Social Construction as Fantasy: Reconsidering Peter Berger and Thomas Luckmann’s The Social Construction of Reality after 50 Years

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Abstract

Ever since Berger and Luckmann published their treatment of the sociology of knowledge in 1966, older versions of the subfield have languished, been forgotten, or misrepresented, as if The Social Construction of Reality (SCR) eliminated the need to study its predecessors in Wissenssoziologie. By considering Berger’s subsequent statements about the book, along with remarks recently made by Luckmann, and then returning to the text itself, this article shows that some of the main suppositions on which SCR rests are foreign to the sociology of knowledge in its original forms, and that a number of these premises do not seem as plausible in today’s social world as they may have in the early 1960s when their authors formulated them. The unintended scholarly results of SCR’s surprising publishing success are evaluated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)37-52
Number of pages16
JournalCultural Sociology
Volume10
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cultural Studies
  • Social Sciences(all)

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