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1. Schutzian Research: Volume > 8
Hermílio Santos On Biography: A Schutzian Perspective
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The paper explores biographical experiences for the understanding of social phenomena, both in the writings of Alfred Schutz himself and in sociological empirical approaches based on his work. Schutz handles biography at least in two different ways: as a manner to investigate the “because” motives for one’s action and as a way to exemplify his theoretical considerations. The first step will be to discuss the biographical experience as a key aspect to understand the motivation for action. It will be argued that for Schutz, biography is not exclusively an individual life’s trajectory, but results of both individual and social experiences, synthesized on the individual relevance systems, which are embedded by the relevance systems of the community in which one has been socialized. In the second step the paper verifies how Schutz deals with his own biographical experiences to discuss theoretical and empirical aspects of his sociology. Examples of the first kind of use of biography by Schutz are, for instance, “The Stranger” and “The Homecomer”, which will be considered in this paper. A third step aims to discuss how these writings influenced empirical researches in sociology based on biographical narratives as a way to access empirically the social construction of reality.
2. Schutzian Research: Volume > 9
Ken Takakusa Inconsistency Between Solitary Ego and the Social World?: Becoming and Meaning in Alfred Schutz
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This paper aims to show the logical consistency between the subjective and the intersubjective constitution of meaning in Alfred Schutz by revealing his insight into the dynamic character of reality. In reconstructing what is implied by the proposition “the problem of meaning is a time problem,” this paper reveals that the interrelationship between the past and the present, namely “becoming,” is fundamental to meaning-constitution. By critically introducing the Bergsonian view of the tension between the durée and its symbolization, Schutz thematizes our meaningful reality in the fluidity. From this perspective, the intersubjective world is characterized as a continuous dynamic reality taken for granted by the actors. While subjectivity, as a function of articulating experiences in becoming, is a condition of the intersubjective world, the intersubjective process enables the taken-for-grantedness of subjective reality. Schutzian phenomenology may lead to a theory of the complexity and uncertainty of social reality.
3. Schutzian Research: Volume > 9
Jerry Williams Growing Old: On Becoming a Stranger
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This essay considers how normal aging (without disease or cognitive impairment) might over the long run be thought of as undermining to “thinking as usual” in a society undergoing rapid social change. Informed by the phenomenology of Alfred Schutz, the criteria for thinking as usual are considered. Derived from his essay “The Stranger,” these criteria were developed by Schutz about the experience of an immigrant stranger approaching a new culture (Schutz 1964a). Here it is argued that they might also help us better understand the experience of aging. It is suggested that in the context of social change older people can, under the right circumstances, feel like strangers in the culture they have known all their lives.
4. Schutzian Research: Volume > 9
Jochen Dreher Lester Embree: Biography
5. Schutzian Research: Volume > 9
Michael D. Barber Introduction to Schutzian Research 9
6. Schutzian Research: Volume > 9
Teppei Sekimizu The Foundations of Support Relationship for Hikikomori People: Self-determination, Shared-determination, and Self-definition
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Hikikomori has been one of the social problems in Japan since late 1990s. This term refers to young people who do not go to school or work and stay at home. The aim of this paper is to criticize the current framework of support for them, and to clarify the foundations of a support relationship for them by referring to interview data from hikikomori people and to Alfred Schutz’s theoretical framework. It is not only possible, but also important, to set up basic principles for supporting them, given that a death of a hikikomori person occurred in a private institution which trained hikikomori people in 2006. This paper points out the problems of one mainstream model of the hikikomori support relationship, paternalism, and develops the following 3 principles as the foundation of hikikomori support based on empirical and theoretical considerations: (1) to respect self-determination, (2) to value consensus making in shared-determination, and (3) to take account of the biographically determined, intersubjective foundation at both levels of self-definition and decision making.
7. Schutzian Research: Volume > 9
William McKenna Reflective Analysis and Phenomenology
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In one of his last presentations, Lester Embree “urged” that the expression “reflective analysis” be used as an alternative name for “phenomenology.” I will briefly characterize what Lester produced as “reflective analysis” in his work and will speculate on why he suggested this alternative expression. I will also say what I think the advantage of this alternative name would be.
8. Schutzian Research: Volume > 9
Hisashi Nasu Lester Embree and the Networks of Phenomenologists in China, Taiwan, Korea, and Japan
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Lester Embree’s contributions to phenomenology were, in my opinion, based on his three kinds of activities, which are indissolubly connected with each other: first, teaching activities, second, publication and presentation activities, and third, organization activities. Since I was not his student and had no experience attending his classes, I cannot say anything about his teaching activities with conviction. So I would like to focus in this essay mainly on his organizing activities in the East-Asian countries, and his presentations in phenomenological conferences or colloquiums.
9. Schutzian Research: Volume > 9
Michael Barber Embree and Cairns on Phenomenology and Psychology
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This article compares and contrasts Dorion Cairn’s treatment of the relationship between phenomenology and psychology with Embree’s handling of that same topic. Embree, who to a great degree aligns with Schutz, and Cairns converge on the treatment of behaviorism. However, fundamental differences appear in their contrasting approaches to psychology, with Cairns seeking to uphold the distinctiveness of philosophy/phenomenology over against psychology and Embree/Schutz inclining toward a more collaborative engagement with psychology. Their differences reflect their preference for transcendental philosophy or phenomenological psychology, both of which possible preferences were clearly recognized by Edmund Husserl in his “Nachwort zu meinen Ideen.” These preferences in turn have to do with the ultimate philosophical purposes each author is pursuing.
10. Schutzian Research: Volume > 9
Carlos Belevedere Lester Embree on ‘Collective Subjects’
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Embree claimed that Schutz did not remain a methodological individualist during all of his academic life since he came to consider the individual as an abstractum abstracted from a concrete collective life. In this view, the socio-historical world cannot be understood as a mere structure of individuals because it also contains groups that are related one to another in diverse ways and which are the concrete subject of the social world. I stress three major contributions of Embree to social phenomenology: to have shown the deficiencies of methodological individualism because it conceals that the social world is a world of groups; to have found a phenomenological way to speak of collective subjects not involving metaphysical mystifications; and to have found a different way to access phenomena by re-specifying the first person perspective as “first person plural.”
11. Schutzian Research: Volume > 9
Andreas Goettlich Passing on the Baton: Lester Embree’s Involvement with the Work of Alfred Schutz
12. Schutzian Research: Volume > 10
Michael D. Barber Introduction to Schutzian Research 10
13. Schutzian Research: Volume > 10
Frédéric Guillaume Gass-Quintero Towards a Schützian Approach to Group-membership
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The aim of this paper is to show that we are entitled to see in Schütz’s article “Equality and the Social Meaning Structure” the proposal for a formal analysis of group membership understood as a kind of We-experience irreducible to pure We-relationships (Wirbeziehung). First I argue that such an account defines the experience of group membership as a “situation definition process”. Then I show the relevance of this approach for the description of membership experiences and current debates on Collective Intentionality. Finally, I point to its unclarified conceptual presuppositions—such as the at­tribution of situations to groups—, and propose an interpretative solution by drawing on the notions of “social situation” and community of relevances from The Structures of the Life-World.
14. Schutzian Research: Volume > 10
Luigi Muzzetto Schutz-Wittgenstein: On the Problem of the Natural Attitude
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The first part of this paper aims to highlight the analogies between Schutz’s vision of the natural attitude and Wittgenstein’s vision of a phenomenon that concerns the same problematic field, i.e. certainty, the belief of common sense that is free of all doubt, that the world “out there” is as it appears, absolutely real. These certainties form the basis, the foundation of language games and therefore of knowledge in general and in its entirety. This foundation is unfounded and yet indispensable. The second part of the paper examines an important topic analysed by Wittgenstein, related to the aforementioned problem: the language transposition of pre-predicative, pre-reflective and non-propositional certainties, the cornerstones of which are “hinge propositions”, whose hybrid nature can be identified in the shift from empirical propositions to grammatical rules.
15. Schutzian Research: Volume > 10
Barton Buechner, Sergej van Middendorp, Rik Spann Moral Injury on the Front Lines of Truth: Encounters with Liminal Experience and the Transformation of Meaning
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Today’s fast-moving, (new) media lifeworld embodies many of the metaphors of its analog predecessors – including those of warfare and conflict. The metaphor of warfare is used to describe everything from corporate marketing strategies to political campaigns, often with harmful consequences. In one way of exploring the front lines of the resulting war on truth, we describe some lessons learned from the experience of military veterans who have actually endured the liminality of combat, and who emerge with what is increasingly termed moral injuries. We use their experience as an analogy for competing (ante)narratives in cyberspace, where objective standards of truth and facticity are apparent casualties, and where fake news is emerging as victorious. We then apply models of social construction, specifically the practical theory of the Coordinated Management of Meaning (CMM), and the metaphor of jazz improvisation in the context of Schutz’s lifeworld phenomenology as possibly useful, helpful, and hopeful ways of acting into the complexity of truth together.
16. Schutzian Research: Volume > 10
Daniela Griselda López The Social Meaning of Prices: Contributions of Phenomenological Sociology
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There is no question that nowadays the phenomenon of prices is central to the media and political agenda and is the object of heated debates in the Argentine public arena. However, it is striking that these discussions forget to mention the social conditions in which market actors significantly set and shape prices. Debates focus on price increase and the spontaneous movements of the supply and demand curves supported by the neoclassical economic perspective, while the market agents that specifically cause such increase fade into the background and the subjective aspects of the phenomenon of price formation are underestimated as a mere manifestation of states of mind or individual preferences. This article argues that it is possible to criticize the neoclassical paradigm presuppositions based on the work of Alfred Schutz. His phenomenologically oriented sociology takes a critical stand facing the approaches that only consider the movements of the supply and demand curves in price formation, and that put aside the subjective values of the actors in the market. It is held that in line with the sociology of valuation, Schutz’s perspective resumes the inquiry around the intersubjective structures of meaning showing the importance of his thought to help us think about present-day problems.
17. Schutzian Research: Volume > 10
Dorianne Cotter-Lockard Schutz’s Mutual Tuning-in Relationship: Forming a “We-Presence” in Music Performance
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In his essay, “Making Music Together,” Schutz provided insight into the social interactions between all participants in the musical process, including composer, performers, and listeners. The key concept in Schutz’s essay is the “mutual tuning-in relationship,” which encompasses the relationship between I and Thou, to form a We Presence. Schutz examined the structure of the mutual tuning-in relationship, which he said, “originates in the possibility of living together simultaneously in specific dimensions of time” (Schutz 1964: 162). During the mutual tuning-in process, members of an ensemble merge into each other’s stream of consciousness. This paper is based on phenomenologically-influenced research conducted at the Cleveland Institute of Music in collaboration with the Cavani String Quartet. The members of the Cavani Quartet teach several specific rehearsal techniques to their students which enable formation of a We Presence. The paper summarizes Schutz’s structures of the mutual tuning-in process and provides illustrations from the research findings which deepen our understanding of the mutual tuning-in process.
18. Schutzian Research: Volume > 10
Michael Hanke Truth as Objectified Knowledge in In-Groups: Approaching Fake News within the Schutzian Framework
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This article reflects on the contemporary phenomenon of ‘fake news’ from a Schutzian perspective. Discerning the truth or falsity of an utterance – whether it is true, and therefore deemed ‘real’, or not and thus ‘fake’ –, calls for a framework for determining truth value. Thus, after a brief introduction, situating fake news within the history of strategic disinformation and propaganda, we analyze Schutz’s perspective on truth and rationality. Schutz’s concept of truth and rationality are centered around the paradigm of social constructivism, which situates the production of objects of thought in its sociocultural context and considers these objects socially derived or mediated. Reality, from this angle, is tied to group consensus, and, thus, can be considered objectified knowledge within the in-groups to which the members belong. This view of reality seems to follow, essentially, the logic of internet phenomena, such as filter bubbles and echo-chambers.
19. Schutzian Research: Volume > 10
Manuel Petrik Social Media in a Schutzian Perspective: Conflict and Controversies in Brazilian Readers’ Comments
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The article is a reflection about the controversies on social media. It analyzes a week of Folha de São Paulo’s posts, the largest Brazilian newspaper, on its Facebook page. The methodological basis adopted is the Grounded Theory (Glaser & Strauss, 2006). From the results, in a week of data collection, it seeks to theorize over coercive factors for the emergence of discursive struggles, with the aim of outlining a phenomenology of commentaries, based on Alfred Schutz, Thomas Luckmann and Peter Berger. Finally, it contrasts this situation of online conflicts with the Brazilian identity and the historical moment of the country.
20. Schutzian Research: Volume > 10
Riccardo Venturini Language, Verstehen, and the Life-World in Social Science Methodology: An Attempt at Dialogue Between Phenomenological Sociology and Analytical Philosophy
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The aim of the paper is to deal with the links between Schutz and Wittgenstein on the centrality of language and intersubjectivity in the structure of meanings. I believe there are similarities between Schutz’s proto-trust in the natural attitude and Wittgenstein’s animal faith in the basic life form of language games. To this end, Cicourel’s analysis of the relationship between language, Verstehen and empirical research methods will be used. Cicourel renders Schutz and Wittgenstein contiguous, by interpreting the different techniques of empirical research as languages that structure the understanding of meanings on the basis of the order of different realities and different language games.