The Social Construction of Reality: A 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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About the author

Peter L. Berger (1929–2017) was an award-winning scholar and author and one of the most important modern American sociologists. Berger graduated from Wagner College in New York in 1949 before receiving his master’s degree and doctorate from The New School in New York in 1950 and 1954, respectively. Berger was a professor emeritus of religion, sociology, and theology at the University of Boston and director of the Institute for the Study of Economic Culture, which studies relationships between economic development and sociocultural change. Berger’s works include Invitation to Sociology (1963), The Social Construction of Reality (1966) with Thomas Luckmann, The Sacred Canopy (1967), and A Rumor of Angels (1969).
 Thomas Luckmann (b. 1927) studied sociology at the University of Vienna and the University of Innsbruck in Austria before studying at The New School in New York. He has taught at the University of Konstanz in Germany, and Harvard, Yale, and Stanford Universities, among others.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Open Road Media
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Published on
Apr 26, 2011
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Pages
219
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ISBN
9781453215463
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Language
English
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Genres
Philosophy / Movements / Humanism
Philosophy / Social
Social Science / Sociology / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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Normative conflicts center on fundamental disagreements over issues of public morality and the identity of a society. In thinking about normative conflicts on a global scale, two principal questions arise. First, are there common characteristics of such conflicts worldwide? Second, which institutions polarize such conflicts and which can serve to mediate them? This pathbreaking book, edited by renowned sociologist Peter Berger, examines both questions through findings gained from a study of normative conflicts in eleven societies located in different parts of the world and at different levels of economic development.On both points, the findings have proved surprising. Although there are, of course, normative conflicts peculiar to individual societies, two features emerged as common to most of the societies examined: one concerns disputes over the place of religion in the state and in public life; the other is a clash of values between a cultural elite and the broad masses of the population. Often the two features coincide. For instance, in many countries the elite is the least religious group within the population, and therefore, resentments against the elite are often mobilized under religious banners.On the institutional question, the study started out with a bias toward the institutions of so-called ?civil society??that is, the institutions that stand between the personal life of individuals and the vast mega-structures of a modern society. The finding is that the same institutions can either polarize or mediate normative conflicts. The conclusion suggests one must ask not just what sort of institutions one looks to for social cohesion, but what ideas and values inspire these institutions.Comprising reports from some of the leading scholars dealing with normative conflict, this book is an important contribution to understanding the cultural fault lines that threaten social cohesion.
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