Magma und Scholle. Das soziale Imaginäre und die Wissenssoziologie

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Title in English Magma and crust. The social imaginary and the sociology of knowledge


Year of publication 2016
Type Chapter of a book
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Social Studies

Description The Construction of Social Reality written by Peter L. Berger und Thomas Luckmann belongs to the most important sociological books of the 20th century. This paper discusses the theoretical and social ontological commitments of the book, which had a crucial impact on the German sociology of knowledge. In particular, the construction of symbolic universes, portrayed by Berger and Luckmann as a Marxian superstructure legitimizing societal institutions and social practices, is problematized and contrasted with theories of the social imaginary. Theorists of the imaginary, such as Charles Taylor and Cornelius Castoriadis, describe legitimization as a bottom-up process, involving imaginary significations as the foundation of the institutional as well as symbolic order. I argue that the sociology of knowledge should open itself to theories of the imaginary not to loose its sociological imagination to think the social in radically different ways.
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