• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

This innovative and thought-provoking book argues that phenomenology was the most significant, wide-ranging and influential philosophy to emerge in the twentieth century. The social character of phenomenology is explored in its relation to the concern in twentieth century sociology with questions of modern experience. Phenomenology and sociology come together as 'ethnographies of the present'. As such, they break free of the self-imposed limitations of each to establish a new, critical understanding of contemporary life. By reading phenomenology sociologically and sociology phenomenologically, this book reconstructs a phenomenological sociology of modern experience.

Society: Sociological Reductions
Society: sociological reductions

In its historical development, the formation of concepts referring to lived experience is at the same time founded on understanding, which is in turn grounded in lived experience.

Dilthey, The Formation of the Historical World in the Human Sciences

A historical sociology of the natural attitude provides an important corrective to the tendency within phenomenological philosophy, in spite of its protestations to the contrary, to deal in abstractions; to derive concepts from phenomena rather than to reduce experience to phenomena. An ethnography of modernity, furthermore, complicates the situation by revealing three natural attitudes rather than one. The natural attitude with which Husserl began is that found within the region of sensing/representation; but in the elaboration of his philosophy, willing/presentation and feeling/presence become ...

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