Sunday, December 6, 2020

Peter Berger - Invitation to Sociology - great summary

Peter Berger is one of the most prominent thinkers in Western sociology. He described the sociologist in a certain way, he used the term "ideal type" (Weber) - this term has a certain meaning - as a theoretical concept - it is a concept that speaks of some prototype, a purely theoretical model used by us to examine reality

Berger's sociology presents itself as a special kind of modern and Western thinking. The sociologist does not work to correct society, but to understand the existing (cf Georg Simmel).

The sociologist understands by the term "society" a large set of human relations, a system of interactions. The application of the concept cannot be determined solely by quantitative indices (what is "big"?), And can be applied only at a set of relationships.

The title "social" also needs a different definition from its general use in everyday life: a situation in which people direct their actions towards each other (the quality of interaction). This is a definition by Max Weber. The set of meanings, expectations and behaviors obtained from mutual intentionality is the material for sociological analysis.

The sociologist looks at social phenomena differently from other researchers, he is interested in the variety of human relationships and interactions that may occur. Berger spoke of the sociologist as a spy for society, gathering information and passing it on to someone else.

A sociologist, then, examines different levels of meaning in each act, and tries to see beyond the defined goals of human actions. Because it is an unconventional thinking and an examination of things that go unnoticed, times that excel in severe shocks to self-perception are good for the development of sociology, as they lead people to question the accepted powers.

The sociologist  for Berger asks questions we ask ourselves on a daily basis. Sociology does not invent the questions, but there is a difference in the way sociology looks. The sociologist, in fact, fights for granted.

A sociologist, then, "goes into the depths of things" and "discovers what goes on behind the scenes." Most people and social activities hide behind fronts (physical fronts, even: apartments, for example), and a research and intellectual effort is needed to initiate breaking through these fronts. When the sociologist comes to investigate he should be worthless.

In the study of a system of government, for example, the sociologist deals not only with the official mechanisms that are supposed to regulate the government, but behind them - with interests, norms, prejudices, power structures within the community, etc. There is a network of informal behavior here - usually coming from the entire population in the community (from the rookie or clerk) and not from the head (officer or manager) (there is a brilliant example of marriage from page 43 in the text - that the overall belief is that one marries out of love, but in practice people marry In their same social and economic status, and hold regular and familiar ceremonies of courtship and infatuation).

Continue to part 2 of the summary of  Peter Berger's Invitation to Sociology

Sociology as an Individual Pastime

the sociologist's motivation

Sociology as a Form of Consciousness

Another summary of social construction of reality by berger and luckmann 

Great books by Peter Berger and other invitations to sociology: