A watershed event in the field of sociology, this text introduced “a major breakthrough in the sociology of knowledge and sociological theory generally” (George Simpson, American Sociological Review).
In this seminal book, Peter L. Berger and Thomas Luckmann examine how knowledge forms and how it is preserved and altered within a society. Unlike earlier theorists and philosophers, Berger and Luckmann go beyond intellectual history and focus on commonsense, everyday knowledge—the proverbs, morals, values, and beliefs shared among ordinary people. When first published in 1966, this systematic, theoretical treatise introduced the term social construction,effectively creating a new thought and transforming Western philosophy.
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One of The Greatest Works in The Social and Behavioral Sciences
I read this book after graduating from college 25 years ago because so many of my sociology professors talked about it with such reverence. Since then I have not worked as an intellectual at a college or university, but I have worked with criminals and the mentally ill, and this book is better at explaining the origins of human behavior than nearly any book I have ever read. I haven’t read it in a long time, but I still think about what I learned from it. It’s a small and short book, but it is beautifully complex. Phenomenological Sociology is not appreciated by modern psychology like it should be.