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
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