• 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.

Once More, With Feeling: Beyond Performance
Once More, With Feeling: Beyond Performance

While Garfinkel and Butler highlight how we perform ourselves categorically as types of being, and while Rosenhan’s study highlights how we are often linked to categories against our personal preference or judgement, so far we have not considered the ‘inside’ of action. Our strongest senses of reality, in other words, are linked to emotions, feelings, sensations and other seemingly palpable forms of encountering the world. How is it then that, for all practical purposes, culture or general categories of being get under our skin and into corporeality? How does culture give shape and texture to subjectivity, to consciousness, and how, in adopting and seeking to reproduce certain forms (e.g., what women must look like, what the mentally healthy ought not to do), can we ...

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