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41. Schutzian Research: Volume > 4
Andreas Göttlich Imposed Relevance: On the Sociological Use of a Phenomenological Concept
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The present paper discusses the concept of imposed relevance as developed by Alfred Schutz. Th e discussion acts on the assumption that within his writingsthere are two different usages of the concept: a phenomenological one and a sociological one. The argument states that both usages may not be confused—afailure which might be induced by the fact that Schutz himself never dwelled on their correlation. This being said, this paper presents some basic considerationswhich try to utilize phenomenological reflections for sociological analyses, keeping in mind that the difference between them may not be blurred.
42. Schutzian Research: Volume > 4
Daniela Griselda López The Oblivion of the Life-World The Correspondence of Alfred Schutz and Talcott Parsons
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At the beginning of the 1940s in the United States, an exchange of correspondence took place between two of the great thinkers in Sociology, Alfred Schutz and Talcott Parsons. This correspondence dealt with matters which many deemed to be “the greatest central problems in the social sciences.” The reading of these letters leads one to assume that the focus of both authors was on answering how sociology could be appropriately based on the revision of Max Weber’s classicalcontribution. However, this interpretation has served as the basis to affirm that Schutz and Parsons revisited Weber’s project from opposing sides by detaching theelements from its main corpus. This leads to not only opposite but antithetical points of view. From this perspective, Schutz is labeled as a subjectivist whereas Parsons is labeled as an objectivist. Strikingly, even Schutz himself dismisses the idea of presenting both authors as antagonists. What’s more, he underlines his purpose as that of complementarity. Here arises an obvious question. If Schutz from the very beginning underlined the idea of complementarity, why then does contemporary sociological theory present Schutz and Parsons’ contributions as antithetical? Taking this question as the starting point, our enquiry allows us to expose the existence of an interpretive scheme in Sociological Th eory that introduces the dualistic dilemma in the analysis of Schutz and Parsons’ epistolary exchange. We will analyze this interpretive scheme’s main features by using the hermeneutical analysis. Then, in order to critically revisit the debate, our research unveils the prejudices involved in this interpretive tradition, highlighting the misunderstandings regarding the dualistic interpretation of Schutz’s work and his links with Parsons. By doing this it makes clear the way in which these interpretations have veiled the original sense of Schutz’s epistolary exchange with Parsons. Thus our paper, being directly opposed to the dominant reading, aims to propose that the debate shouldn’t be seen as a confrontation between subjectivism and objectivism, but as part of Schutz’s project to go beyond the dualism, starting with a phenomenological approach that recovers the life-world as the forgotten foundation of the social sciences.
43. Schutzian Research: Volume > 4
Lester Embree It’s about Time! A Sometimes Personal Narrative of Schutz Scholarship
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With some remarks on what I have personally contributed, this essay sketches the origins of the posthumous eff ort by which Schutz’s thought, which could have been forgotten, has become well-known internationally through the dedicated work in the United States, Germany, and Japan of a modest number of named students and followers in successive generations as well as his widow Ilse ans daughter Evelyn. How his thought connects with phenomenology, sociology, social psychology, and the theory of the cultural sciences is touched on. Besides references to the two biographies and the annual, Schutzian Research, counts of editions of translations into a dozen languages and then lists of the Schutz Memorial Lectures, the archives in Germany, Japan, and the United States, the Werkausgabe, and the many conferences focused on Schutz are off ered. This is to make the case that the International Alfred Schutz Circle for Phenomenology and Interpretive Social Science is long overdue.
44. Schutzian Research: Volume > 4
Michael D. Barber The Cartesian Residue in Intersubjectivity and Child Development
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This paper argues that Husserl’s account of adult recognition of another allows for immediate, noninferential, analogical access to the other, though onedoes not experience the other’s experience as s/he does. The passive-associative processes at work in adult recognition of another make possible infant syncretic sociability and play a role in constituting the infant’s self prior to reflection. The reflective perspective of the psychologist and philosopher discovers that such infant experiences, though at first seeming indistinguishable from their parents’ experience, belong to their own stream of consciousness and constitute a non-eliminable Cartesian residue and an inescapable solitude of identity. Finally new research in joint attention reveals that the infant self is constituted not only by passive experience but also by active movements evident in the infant’s attempt to shape the direction of adults in joint attention, however this may fall short of high-level reflection.
45. Schutzian Research: Volume > 5
Douglas Macbeth Ethnomethodological Explorations
46. Schutzian Research: Volume > 5
Jochen Dreher Reflections on a Phenomenology of Power
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A frequent accusation directed at phenomenology and phenomenologically oriented sociology is that of power oblivion. Edmund Husserl’s phenomenologyis accused of not considering the social conditions of the possibility of the doxic experience of the world, and Alfred Schutz’s social phenomenology is blamed for neglecting the social structural preconditions of the experience of everyday reality. Based on this criticism, it is argued that the objectively given power structures, which influence the subjective experience, are not considered in Schutz’s social phenomenological reflections. Bourdieu proclaims that the experience of the social world as being self-evident, as “taken for granted” in Schutz’s words, is taken into consideration without a reference to social conditions such as hierarchies of power. I will reject this reproach by demonstrating the specific potential of Schutz’s theory of the life-world and especially his theory of relevance to conceptualize the phenomenon of power with reference to the subjectivity of the individual actor. The theory of life-world offers a conceptual scheme with a specific capacity to capture theoretically the interrelation of subjective constitution and objective construction of power.
47. Schutzian Research: Volume > 5
Kseniya Dmytrenko Nachfolge der transzendentalen und mundanen Phänomenologie als Voraussetzung empirisch phänomenologischer Forschung
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In the background of accelerated interdisciplinary development of phenomenology, there appears more clearly a deficiency of the epistemological groundingand methodological explanation of present research. This is particularly evident in the field of social phenomenology, in which the research positions extend fromthat of the “orthodox” transcendental phenomenologists to an endless search for a new foundation for pragmatic social phenomenology in philosophical anthropology, to a vague thesis about “fruitful discussion” between E. Husserl and A. Schutz. The main task of this article consists in the establishment of the fundamental significance of the epistemological succession between Husserl’s transcendental phenomenology and Schutz’s natural phenomenology. This confirms itself through the analysis of such concepts as sense and constitution, which play the prominent methodological role in the main works – Ideas-I and correspondingly The Phenomenology of the Social World. Such comparative analysis allows not only to highlight the most important similarities in the projects of both thinkers such as a “sense-giving function” of consciousness, but also to distinguish small deviations of the mundane phenomenology from the transcendental project, i.e., the rejection of transcendental reductions and the “pragmatic conditioning” of the subjective action’s sense through now- and so-states of the ego. It is proposed to interpret the famous Schutzian “turning away from Husserl” first of all as a skeptical turn; however, that does not mean that the essential transcendental prerequisites such as a correlation of “attitude – experience – world” should be abandoned. In the end, it is demonstrated that the main metaphysical statements of Husserl can still retain their value within the framework of the contemporary conventional research models such as the “scientific research program” by I. Lakatos, whereas further theoretical statements, i.e., of social phenomenology, can be bound with this “hard core” as “auxiliary hypotheses” in cooperation with empirical sciences.
48. Schutzian Research: Volume > 5
Carlos Belvedere On George Psathas and Phenomenological Sociology
49. Schutzian Research: Volume > 5
Carlos Belvedere What is Schutzian Phenomenology?
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My aim is to depict Schutzian phenomenology as a whole. In order to do so, I will start by presenting Schutz’s ideas on the phenomenological, egological,and eidetic reductions as mere technical devices. Then I will show how they are interconnected with phenomenological psychology. After that, I will argue thatphenomenological psychology leads to worldly phenomenology and I will explore its consequences for transcendental philosophy and the empirical sciences. I will conclude with some reflections on naturalized phenomenology and how it finds absolute certainty in the life-world, not in the transcendental realm.
50. Schutzian Research: Volume > 5
Joachim Renn, Linda Nell Acts & Events: Alfred Schutz and the Phenomenological Contribution to the Theory of Interaction
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The following article deals with Alfred Schutz’s contribution to the theory of action and interaction by pointing out the possibly most compelling phenomenological starting position, i.e, the decomposition of the unity of an action. The article stresses that Schutz’s methodical interpretive sociology in thissense has always refused the assimilation of action-events to material occurrences. In contrast to empiricist theories of action which wrongly substantialize actionevents by treating them as material events, the phenomenological account gives reason to the assumption that there must be a systematic gap between at least two subjective estimations of the meaning of action. In other words, the introspective analysis of the subjective constitution of meaning means to take the problem of double contingency seriously. Phenomenology, for its temporal and conceptual resolution, seems much more appropriate to reconstruct the complex structures of “presence,” “identity,” and “intersubjectivity” than empiricist accounts. The article proposes in the end the need for an alternative concept of presence:Instead of confusing levels of cooperation with allegedly “objective” synchronicity, phenomenology reminds us to elaborate an alternative concept of simultaneity, i.e, a simultaneity on the level of performativity and tacit knowledge. The latter could be the warrantor for co-reference.