical and practice) and the social conditions of them.
First, the paper is going to analyze briefly social theory on public intellectual, particularly focusing on the transition from a sociology about intellectuals and their sociopolitical function (Antonio Gramsci) – typical in Industrial society – to a contemporary sociology focus on intellectual action. Second, the paper is going to rethink this approach, showing how it is insufficient to understand contemporary intellectual action, based on new molecular widespread intellectuals: it need to focus on the social identity of actors. Finally, on the basis of the sociology of the Subject by Alain Touraine, the paper is going to analyze how the distinction between critical action and political activism – both on-line and off-line – is pointless by now.