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  1. 1. The Sociology of Knowledge
  2. 2. Durkheim – The Elementary Forms of Religious LifeO Deals also with social origins and impact of society on knowledge
  3. 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. 4. Marx – The German IdeologyO “Life is not determined by consciousness, but consciousness by life.”
  5. 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. 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. 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. 8. ObjectivityO Is it possible?
  9. 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. 10. Michel FoucaultO Madness and Civilization O Conceptions of madness and reason are culturally based
  11. 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. 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