The classic work that redefined the sociology of knowledge and has inspired a generation of philosophers and thinkers In this seminal book, Peter L. Berger and Thomas Luckmann examine how knowledge forms and how it is preserved and altered within a society. Unlike earlier theorists and philosophers, Berger and Luckmann go beyond intellectual history and focus on commonsense, everyday knowledge—the proverbs, morals, values, and beliefs shared among ordinary people. When first published in 1966, this systematic, theoretical treatise introduced the term social construction,effectively creating a new thought and transforming Western philosophy.
A general and systematic account of the role of knowledge in society aimed to stimulate both critical discussion and empirical investigations. This book is concerned with the sociology of ‘everything that passes for knowledge in society’. It focuses particularly on that ‘common-sense knowledge’ which constitutes the reality of everyday life for the ordinary member of society. The authors are concerned to present an analysis of knowledge in everyday life in the context of a theory of society as a dialectical process between objective and subjective reality. Their development of a theory of institutions, legitimations and socializations has implications beyond the discipline of sociology, and their ‘humanistic’ approach has considerable relevance for other social scientists, historians, philosophers and anthropologists.
A general and systematic account of the role of knowledge in society aimed to stimulate both critical discussion and empirical investigations. This book is concerned with the sociology of �everything that passes for knowledge in society�. It focuses particularly on that �common-sense knowledge� which constitutes the reality of everyday life for the ordinary member of society. The authors are concerned to present an analysis of knowledge in everyday life in the context of a theory of society as a dialectical process between objective and subjective reality. Their development of a theory of institutions, legitimations and socializations has implications beyond the discipline of sociology, and their �humanistic� approach has considerable relevance for other social scientists, historians, philosophers and anthropologists.
Peter L. Berger is arguably the best-known American sociologist living today. Since the 1960s he has been publishing books on many facets of the American social scene, and several are now considered classics. So it may be hard to believe Professor Berger’s description of himself as an "accidental sociologist." But that in fact accurately describes how he stumbled into sociology. In this witty, intellectually stimulating memoir, Berger explains not only how he became a social scientist, but the many adventures that this calling has led to. Rather than writing an autobiography, he focuses on the main intellectual issues that motivated his work and the various people and situations he encountered in the course of his career. Full of memorable vignettes and colorful characters depicted in a lively narrative often laced with humor, Berger’s memoir conveys the excitement that a study of social life can bring. The first part of the book describes Berger’s initiation into sociology through the New School for Social Research, "a European enclave in the midst of Greenwich Village bohemia." Berger was first a student at the New School and later a young professor amidst a clique of like-minded individuals. There he published The Social Construction of Reality (with colleague Thomas Luckmann), one of his most successful books, followed by The Sacred Canopy on the sociology of religion, also still widely cited. The book covers Berger’s experience as a "globe-trekking sociologist" including trips to Mexico, where he studied approaches to Third World poverty; to East Asia, where he discovered the potential of capitalism to improve social conditions; and to South Africa, where he chaired an international study group on the future of post-Apartheid society. Berger then tells about his role as the director of a research center at Boston University. For over two decades he and his colleagues have been tackling such important issues as globalization, the secularization of Europe, and the ongoing dialectic between relativism and fundamentalism in contemporary culture. What comes across throughout is Berger’s boundless curiosity with the many ways in which people interact in society. This book offers longtime Berger readers as well as newcomers to sociology proof that the sociologist’s attempt to explain the world is anything but boring. From the Hardcover edition.
Influential scholar Peter L. Berger explores the sociological underpinnings of religion and the rise of a modern secular society Acclaimed scholar and sociologist Peter L. Berger carefully lays out an understanding of religion as a historical, societal mechanism in this classic work of social theory. Berger examines the roots of religious belief and its gradual dissolution in modern times, applying a general theoretical perspective to specific examples from religions throughout the ages. Building upon the author’s previous work, The Social Construction of Reality, with Thomas Luckmann, this book makes Berger’s case that human societies build a “sacred canopy” to protect, stabilize, and give meaning to their worldview.
Modern Society and the Rediscovery of the Supernatural
Author: Peter L. Berger
Publisher: Open Road Media
Category: Social Science
Influential scholar Peter L. Berger reveals five signs that point to the supernatural and its place in a modern secular society Acclaimed scholar and sociologist Peter L. Berger examines religion in twentieth-century Western society, exploring the social nature of knowledge and its effect on religious belief. Using five signs evident in ordinary life—order, play, hope, damnation, and humor—Berger calls for a rediscovery of the supernatural as a crucial, rich dimension of humanity. Conceived as a response to his influential book The Sacred Canopy, Berger eschews technical jargon and speaks directly and systematically to those, like himself, who wish to explore religious questions.
This short treatise looks at how we construct a social reality from our sense impressions; at how, for example, we construct a ‘five-pound note’ with all that implies in terms of value and social meaning, from the printed piece of paper we see and touch. In The Construction of Social Reality, eminent philosopher John Searle examines the structure of social reality (or those portions of the world that are facts only by human agreement, such as money, marriage, property, and government), and contrasts it to a brute reality that is independent of human agreement. Searle shows that brute reality provides the indisputable foundation for all social reality, and that social reality, while very real, is maintained by nothing more than custom and habit.
Wiebe E. Bijker,Thomas P. Hughes,Trevor Pinch,Deborah G. Douglas
New Directions in the Sociology and History of Technology
Author: Wiebe E. Bijker,Thomas P. Hughes,Trevor Pinch,Deborah G. Douglas
Publisher: MIT Press
Category: Technology & Engineering
This pioneering book, first published in 1987, launched the new field of social studies of technology. It introduced a method of inquiry--social construction of technology, or SCOT--that became a key part of the wider discipline of science and technology studies. The book helped the MIT Press shape its STS list and inspired the Inside Technology series. The thirteen essays in the book tell stories about such varied technologies as thirteenth-century galleys, eighteenth-century cooking stoves, and twentieth-century missile systems. Taken together, they affirm the fruitfulness of an approach to the study of technology that gives equal weight to technical, social, economic, and political questions, and they demonstrate the illuminating effects of the integration of empirics and theory. The approaches in this volume--collectively called SCOT (after the volume's title) have since broadened their scope, and twenty-five years after the publication of this book, it is difficult to think of a technology that has not been studied from a SCOT perspective and impossible to think of a technology that cannot be studied that way.
The Structures of the Life-World is the final focus of twenty-seven years of Alfred Schutz's labor, encompassing the fruits of his work between 1932 and his death in 1959. This book represents Schutz's seminal attempt to achieve a comprehensive grasp of the nature of social reality. Here he integrates his theory of relevance with his analysis of social structures. Thomas Luckmann, a former student of Schutz's, completed the manuscript for publication after Schutz's untimely death.
`This is an admirable book which can be recommended to students with confidence, and is likely also to become an indispensable source of reference for those researching fact construction' - Discourse & Society How is reality manufactured? The idea of social construction has become a commonplace of much social research, yet precisely what is constructed, and how, and even what constructionism means, is often unclear or taken for granted. In this major work, Jonathan Potter offers a fascinating tour of the central themes raised by these questions. Representing Reality overviews the different traditions in constructionist thought. Points are illustrated throughout with
How does culture shape our thinking? In what ways do our social and cultural worlds enter into our mental worlds? How do the communities we belong to influence what we notice and what we ignore? What cultural variation do we see in cognition? What general patterns do we see across this diversity and variation? In this lively and engaging book, Wayne H. Brekhus shows us the many ways that culture influences our cognitive thought processes. Drawing on a wide range of fascinating examples, such as how members of different subcultures perceive danger and safety, how cultures variably classify and perceptually weight race, how social actors use and present identity as a strategic resource, and how people across different organizational settings experience time, Brekhus takes us on a creative, diverse, and insightful tour of the sociocultural character of cognition. Culture and Cognition: Patterns in the Social Construction of Reality offers an invaluable survey of a wide-ranging body of research in the sociology of culture and cognition that will be an inviting resource for upper-level undergraduates, graduate students, and established research scholars alike.
Social theory needs to be completely rethought in a world of digital media and social media platforms driven by data processes. Fifty years after Berger and Luckmann published their classic text The Social Construction of Reality, two leading sociologists of media, Nick Couldry and Andreas Hepp, revisit the question of how social theory can understand the processes through which an everyday world is constructed in and through media. Drawing on Schï¿1⁄2tz, Elias and many other social and media theorists, they ask: what are the implications of digital mediaï¿1⁄2s profound involvement in those processes? Is the result a social world that is stable and liveable, or one that is increasingly unstable and unliveable?
The most popularly read, adapted, anthologized, and incorporated primer on sociology ever written for modern readers Acclaimed scholar and sociologist Peter L. Berger lays the groundwork for a clear understanding of sociology in his straightforward introduction to the field, much loved by students, professors, and general readers. Berger aligns sociology in the humanist tradition—revealing its relationship to the humanities and philosophy—and establishes its importance in thinking critically about the modern world. Throughout, Berger presents the contributions of some of the most important sociologists of the time, including Max Weber, Émile Durkheim, Vilfredo Pareto, and Thorstein Veblen.
Civilisations and Social Theory takes as its starting point the present as the most decisive period of the transformation of the world since Europe's rise to hegemony in the fifteenth century. If we are adequately to comprehend our times, the author argues, it is necessary to adopt a cross-cultural perspective based on the historical dialectical method and following the path of meaningful comparativism. From this perspective the book provides a detailed critique of Orientalism. The notion of “the Orient” is reassessed and its usefulness reasserted against such operational concepts as the “Third world” and the “Underdeveloped South.”