The studies face to face social interactions by observing and experiencing them in natural situations, that is, in situations that have not been scientifically manipulated.
Sociologies of Everyday Life
Phenomenology studies common sense, conscious experience, and routine daily life.
It can be placed in the category of sociologies of everyday life.
In the article, Sociologies of everyday life, by Jack Douglas
Argues that sociologist have years been rebuilding the and thus rebuilding the foundation of all theory and method in the social sciences.
Five major bodies of theoretical ideas found
Phenomenology and ethnomethodology
The Role of Consciousness
There are several difference between phenomenology and sociology.
Phenomenology relies on reflexive experience as it takes form in consciousness.
The research assumes intentional consciousness of the researcher.
Through the techniques of reduction in variation, phenomenology is able to find the rudimentary structures and processes of experience.
From this perspective, the researcher takes the perspective of the other and imposes a sense of order on the environment.
Phenomenologist are more concerned with the way individuals construct in their own conscious the meanings of things.
They are characterized as a subjective or creative sociology because it seeks to understand the world from the point of view of the acting subject and not from the perspective of the scientific observer.
Meanings come from interacting through a negotiation in their everyday lives.
The Phenomenological Approach
Edmund Husserl developed the phenomenological approach.
Designates two things:
A new kind of descriptive method that made a breakthrough in philosophy at the of the nineteenth century.
A science which is intended to supply the basic instrument for a rigorously scientific philosophy and in its consequent application to make possible a methodological reform of all the science.
Roots of Phenomenological:
Entrenched in the German tradition
Some of the most important intellectual debates taking place between the world wars.
The ideas that came under the phenomenology umbrella
Generated in an atmosphere of heightened social conflict and anxiety about the future.
Husserl wanted to examine the phenomena of conscious and bracket them in order to test their truth.
Influence by Descartes, Hume, and Kant
Husserl’s first conceived of the possibility of seeking a universally rational “science of being” by turning his theoretical focus on an objective world to a reflective one.
Descartes argued that the social world exist only in the context of presentations of experiences of people. He also promoted the idea of transcendental subjectivity, a philosophy founded through a psychology of inner experience.
He was sent away to school in Vienna at age 10 to began his German classical education at a “real gymnasium.”
Universities attended were Leipzig (math, physics, and philosophy), Berlin (math), Vienna (doctoral Work)
Father of phenomenology
His ideas were complex and confusing
His work was translated from German to English
He was Jewish, the Jewish population was controlled by marriage licenses; only 328 Jewish families were allowed in 1787 and stopped in 1849.
Married Malvine Charlotte Steinschneider and had three children.
Held a position of Privatdozent at Halle University.
He accepted a professorship at Freiburg in Breisgau in 1916 and stayed there until retirement in 1928
Calvin O. Schrag wrote in the introduction to The phenomenology of Internal Time-Consciousness
Some of the main themes and ideas that emerged throughout this development were:
A critique of psychololgism
The phenomenological ego
The life world
Begins with the assumption that every certainty is questionable.
In Ideem I
Husserl describe phenomenology as a “doctrine of essences” and a doctrine concerned with what things are not with whether they are.
He was not looking to establish absolute presupposition on which to build a whole system of knowledge. Therefore, he was not interested in being a system builder.
He was always a beginner, reexamining the foundations of his investigations, resisting all fixed formulations and final conclusions.
Philosophy, was never ending pursuit of serious and open-ended questions, which lead to further questions that may require a resetting of the original questions.
Nakhnikian described “Husserl’s phenomenology as an outgrowth of his attack on psychologism.
Psychologism is a species of the view that philosophy is reducible to a factual science, in this case to psychology.
Also is an attempt to reduce the fundamental laws of logic and mathematics to psychological generalizations about the way people think; it is a type of scientific generalization.
Husserl is against ‘biologism’ and anthropologism as he is against pschologism.
In short, phenomenology is not a science of facts, but a science of essential being, an eidetic science (meaning an insubstantial empirical science; it is a science that aims at establishing the “knowledge” of essence.
Distinguished between facts and essence.
Described sciences of experience as sciences of “fact”
Facts are determined by acts of cognition which underline human experiences.
Something is real and thus a fact because it possesses a spatiotemporal existence, having a particular duration of its own and a “real” content.