• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

What is reality and how do we make sense of it in everyday life? Why do some realities seem more real than others, and what of seemingly contradictory and multiple realities? This book considers reality as we represent, perceive and experience it. It suggests that the realities we take as ‘real’ are the result of real-time, situated practices that draw on and draw together many things - technologies and objects, people, gestures, meanings and media. Examining these practices illuminates reality (or rather our sense of it) as always ‘virtually real’, that is simplified and artfully produced. This examination also shows us how the sense of reality that we make is nonetheless real in its consequences. Making Sense of Reality offers students and educators a guide to analysing social life. It develops a performance-based perspective (‘doing things with’) that highlights the ever-revised dimension of realities and links this perspective to a focus on object-relations and an ecological model of culture-in-action.

The Sense of Reality: Here, Now, Artfully, Pragmatically and with Consequences
The Sense of Reality: Here, Now, Artfully, Pragmatically and with Consequences

To sum up the key points so far: realities are often multiple, and they are realised through artful practices that weave together words, acts, objects, meanings, perceptions and people. These practices are conditioned by what materials can be found to afford, by previous practice and by happenstance. They are not achieved necessarily willingly but they may come to configure what it is that individuals will perceive, expect and feel. Realities, then, are virtually real; that is, they are renditions of what is ‘out there’ around us and what confronts our senses at any given time. At the same time, culture does not predetermine how we make reality (for how then could we explain changes ...

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