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  • 1. The Sociology of Knowledge
  • 2. Durkheim – The Elementary Forms of Religious LifeO Deals also with social origins and impact of society on knowledge
  • 3. Collective RepresentationsO Symbols and images that represent ideas, beliefs and values of the collective O Contradictory existence O Both external to the individual (created and controlled by society) O And internal to the individual (part of the individual as a participant in society) O Help conform the individual to society‟s thoughts and morality O Help make sense of the world
  • 4. Marx – The German IdeologyO “Life is not determined by consciousness, but consciousness by life.”
  • 5. Peter Berger and Thomas LuckmannO The Social Construction of Reality O Looks at how roles become institutionalized O Institutionalizing roles embeds meaning in society O Knowledge and conceptualizations of reality become embedded in social institutions O Ergo, reality and knowledge are socially constructed
  • 6. Social Stock of KnowledgeO “Theoretical knowledge is only a small and by no means the most important part of what passed for knowledge in a society…the primary knowledge about the institutional order…is the sum total of „what everybody knows‟ about a social world, an assemblage of maxims, morals, proverbial nuggets of wisdom, values and beliefs, myths, and so forth.”
  • 7. Berger and LuckmannO The general body of knowledge in a society is distributed throughout the societyO Symbolic universes are created to legitimate the institutional structure of society O Beliefs that everybody knows O Have to be maintained
  • 8. ObjectivityO Is it possible?
  • 9. Karl MannheimO If all knowledge is socially constructed, the argument is self- defeatingO Relationism O Certain things are only true in certain times and places O Doesn‟t make them any less true overall
  • 10. Michel FoucaultO Madness and Civilization O Conceptions of madness and reason are culturally based
  • 11. Discipline and Punish: the Birth of the PrisonO Knowledge is a form of power and can be used against individuals as suchO Knowledge is socially constructed to maintain the power of the rule classO Social institutions perpetuate ideologies
  • 12. Discipline and Punish: the Birth of the PrisonO Discourses and ideologies subject us to power, turning us into subjects of that power O We become afraid to challenge the normO Ideologies and discourses appear as neutral, but are, in fact, not