By Harvie Ferguson

What's phenomenological sociology? Why is it major? This leading edge and thought-provoking publication argues that phenomenology was once the main major, wide-ranging and influential philosophy to emerge within the 20th century.

The social personality of phenomenology is explored in its relation to the fear in 20th century sociology with questions of recent adventure. Phenomenology and sociology come jointly as 'ethnographies of the present'. As such, they break away of the self-imposed barriers of every to set up a brand new, severe realizing of up to date existence. through interpreting phenomenology sociologically and sociology phenomenologically, this booklet reconstructs a phenomenological sociology of contemporary experience.

Erudite and warranted, this e-book opens up a sequence of recent questions for modern social conception that theorists and scholars of conception can ill-afford to disregard. The textual content includes a treasure trove of insights and propositions that might stimulate debate and study in either sociology and philosophy.

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Extra info for Phenomenological Sociology: Experience and Insight in Modern Society

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What most astonished was the scale and power of modern technology. There was nothing mysterious about steam engines and engineering equipment, but the unprecedented magnitude of forces harnessed and released in a controlled fashion, the tireless repetition of the machine, and the sheer enormity of its productive capacity amazed in a new way. Unlike the marvel of nature or art, here were humanly engineered monsters, reproducible to order and created with a practical purpose in mind. A new and overwhelmingly objective dynamism was unleashed.

The sounds people make when they speak, for example, are not meaningful in themselves, and become so only among a group of language users who share some at least of the same speech conventions. It is the very arbitrariness of the connection between signifier and signified that makes language as we know it possible (Saussure 1986). Of course, the sound of speech is itself a phenomenon or, rather, a complex series of phenomena, as are the meanings understood by these sounds. But the relationship between these two groups of phenomena is, for the phenomenologist, a contingent matter for investigation rather than an issue of what sounds ‘really’ mean.

At the dawn of the modern era, that is to say, the phenomenal emerged as distinctive objects of astonishment. This might be viewed as the secularization of ancient wonder. What provoked astonishment was neither the bare existence of things in general nor the unique manifestation of divine power, but the appearance of something bewildering: ‘Between the commonplace and the miraculous lay the large and nebulous domain of the marvelous’ (1998, 159). And exceptions could appear only because most things, most of the time, readily fell within the range of what was already known, and expected as ‘normal’ or ‘natural’ – what conformed to a general rule.

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