Is there a word/phrase capturing the meaning of "zeitgeist" but not focused on society as a whole? Another German loan would be fine.

Some of the examples at Word like "zeitgeist" for beliefs or Is there an English variant of "Zeitgeist" other than "spirit of the times"? are pretty good but don't connote everything I'm interested in (e.g., capturing both values and beliefs, suggesting temporality/changeability, being a noun and encompassing the entirety of thinking). In particular, "consensus" sounds too authoritative/permanent.

An example sentence: The XXX of archaeology favored "pots not people" over mass migration.

The best thing I can think of is just saying "zeitgeist of the academy" or "foo is in vogue in academia."

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    If it is mainly about a theory or (sophisticated) belief, paradigm might fit. But it depends on context. Another suggestion, if it is just a (well reasoned) opinion, is communis opinio; this works especially well for a widely shared view among a certain group of professionals or scientists. – Cerberus_Reinstate_Monica May 7 '17 at 4:29


If consensus is too permanent / authoritive then the more inherantly transient word fashion may be appropriate.

For example:

The fashionable view of the archaeology community favored "pots not people" over mass migration.

This ODO example brings up sensibility as an interesting alternative:

The fashions and sensibilities of popular culture contributed to the idea more than anything, even more than the nightly news.

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Another word would be vogue:

vogue The prevailing fashion or style at a particular time. General acceptance or favour; popularity.

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