• 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.

Conventional and Unconventional Realities: The Case of Sexual Difference
Conventional and Unconventional Realities: The Case of Sexual Difference

As a starting point for this praxis, consider how seemingly ‘real’ differences between types of people or things can be called into question, and in ways that undercut over-hasty presumptions about difference and similarity. This calling into question in turn highlights the tension between form and content with which Adorno was concerned; how to create categories capable of holding as much difference as possible (Adorno’s ‘remainders’) while also facilitating shared realities. To develop this discussion, I will consider one of the most basic, binary forms of human/animal difference that we often take for granted – the difference between men and women, biologically speaking.

The male/female dichotomy shows quite clearly the ways in which form (male versus female) and content (particular ...

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