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

by Peter L. Berger, Thomas Luckmann

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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1,7191210,356 (4.06)5
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)
  1. 00
    Tradition by Edward Shils (thcson)
    thcson: Two interconnected themes: traditions are the prototypical social constructions of reality.
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English (9)  Spanish (3)  All languages (12)
Showing 1-5 of 9 (next | show all)
I made it about halfway before my eyeballs were twitching so badly I couldn't continue. I can summarize it best by saying it's the dated, obtuse ramblings of a couple of German post WWII academics on the primacy of society - I would characterize this more as Social Existentialism rather than sociology. A weird mash of Nietzsche and Camus with an overcoat of religion. Really it's the old nature/nurture debate, and in this instance nurture is everything, nature is nothing. Which is about half right...
Read it only if your eyeballs need the exercise. ( )
  dhaxton | Jun 4, 2024 |
cited in Freidson, E. Profession of Medicine p. 206
  ddonahue | Nov 25, 2023 |
One of the deepest books I've ever read, but it's not without it's humorous moments (the examples Berger gives to illustrate his points are sometimes hilarious). This is incredibly meta and multi-layered. A must-read for anyone into world building. ( )
  jasoncomely | Dec 3, 2019 |
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 |
Showing 1-5 of 9 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Peter L. Bergerprimary authorall editionscalculated
Luckmann, Thomasmain authorall editionsconfirmed
Ives, NormanCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Plessner, MonikaTranslatorsecondary authorsome 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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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.

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