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Phenomenology 2005

Volume 2, Issue Part 1, 2007

Selected Essays from Latin America Part 1

Carlos Belvedere
Pages 53-69

The Reach and Limits of Social Phenomenology
Schutz’ Work Revisited

A reading of Schutz’s work shows that phenomenology has found serious obstacles for a proper understanding of the social. It has often undertaken the study of the social by focusing on four fundamental fields: community, history, lifeworld, and action. It has adequately attempted to establish each of these spheres. But has phenomenology accurately accounted for the social? We recognize in Schutz’s work two different ways of exploring the social: a non-phenomenological ontology and a hermeneutical path which draws more on structural linguistics than on phenomenological hermeneutics. Nevertheless, Schutz’s work provides essential elements for reestablishing social thinking upon a more strict phenomenological foundation.

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