CST14.Sum.Schutz - Classical Sociological Theory, 4e Ritzer...

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Classical Sociological Theory, 4e Ritzer Alfred Schutz Classical Sociological Theory Chapter 14 CHAPTER SUMMARY Interpretations of Schutz’s Work The sociological theory of Alfred Schutz (1899-1959) , who is considered a classical theorist, has been influential in recent years in such areas of sociology as enthnomethodology and phenomenology. Ritzer and Goodman note that Schutz’s interpreters tend to approach his work in one of three ways. First, ethnomethodologists take interest in Schutz’s theory because of the emphasis it places on the ways in which actors construct social reality. Other interpreters of Schutz criticize this micro- sociological approach; they claim that it ignores the impact of macro-structures on social life. Third, some scholars have pegged Schutz as a cultural determinist whose theory emphasizes the many social constraints on actors. Ritzer and Goodman argue that a synthesis of the first and third views is in order, while the second position is simply wrong. The Ideas of Edmund Husserl The phenomenological philosophy of Edmund Husserl (1858-1938) had a profound impact on Alfred Schutz’s sociology. Husserl was mainly interested in creating a rigorous, scientific study of the structures and processes of consciousness. In order to do this, Husserl argued, philosophers must understand that people tend to view the world through the natural attitude. By bracketing the natural attitude, phenomenologists can study the properties of consciousness that govern action, conceived of as the ordering of the world. While Husserl was interested primarily in examining consciousness, he did note the importance of lived experience and interaction in the life-world and intersubjectivity. One of Schutz’s contributions to sociology is that he turned the emphasis of phenomenology away from consciousness to intersubjectivity and the life-world. Science and the Social World
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CST14.Sum.Schutz - Classical Sociological Theory, 4e Ritzer...

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