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Week 4 Phenomenology Intro

by: Krista Lindenberg

Week 4 Phenomenology Intro soc 2083

Marketplace > Arkansas Tech University > Sociology > soc 2083 > Week 4 Phenomenology Intro
Krista Lindenberg
Arkansas Tech University
GPA 3.8
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About this Document

These notes cover the class lecture discussions pertaining to the introduction of phenomenology.
history of social theory
dr. huss
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This 2 page Class Notes was uploaded by Krista Lindenberg on Friday February 5, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to soc 2083 at Arkansas Tech University taught by dr. huss in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 18 views. For similar materials see history of social theory in Sociology at Arkansas Tech University.

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Date Created: 02/05/16
 The world of phenomenology  Let’s challenge our assumptions about what is real and what is not.  Husserl: German mathematician who investigated if there is quantitative substance to numbers; concluded no, they aren’t real.  We treat abstractions as meaningful and they can change.  Lays foundation for understanding social structures as the life world.  Life world = a world of shared ongoing experiences from which we constitute objects and abstract concepts.  Consistency allows us to fill in the gaps of our perception. (will the sun rise tomorrow? Is there really another side to the bottle that I cannot see?)  We have formulas in our heads for what we expect to happen (what happens first? What happens next? And then what?)  There’s a structure to the world we take for granted. We overlook it, we don’t challenge things, and we don’t interrogate them. We approach the world as if it is meaningful without actually assigning meaning.  We accept pre-given meanings from socializations and from those socializations we learn the rules for social interaction.  Things are real and shared in experience. Love is a chemical reaction but we attach meaning to it.  If we don’t ask for definitions, we’re gambling. We must have a shared understanding for shared meaning.  We act based off previous experience, drawing off exemplars from our culture. There are structures and patterns to the way we are expected to behave. Why don’t we challenge those assumptions? We stay in our boxes and lanes for ontological security. (ontology = what’s real)  We are protective of what we perceive to be real, we don’t like to be challenged over what we understand the world to be. We get uncomfortable when people say the world works different than you understand it to work (god, religion, bible, trick down economics)  When people get defensive, what they are really defending is their existing belief systems rather than entertaining the challenge or the notion that something could be different. We will act to defend and create ontological security. We want to be comfortable in our boxes, it’s our safe space, (“don’t tell me god isn’t real, lalalalalalala, don’t tell me trickle down doesn’t work, lalalalalala”)  Religion as an institution is a set of practices meant to validate and reaffirm our commitments to our values and beliefs.  Natural attitude: inclination of us in daily life to accept the world of facts as they are given to us. We accept the meanings given to us and the world without question. ( will the sun really rise tomorrow)  Prepredictive Experiences: create the necessary conditions for us to be able to anticipate that there will be no change. The world when I go to bed is the same world when I wake up. The understandings I go to bed with are the understandings I will wake up with. The world won’t change or my understanding of it.  We think in a confirmatory fashion and the only time we interrupt that confirmatory logic is when we run into something that does not meet our expectations. When this short circuit happens, what happens cognitively is we’re forced to question and challenge the world. This can create ontological insecurity.  We start with micro level understandings and micro level interactions and instead of saying the world is top down and assuming that structures are created and then they are imposed on us, we start from the assumption that people have patterns of interaction at the micro level then causing us to create institutions at the macro level so that we can reinforce micro level values and beliefs.  If we look at Prepredictive experiences, we take them for granted. Something has to break the pattern. Things only become “things” by persistent patterns. (Ooh, that’s a thing now?)  We don’t challenge more concrete things, instead abstract notions.  Must watch out for inherent biases  Doubt is the starting point of new understanding  We make our preconceived notions objects of study and objects of reflection.  The wall you hit when you keep asking “why” is the boundary condition.  There are no unique understandings, only different perspectives shaped by socialization.  Social Constructionist Perspective o Phenomenology o More objective than Marx  Social movements are organized and centralized bursts of action geared towards reframing our way of understanding a problem.  The law doesn’t create the norm, it validates the norm.  The norm comes out of the cultural change, and the cultural expectation is how it comes institutionalized.  We don’t create new understandings, we choose them.  The way we understand the world divorces the objective conditions of the world. We won’t make effective positive change until the two come back together.  We want to believe we are rational creatures who respond appropriately to danger, but where is our evidence? (Donald Trump…climate change…world hunger…)  Culture is a moving target. You must look at the constructions of the social world through a lens separate from yourself.  The reason we don’t fix issues is because we don’t want to get uncomfortable and leave our boxes/lanes.  We choose from a menu.  Scripts and schemas = expectations of behavior and ideal types


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