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The Social Construction of Reality: A…

The Social Construction of Reality: A Treatise in the Sociology of… (1966)

by Peter L. Berger, Thomas A Luckmann (Author)

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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1,20789,904 (4.04)5
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    Tradition by Edward Shils (thcson)
    thcson: Two interconnected themes: traditions are the prototypical social constructions of reality.

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Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)
I have had this book for many years - I don't even remember when or where I found it. It sounded interesting, but I had so many other books to read that it stayed on a shelf until I began thinking seriously about studying sociology. When I took it down to read it, I was surprised by the humor woven through its pages... ( )
  EasternPeregrine | Feb 1, 2016 |
When I first read this book six years ago I thought it was really insightful. Reading it now for a second time wasn't quite as exciting. The book begins with very good chapters on knowledge in everyday life and society as objective reality. The authors analyze things very clearly. On the second reading much of what they said struck me as obviously right, but not very interesting or fruitful for further research. If you've never thought about everyday knowledge or social construction before, then this book is very educational. But once you get your head around the basic ideas, there isn't much more depth to illuminate with these theories.

Even so, this still is one of the best books in social theory that I've read. I particularly like the fact that the authors don't appeal to preceding authorities like Durkheim, Weber or Marx every time their theory touches on a classical question. As a result the book is very readable and the theory can be judged on its own terms. I recommend this book especially to people who don't know what social construction means. You will certainly understand society in a different way after reading it.
1 vote thcson | Sep 15, 2013 |
This is quite an interesting book. Its main thesis is an attempt to tie together epistemology and sociology. TO SUMMARIZE: Thought is a social construct. Our ways of thinking are influenced by our ancestors and traditions. There's also Wittgenstein's baby - how language affects thought.

Of course, after watching both political conventions over the past two weeks, it is necessary to discuss the political role of this idea. One could see it being discussed by reformers/radicals, who want to change society and assist oppressed peoples by changing the long-held societal misconceptions which lead to their oppression. Another possibility involves a certain long-gone form of conservatism, which remarks on the fragility of society, and that any reform attempts must be undertaken with great care. This conservatism, of course, is not the naked imperial greed which calls itself 'conservative' today.

One example of social constructs is race. Compare America and Western Europe. In the former, 'white people' are a monolithic bloc, in the latter, there are still hazy distinctions drawn up between North and South European, Germanic and Slav. I know the feeling of race directly - I have been mistaken, at various times in my life, for being Russian, Mexican, and half-Chinese or half-Vietnamese. My mother is also mistaken for Chinese, despite being Filipino. Other possibilities about social construction include sexuality, political beliefs, professions, and others.

Such an idea has its charms, but also its detractors. I wonder how a biological approach to ideas, such as neuroscience or evolutionary psychology (as flawed as the latter is) might make an approach to such similar topics. For a book on sociology, it does raise the question of if we can truly attempt to understand the point of view of a person who's lived in a completely different society than we have. ( )
2 vote HadriantheBlind | Mar 30, 2013 |
A wonderfully compelling, lucid, and witty sociological theory work. This book deals with two main connected topics: how we construct our reality (and hence our knowledge) in society, and how our reality constructs our identities. However, laid out like this, these topics seem perhaps too academic or too abstract. It may be better to say simply that Berger and Luckmann wrote a brilliant account of the essence of our lives. ( )
1 vote jorgearanda | Feb 23, 2012 |
„The social construction of reality“ versteht sich nicht nur als eine systematische Analyse im hochkomplexen Feld der verschiedenen Gesellschaften der Welt, sondern auch als eine Bestandsaufnahme im Bereich der Konstruktion von verschiedenen Realitäten. Die Verflechtung verschiedener Weltdeutungen mit modernen Wissensaggregaten, wie wir sie in den institutionalisierten Formen der Wissenschaft kennenlernen, kommen dabei ebenso in den Blick, wie das Alltagswissen des gewöhnlichen Menschen. Dabei beweisen sich Berger und Luckmann in einer spezialisierten und präzisierten Form des dialektischen Denkens, das noch heute als wegweisend angesehen werden kann für künftige Generationen von Theoretikern.
  davidgregory | Jun 10, 2011 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Peter L. Bergerprimary authorall editionscalculated
Luckmann, Thomas AAuthormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Raiskila, VesaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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La presente obra ha sido concebida como un tratado teórico de carácter sistemático sobre sociología del conocimiento. Por lo tanto, no pretende ofrecer un panorama histórico de la evolución de esta disciplina o hacer la exégesis de diversas figuras dentro de éste u otros desarrollos de la teoría sociológica, ni siquiera demostrar cómo puede operarse la síntesis entre algunas de esas figuras y desarrollos. Tampoco debe atribuírsele ninguna intención polémica. Se han incluido comentarios críticos sobre otras posiciones teóricas (no en el texto, pero sí en las notas) solo cuando pueden resultar de provecho para clarificar la presente argumentación.
The present volume is intended as a systematic, theoretical treatise in the sociology of knowledge.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0385058985, Paperback)

This book reformulates the sociological  subdiscipline known as the sociology of knowledge.  Knowledge is presented as more than ideology, including as  well false consciousness, propaganda, science and  art.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:14:17 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

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.… (more)

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