Social Construction of Reality
The “Social Construction of Reality” is a work of hypothetical reasoning to the redefine the task and to broaden its range to understand the redefining of sociological knowledge. Peter L. Berger and Thomas Luckmann both argue that reality is socially constructed by the knowledge of the people for social reality is produced and communicated amongst others. They emphasize on the fact that human is a part of a product of society and vice versa: society is a product of human. Berger and Luckmann follow the Schutz’s concept of viewing the reality of everyday life as an “intersubjective world”- a world shared with many others.
Berger and Luckmann begin with emphasizing strongly on the multiple interpretations of “reality” amongst the “intersubjective world” they share. They argue the meanings that we, as human, interpret from the messages and what we situate ourselves in, is affected by our knowledge, our surroundings and our interactions. And what we interpret corresponds with others’ interpretations. It’s a constant, ongoing paralleling conflict/agreement between your individual meaning and others’ meaning of a message. Berger accentuates that we take the “reality of everyday life for granted as reality. I felt in the way that he was criticizing humans for being ignorant and close minded to what more the world can offer and only focusing on the views of our individual society. Human only seek to understand our individual knowledge of a subject, hence that I mentioned before in my interpretations, that our society is constructed by knowledge. I then concluded that Berger was arguing on the concept that we, as humans, are de-humanizing ourselves through our view of society. He gives off an example, which I completely agree with, to further emphasize on how humans can become oblivious to the world that is outside OUR individual world.
He speaks of a case, where an automobile mechanic who knows of only American cars is put in a situation where a customer brings in a Volkswagen-a foreign-made car. Now this mechanic is required to enter the “problematic” world of foreign cars with curiosity to lead, or makes the choice to not leave his “everyday reality. ” We, as humans (depending on the individual’s personality) become cautious when the problematic world is presented to us. Whether the society involves humans to be risk taker, no human would leave their world of comfort and sanity to join and explore something completely different from the world they are familiarizing with.
After hours of re-reading this excerpt, I finally got an idea or at least a gist of what Bergen and Luckmann argues. I then related their argument to past historical events or events that we deal and struggle with today. I related this excerpt to the struggle that women endured in the mid 1800’s. Many, more in general, men, didn’t recognize women were human with rights according to the governmental documentations. Men saw women as property, especially if they were married. Women were stripped off their rights when married and were considered delicate and weak.
Women possess the knowledge that they were equal to men; they knew that the society there were stuck in was incorrect. So they, as “delicate and weak” beings took the chance to explore their own “problematic” world. And that lead to a movement, a strong revolution consisting of women fighting for their rights. And the ignorance in this situation is presented through the share of the men’s interpretation of what a woman is and the purpose they are to be serving in society. As Berger argues that we take our reality of everyday for granted, I agreed.
In today’s society, it becomes clear that certain women belittle themselves for men. In today’s society, women don’t realize how grateful we are to be able to a complete true citizen. From sending nudes and selling their body, it puts a strong movement that was revolutionizing in the19th century to waste. Women become close minded, exactly as Berger and Luckmann argued, and only see for their individual society. That’s why we need to vote; at least to appreciate that the rights we now possessed were fought for, for us to be equal.