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Chapter 3

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University of Guelph
SOC 3310
Reza Barmaki

Chapter 3- phenomenological sociology and ethnomethodology Phenomenological sociology- an attempt on the part of Alfred Schutz to make the basic ideas of the philosopher Edmund Husserl, relevant to the study of society. At the heart of the matter is the impact of natural science methodolody on our perception and understanding of social reality. It is the contention of Husserl that the understanding of the social world is fundamentally distorted when we come to our knowledge of it using the methods of natural science. Phemenonological sociology endorses and employs observational techniques to secure empirical data. Characterized as a subjective or creative sociology because it seeks to understand the world from the point of view of the acting subject and not from the perspective of the scientific observer. They have no doubts about its reality or objective facticity. What concerns phenomenologists is that abstract constructions by intellectuals will contain deductively derived truth claims about human action but ignore the understandings and meaning structures that are brought to the interaction of the actors themselves. Recount how the social construction process transpires. Ethnomethodologists- such as Garfinkel have developed an experimental approach called breaching. This approach demonstrates empirically the existence of the taken for granted meaning structure by observing the reactions of people in various setting when these meaning are violated and expectations denied. What becomes clear in his work is that social reality is based on assumptions that are shared by participants in everyday interaction situations. These unspoken rules guide behavior and make discourse and action possible. Peter berger the sacred canopy- society is a product of man and man is the product of society. The fundamental dialectic process of society consists of 3 steps; externalization, objectivation, and internalization. Externalization- the ongoing outpouring of human being into the world, both in physical and mental activity of men. Objectivation- is the attainment by the products of this activity of a reality that confronts its original producers as a facticity external to and other than themselves. Internalization- the reappropriation by men of this same reality, transforming it once again from structures of the objective world into structures of the subjective conciousness. Sacred canopy cont- it is through externalization that society is a human product, it is through objectivation that society becomes a reality of its own, and it is through internaliation that man is a product of society. Man is unfinished at birth- unlike other mammals. Essential steps to the finishing mans development occur in the first year after birth in the case of man. Occurs when human is interacting with envuronment. While other animals are born with drives and instincts and do not change much, mans world is opened- man must make a world for himself. Man doesn’t have a given relationship to the worls, he must ongoingly establish a relationship with it- characrterized by instrability. Human existence is an ongoing balancing act between man and his body, man and his world. Man produces himself in a world. Creates culture- to provide the firm structures for human life that are lacking biologically. Culture is different form nature because it is the product of mans own activites. What appears at any partcicular moment as human nature is itself a product og man’s world building activity. Society is an aspect of culture. The world building activity of man is alwaus a collective enterprise. Society is a necessary condition of culture. Society structures, distributes, and coordinates the world building activities of men. Sacred canopy cont- society then is a product of man, rooted in the phenomenon of externalization, which in turn is grounded in the very biological consitution of man, the humanly produced workld becomes something out there –objectivation- the humanly produced world attains the character of objective reality. The cultural world is not only collectively produced, but it remains real by virtue of collective recognition. To be in a culture means to share a particular world of objectivities with others. Society is a product og human acitivitythat has attained the status of objective reality. The final test of objective reality is its capacity to impose itself through coercion. The coercion of society gives it the power to consitute and impose itself as reality. Society assigns to the invidual not only a set of roles but a designated identity. Internalization is the reabsotption into conciousness of the objectivated world in such a way that the structures of this world come to determine the subjective structures of concioussness itself. Sacred canopy cont- socialization can be defined as a learning process. The new generation is initiated into the meanings of the culture, learns to participate in its established tasks and to accept the roles as well as identities that make up its social structure. The individual not only learns the objectivated meanings but identifies with and is shaped by them. He becomes not only the person who possesses these meanings, but one who represents and expresses them. Highly successful socialization establishes a high degree of objective/ subjective symmetry. The person is socialized to be a designated person and to inhabit a designated world. Dialectic formation of identity- individual becomes that which
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