The Rise of French Existentialism: A Study in the Sociology of Intellectual Movements
Sociology Department University of Cambridge Cambridge, England, UK
This paper discusses Sartre's notion of the engaged intellectual. This view of intellectuals implies that they are aware of their responsibility and at crucial points in time compelled to act politically. The paper traces the historical origins of this concept within the French intellectual scene, and it also explains the specific context in which Sartre developed and popularised this notion. In the process, the paper aims to explain the immense popularity of Sartre´s version of existentialism and his celebrity status at the time. The paper aims to make a contribution to the re-emerging area of sociology of intellectual life.