The Social Construction of Reality – Berger & Luckmann

July 12th, 2010

Berger, Peter L., Thomas Luckmann, and Texas Tech University. Institute for Studies in Pragmaticism. The Social Construction of Reality: A Treatise in the Sociology of Knowledge. Anchor Book. New York: Doubleday, 1967.

“Man’s consciousness is determined by his social being.” – Marx

I open this post with the Marx quote because of its direct relevance to this topic, but also to address the debates that have occurred over what he was actually saying in this line. Early Marxism tended to identify this thought with economic structure and the reflection of it. However, Marx intended a more human analysis. “What concerned Marx was that human thought is founded in human activity… and in the social relations brought about by this activity. ‘Substructure’ and ‘superstructure’ are best understood if one views them as, respectively, human activity and the world produced by that activity” (6).

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