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Modernity and Social Theory SO3523 Phenomenology, Social Constructionism & Modernity.

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Presentation on theme: "Modernity and Social Theory SO3523 Phenomenology, Social Constructionism & Modernity."— Presentation transcript:

1 Modernity and Social Theory SO3523 Phenomenology, Social Constructionism & Modernity

2 Modernity and Social Theory SO3523 Phenomenology & Social Constructionism Major Figures: Edmund Husserl Maurice Merleau-Ponty Alfred Schutz Peter Berger & Thomas Luckman Cognitivist Revolution

3 Modernity and Social Theory SO3523 Reality only exists in the ongoing stream of sensory experience to which we allocate to discrete categories. Stream of Consciousness Intentionality Bracketing The Natural Attitude Edmund Husserl

4 Modernity and Social Theory SO3523 Challenged the privileging of the mind with respect to conscious experience Embodied Consciousness Body/Subject Maurice Merleau-Ponty ( )

5 Modernity and Social Theory SO3523 Phenomenal Sociology Alfred Schutz (1899 – 1959) (1899 – 1959)

6 Modernity and Social Theory SO3523 First Order Categories (Common Sense) – The recurrent elements in the stream of consciousness Typifications: Ideal Typical Concepts Recipes & Formulas: Taken for granted procedures for accomplishing everyday tasks.

7 Modernity and Social Theory SO3523 Schutzs interaction order: Consociates: Share the same time and space Contemporaries: Share the same time Predecessors and Successors: Ideal Types with whom we engage through letters and reports Lebenswelt: The Lifeworld Second Order Categories: Sociologys task is to develop second order concepts that allow to explore and understand the first order concepts that people in society employ, including their origins and effects.

8 Modernity and Social Theory SO3523 The Social Construction of Reality Berger & Luckmann (1966) Human Nature, Plasticity & Homo Socius Realissimum and zones of closeness and remoteness The Natural Attitude and Shared Common Sense Knowledge (objectifications) Social interaction

9 Modernity and Social Theory SO3523 Institutionalization: Externalization: Action Objectification: Viewing the products of action as being objectively real (reification?) Internalization: Subjective assimilation of the taken for granted reality

10 Modernity and Social Theory SO3523 Objective Reality: The institutionalized typifications that are shared by social actors over time Subjective Reality: The internalised social reality Primary Socialization: Becoming a member of Society – version of Paramount reality filtered through parents and others. Secondary Socialization: Induction into new sectors of the objective social world.

11 Modernity and Social Theory SO3523 The Thomas Theorem if men define situations as real, they are real in their consequences (Thomas & Thomas 1928:572). WI Thomas ( )

12 Modernity and Social Theory SO3523 The Homeless Mind: Berger, Berger & Kellner (1973) Technology Bureaucracy Modern Consciousness Modernization & Resistance

13 Modernity and Social Theory SO3523 Technological Consciousness: Componentiality (reality experienced as atomistic units) Interdependence (units form interdependent sequences) Implicit Abstraction (everything can be understood with reference to abstract frameworks - even humans) Segregation (of institutions, home & work etc.) Emotional Management (emotion permitted within some spheres and excluded from others) Anonymous Social Relations & Human Engineering (individuals defined as functionaries)

14 Modernity and Social Theory SO3523 Bureaucracy & Consciousness Competence & Coverage (very detailed and restricted areas of expertise – but everything can be dealt with somewhere in the all-encompassing bureaucracy) Orderliness (overarching cognitive style of bureaucrat – everything can be organized and order imposed) Assumption of Predictability Impression Management (stylised modes of interaction)

15 Modernity and Social Theory SO3523 Modern Consciousness & The Pluralization of Lifeworlds: Individuation & Reflexivity (peculiarly separated from others due to the multiplicity of life plan options and experiences) Homelessness (an absence of firm roots and belonging) Modernity & Its Discontents (secularization, meaninglessness, contradiction, discrepancy, abstraction, alienation) Collisions of Consciousness (cultural clashes) Counter-Culture (nature, feeling, simplification, realissimum, total life experiences, authenticity, spontaneity) Limitations of Resistance


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