Lecture 8:  Berger on "theodicy" etc.



"World Construction"/The Social Construction of Reality

Humans Society

    1. externalization world
    2. objectivation cultural products attain a reality sui generis
    3. internalization transforming cultural products from objective world to subjective consciousness

anomie: "without order"

society: an aspect of culture that structures a human being’s ongoing relations with his or her fellow human beings

culture: the totality of human products (e.g., language, tools)

theodicy: an explanation of anomic phenomena such as evil and dealth in terms of religious legitimations, whatever degree of theoretical sophistication


Four Types of Theodicy:

    1. the promise of compensation in this world
    2. the promise of compensation in the "beyond"
    3. dualism
    4. the doctrine of Karma


Plausibility Structures: worlds are socially constructed and socially maintained.   Their continuing reality... [their taken-for-grantedness], depends upon specific social processes ... [that] ongiongly reconstruct and maintain the particular worlds in question.  Conversely, the interruption of these social processes threatens ... the reality of the worlds in question.  Thus each world requires a social "base" for its continuing existence as a world that is real to actual human beings.  This "base" may be called its plausibility structure (Berger, The Sacred Canopy 1967:45) .