Construction of social processes in Peter Berger’s phenomenology

Ele­na A. Tim­o­schuk
The Russ­ian Acad­e­my of Nation­al Econ­o­my and Pub­lic Ser­vice under the Pres­i­dent
of the Russ­ian Fed­er­a­tion (Vladimir branch)

Con­struc­tion of social process­es in Peter Berger’s phe­nom­e­nol­o­gy

Abstract. The read­er is offered a sum­ma­ry of the devel­op­ment of Peter Berger’s socio­cul­tur­al phe­nom­e­nol­o­gy. The author pro­ceeds from the posi­tion that Berger’s the­o­ret­i­cal approach con­tributed to the human­iza­tion of every­day life, the actu­al­iza­tion of the life world as a finite province of mean­ing. Peter Berg­er is a key fig­ure in the soci­ol­o­gy of knowl­edge, the soci­ol­o­gy of reli­gion and the the­o­ry of mod­ern­iza­tion. Deal­ing with the most vital and acute social prob­lems, he cre­at­ed an ade­quate cat­e­gor­i­cal appa­ra­tus for the phe­nom­e­no­log­i­cal descrip­tion of soci­ety. He did not only crit­i­cal­ly review the soci­o­log­i­cal trends of Weber and Durkheim, Mead and Par­sons, but also con­tin­ued the socio­cul­tur­al phe­nom­e­nol­o­gy that had been start­ed by Ingar­den and Schütz. The main achieve­ments of P. Berg­er are as fol­lows: he inves­ti­gat­ed the legit­imiz­ing rela­tion­ship between insti­tu­tions and social real­i­ty; pre­sent­ed social knowl­edge as a con­struct­ed real­i­ty; sug­gest­ed a phe­nom­e­no­log­i­cal lan­guage for describ­ing every­day life; described a soci­ety as a uni­ty of the sub-jec­tive-objec­tive process of for­ma­tion; revealed the human­is­tic poten­tial of phe­nom­e­nol­o­gy; ana­lyzed the geneal­o­gy of social myths; revealed the essence and func­tions of the bureau­cra­cy in social order; described the struc­ture of the sym­bol­ic world of reli­gion in a post-indus­tri­al soci­ety; re-formed soci­ol­o­gy giv­ing it a val­ue-seman­tic val­ue, alter­na­tive to Marx­ism; con­tin­ued Weber’s stud­ies of reli­gion and cap­i­tal­ism; devel­oped the­o­ries of sec­u­lar­iza­tion of reli­gion in the plu­ral­is­tic world; posi­tioned the tran­scen­dent as a pri­vate sphere. Socio-cul­tur­al phe­nom­e­nol­o­gy of P. Berg­er is a method of con­tex­tu­al cor­re­la­tion of dif­fer­ent social worlds – sci­ence and reli­gion, world­ly and tran­scen­den­tal, per­son­al and col­lec­tive.

Key­words: Peter Berg­er; sec­u­lar­iza­tion, glob­al­iza­tion, mod­ern­iza­tion, phe­nom­e­nol­o­gy of cul­ture, con­sti­tu­tive­ness, life world; phe­nom­e­nol­o­gy of reli­gion, con­struc­tion of real­i­ty

DOI: 10.5840/dspl20192339


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