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Karl Mannheim (1893–1947), considered as one of the most influential theoreticians of classical sociology, laid the foundation for the contemporary conceptualization of generations and contributed to current understandings of several other central topics in childhood studies, including socialization, intergenerational relationships, and children’s position in social structures. This entry offers an overview of Mannheim’s life, key works, and central theoretical contributions.

Mannheim’s Biography

Mannheim was born on March 27, 1893, in Budapest, Austria-Hungary. As the only surviving child, he grew up in a middle-class family as Hungarian from his father’s side and German Jewish from mother’s side. Mannheim graduated from a humanitarian high school and started his studies at the University of Budapest, spending some study periods in Freiburg, Heidelberg, Berlin, and Paris. With the thesis, “Structural ...

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