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Peter Berger Essay

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Below is an essay on "Peter Berger" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

The first part of Berger’s sociological analysis was relatively dark but Berger is going to "deepen the gloom” a bit more. Berger asks, if society is like a "prison" then why is it that most people seem able to bear this "yoke" so easily? His answer is that society is also in man, "society not only determines what we do, but also what we are." In other words, society provides us with our identities. Why do we bear the yoke, "because most of the time we ourselves desire just that which society expects of us. We want to obey the rules. We want the parts that society has assigned to us" (93). Social Location involves our being as well as our conduct. Berger details just exactly how this happens using three basic concepts; role theory (which is most of the text), the sociology of knowledge, and reference group theory. Thus, in the end, Berger is saying that in addition to being in a Prison (Berger I), society is also a "puppet theater" with the strings reaching inside of us.
The first, “role theory”, suggests that human behavior is guided by expectations held both by the individual and by other people in the society. The expectations correspond to different roles individuals perform in their daily lives, such as secretary, father, or friend. For instance, most people hold pre-conceived notions of the role expectations of a secretary, which might include: answering phones, making and managing appointments, filing paperwork, and typing memos. These role expectations would not be expected of a professional soccer player (speaking of soccer, I would like to commend you on a very well-played match last Friday). Therefore, Berger says "The role provides the pattern according to which the individual is to act in the particular situation"(95). Roles however do more than merely regulate external behavior, but also provide us with how to feel and think. People eventually become their roles and these roles end up holding our identities and in turn our social identities....

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"Peter Berger". Anti Essays. 24 Nov. 2017


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