The quote I usage to explain my Tumblr, ‘exploring the basic in the peculiar and the sublime in the familiar,’ is a nod to 2 phrases frequently used in introduce sociology texts and also classes, ‘seeing the basic in the particular’ and ‘the weird in the familiar’. These phrases are regularly attributed come the splendid Peter Berger (1963). Berger did not usage these unit volume specifically, yet he go inspire man Macionis, that actually coined the phrases drawing on Berger’s work.

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Strange in the Familiar

Berger suggests that sociology permits people come recognise that ‘The familiar now appears not rather so familiar any kind of more’ (1963: 22). In other words, Berger believes the sociology gives methods and also theories to measure broad social patterns and to identify and deal with the common factors affecting social behaviour across time, within various sections the a particular society, or across various cultures.

Berger explains:

Any intellectual activity derives excitement from the moment it i do not care a trace of discovery. In some areas of discovering this is the discovery of human beings previously unthought and unthinkable… there is a deceptive simplicity and obviousness about some sociological investigations. One reads them, nods in ~ the familiar scene, remarks the one has actually heard all this before and also don’t human being have better things to execute than to waste their time top top truisms – till one is suddenly brought up versus an understanding that radically questions everything one had actually previously assumed about this familiar scene. This is the point at which one begins to sense the excitement of sociology’ Berger provides the instance of recognising the the racial device in the southern parts of the USA has actually similarities v the Hindu caste system in India (1963: 21-22).

General in the Particular

Berger says that ‘the an initial wisdom the sociology is this – things room not what they seem… Social fact turns out to have many layers of meaning. The exploration of each new layer transforms the tardy of the whole’ (1963: 23). This means that sociologists critically re-evaluate taken-for-granted assumptions around the people that human being usually presume are ‘natural’, ‘normal’ or ‘the way things must be’.

Check the end Peter Berger’s publication ’Invitation to Sociology: A mankind Perspective’. That is a fun and easy read. Check out Berger’s Blog, Religion and also Other Curiosities.

Kevin J. Christiano (1990) the evaluation the enduring meaning of Berger’s publication in the to teach Sociology (Vol. 18, No. 4). For more discussion on the unit volume ‘general in the particular’/’strange in the familiar’ and also their sociological meaning, examine out the introduce textbook windy Sociology: An advent to Australian society (2nd ed.) by man Germov and Marilyn poole (2011: 6). Read some the Berger’s occupational on SocioSite.

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There is no psychological truth unless it is particular, yet on the various other hand, there is no art unless it it is in general. The whole trouble is that – how to refer the basic by the particular, just how to do the certain express the general.