Alfred Schutz ,Peter Berger, Luckman

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Alfred Schutz 


Schutz has explained social relations on phenomenological basis instead of traditional sociological basis.


Schutz is of the opinion that man carries in his mind the rules, social customs, concepts of proper behavior and other information which enables him to lead his social life.


Schutz has called the sum of these rules, tools, concepts and information as the stock knowledge of the individual. This knowledge store provides orientation to man on the basis of which he analyzes the events. Knowledge is not innate. It is learned through socialization.behaves in accordance with the requirements. The existence of the knowledge pool, the acquisition of it through socialization and the assumptions that provide mutuality of perspectives to interactions, all together give the actors a sense or preconception in a situation. That’s why all the actors get equal treatment. The presumption that the world is equal for all maintains unity in society


The notion of the same world allows the actors to participate in the process of ‘drafting’. In most situations, except in personal and deep relationships, the action begins with an interaction.




The reality of individuals is their stock knowledge. For the members of the society, their store of knowledge constitutes the ‘paramount reality’. This reality gives shape to all social events and controls them. The store of knowledge also directs all social events.


The storehouse of knowledge is the ultimate or absolute reality. This reality is accepted by the person as Taken for granted. The store of knowledge unconsciously and instinctively regulates the behavior of a person.

Schutz’s phenomenology is a combination of the phenomenology of Europe and the interactionism of America.


In order to coordinate phenomenology and sociology , Schutz began to analyze the concepts of Max Beaver , on Schutz , Heusserl , Herbert , Mead and W. I . Thomas effect.


Due to the age of society, many features and many variations are found in it. All these are kept in different categories. The behavior of a person is according to the category. Looking at Schutz’s Phenomenology, we know that Schutz has very beautifully blended the phenomenology of Europe and the interactionism of America.




The phenomenology of 

Alfred Schutz 

has the following basic concepts


(1) Semantic Context – Meaning of meaning is the background of meaningful experiences and its context in which actions are expressed.

(2) These experiences are formed by pluralistic person actions.

(3) form a higher synthesis.

(4) This synthesis of them can be seen as a structured unit from a monistic point of view. According to each person sees and understands each of his social situations from his personal point of view. It builds its relationships on the basis of whether the circumstances are favorable or unfavourable and on this basis gives personal meaning to the situation.


In this way every social person evaluates his social activities according to his situation. What the participants in the interactions will interpret the interaction as depends on the reciprocity of their point of view. Shoes is of the view that every social situation should be studied on the basis of interpersonal integrity, but he has not told how to use this method of study. He has told that the study of social situation should be done through natural expression.


Natural expression refers to the attitude of a simple belief about the existence of the world, which is felt by people and whose existence is believed by people Schutz has described three elements in phenomenology –


Life world,

natural attitude and

Inter subjectivity has been told.

These three elements are the cornerstone of the science of phenomenology. Phenomenological sociology has been built on the basis of the above three elements.



Peter Berger



Peter Berger was born on March 17, 1929 in Vienna (Austria). Immediately after World War I, he immigrated to America. In 1949, he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Wegener College. He continued his studies at The New College in New York and thus earned his M.A. in 1950. a . And in 1954 was awarded the degree of Ph.D. From 1956 to 1958, Berger served as Assistant Professor at the University of P. Berger North Carolina and was Associate Professor from 1958 to 1963. Until 1981, Berger was a university professor in the Department of Sociology. In 1985, he became the director of the Institute for the Study of Economic Culture. The main aim of Berger’s writings was to reconcile human autonomy and repressive forces.


Major Works of Peter Berger


” Invitation to Sociology ‘ ( 1963 )
” The Social Construction of Reality ‘ ( 1966 )
” The Sacred Canopy ‘( 1967 )
” The Homeless Mind ‘( 1973 )
‘ Pyramids of Sacrifice ‘ (1974)


He is a German sociologist of Slovene origin. His father was a well-known industrialist from Austria and mother belonged to a Slovene family. The family moved to Australia after the Second World War. Lachman studied sociology at the University of Vienna. Later, he left for America for studies. There he studied at The New College in New York. Luckman 

Worked as a Professor in the Department of Sociology of the University of Constantine in Germany. Lachmann served as a professor in the Department of Sociology of the University of Constantine in Germany. Lachman was a strong supporter of the phenomenology school in sociology founded by the German-American scholar Schutz.




Luckman developed a theory in sociology which is known as ‘Social Constructivism’. It has been argued in this theory that all knowledge (including common senses used in everyday life) arises and is put into practice only through social interactions. Lackman’s best-known book is The Social Construction of Reality, which he co-wrote with Berger in 1966. The second book is ‘Structure of the Life World’ which he co-authored with Thomas Luckmann of Schutz in 1982.


Major Works of Thomas Luckman


‘ The Social Construction of Reality ‘ ( 1966 , with Peter L. Berger )
‘ The Invisible Religion ‘ ( 1967 )
‘ The Sociology of Language ‘ (1975)
‘ Structures of the Life – World ” (1982 , with Alfred Schütz )
‘ Life – World and Social Realities ‘ ( 1983 )




Peter Berger and Thomas Lackman –

The Social Construction of Reality



Peter Berger co-authored the book “The Social Construction Work of Reality” with Thomas Lackman. This book exposes the laws of sociology of knowledge. In the book ‘Pyramid of Utkarsh’, which reveals the relationship between social change and political ethics, Berger has broadly analyzed two intertwined themes.

(1) Development of the Third World, and (2) Ethics related to social change.


Berger has discussed the five main features and confusions of modernity in another book ‘Equality with Modernity’. they are confused


(1) Weakening of well-organized and cohesive communities,

(2) the extent of the time and the degree of obsession with bureaucratic programs,

(3) Crisis and alienation due to the mutual situation between the individual and the society,

(4) To encourage the process of ‘liberation’ which weakens the human will,

(5) Increasing secularization weakening the belief in a meaningful world


One of the main features of Berger’s works is that he seeks to reconcile the repressive forces of social structure with human autonomy through his interpretations.


Peter Berger and Luckman are American sociologists. He has done a lot of important work in the sociology of knowledge, phenomenology and folk law science. His main books are as follows


. ‘ Invitation to Sociology ( 1963 )

. ‘ The Social Construction of Reality with Luckman ( 1966 )

. ‘ The Sacred Canopy ( 1967 )

. ‘ The Homeless Mind (1973 )

. ‘ Pyramids of Sacrifice (1974)




Berger and Lachman are of the opinion that in phenomenology, an attempt is made to know reality.


According to him the reality is that which is interpreted by the people of the society on the basis of their daily activities. It is necessary for a sociologist to have knowledge of the explanations of the social world.


Berger and Lachman are of the view that society is created by man and society is an objective reality and man is a social product.

Defining the role, Berger and Lachman have written that it is a specific form of objective social reality.

Role analysis is essential to the sociology of knowledge


They try to see human facts as inhuman or non-human facts.


Berger and Lachman are of the view that there is a tendency to view human products as if they do not consider any object or other fact useful to the other aspects of Berger and Lachman.

Roles are the actions expected of the subject in a given social situation.


The role is necessary because it mediates in both large and small societies.


According to Berger and Luckman, the institutional system is explained through legitimacy and its validity is known.


Berger and Lachman mentioned the subjective characteristics of society and presented the sociology of knowledge but they did not succeed in explaining society as an objective reality. Despite this weakness, Berger and Lachman have given a new dimension to phenomenology in place of its traditional form.




In his view the sociology of knowledge is extraordinary and it is concerned with the social construction of reality.


Berger and Lachman have used some specific terms to explain phenomenology. these words are


Berger and Lachman begin their analysis at the individual level with the reality of everyday life. He is of the opinion that the tendency of objectivity is inherent in language which continuously gives meaning to daily life.


Berger and Lachman believe that the social world is a cultural product of the conscious process.


Berger and Lachman have named the face-to-face interaction as “we relationship”. face to face relationship

Meaning such relations between people from which our intimacy is less or they are strangers.


While defining social structure, Berger and Lachman have written that it is formed by repeated repetition of interactions and their types. He is also of the opinion that language is a system of verbal signs, which is a very important sign system in society. The language system is a major social structure.


According to Verger and Lachman, the creation of social reality is essential for people to survive and interact with others. The individual forms habitual patterns of action. Berger and Lachman are of the opinion that life would be impossible without habit and it is very difficult to determine the same course of action in each new situation. The habituation of activities is the first step in the development of the organization. Berger and Lachman consider organization as an interaction of classification. They believe that human behavior is controlled by institutions.





Many scholars have made their contribution in relation to phenomenology. Critics are of the opinion that there is a lot of difference in the views of these scholars and these scholars have not made any effort to bring their ideas on one platform. For this reason, it is not possible to draw any conclusions about phenomenology.

Irving Zetlin is of the opinion that phenomenology is itself a confused word. It has many meanings, this complexity comes in the way of explaining the phenomenon-mechanism.


Stephen Strasser is of the opinion that voluntary and undisciplined behavior in sociological research works in opposition to its scientific nature. Phenomenology pays no attention to these two dangers.


Habermas believes that event functionalism is not a theoretical approach but only a method of observation in a narrow way.




Critics also believe that the method of studying phenomenology is not reliable and scientific.


The study method of phenomenology is very much in line with ethno-methodology. Through this approach only micro and small level studies are possible, not macro level studies.



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