• 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.

Reflexivity: Enacting Cultural Categories Along With Their Instances
Reflexivity: Enacting Cultural Categories Along With Their Instances

Just what is the reality status of a cultural category, a rule or set of criteria? Culture does not sit in the background like a foil or defining medium against which instances are compared. As we have seen from the example of male/female, and again from the controversy around Mary Beard’s ‘appropriateness’ for TV, cultural categories do not cover all contingencies; they are often ambiguous, flexible and in need of filling in. This is to say that culture as a reality is itself realised, created and made manifest through its invocation, and that is the point this chapter will develop.

Sticking for the moment with the example of Professor Mary Beard, and also sticking for the moment with a concept of ...

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