Berger, Peter

Berger, Peter

(1929-) Viennese-born US social theorist and sociologist of religion. In The Social Construction ofReality (with Thomas Luckmann, 1966), he provides an account of the role of COMMON-SENSE KNOWLEDGE in the social construction of everyday life and institutions, which he develops from the phenomenological perspective of Alfred SCHUTZ. In his studies of religion, including the The Social Reality of Religion (1969), he has suggested, controversially, that sociologists should adopt a ‘methodologically atheist’ stance and not seek to discuss whether religion is anything more than a social creation. He has also written a highly readable introduction to sociology, An Invitation to Sociology (1966), which is a hymn to the pleasures of sociology, ‘a royal game among academic disciplines’, according to Berger. See also STRUCTURE AND AGENCY, PHENOMENOLOGICAL SOCIOLOGY.
Collins Dictionary of Sociology, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2000
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