- 作者: Steve Bruce
- 出版社/メーカー: Oxford Univ Pr (T)
- 発売日: 2000/06/15
- メディア: ペーパーバック
- 購入: 7人 クリック: 9回
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最近Steve BruceのSociology: A Very Short Introductionを読了。
社会学の入門書というと、マルクス、デュルケーム、ウェーバー、パーソンズといった大家の理論が並列的に概説されていたり、或いは家族、地域社会、宗教等々の社会学の諸研究領域が並列的に概説されているというのを思い浮かべるかも知れない。本書はそうした方法を採っていない。先ず最初に社会学の科学性について議論され（第１章）、次いで社会学固有の対象が示され（第２章、第３章）、それから議論が社会学の学的な地平であるとともに対象である「近代」に転じられ（第４章）、最後に社会学の科学性を巡る省察に戻る（第５章）という構成を採っている。このため、本書はレポートのネタ本とか試験の参考書には向かないが、大学院以上のレヴェルの人や一般の読書人も楽しめる読み物となっている。勿論、正味100頁足らずの中に、デュルケーム、ウェーバー、ゴフマン、マートン等々の理論的・経験的な研究の紹介が散りばめられているわけだが。著者は”Further Readings”でもピーター･バーガーのInvitation to SociologyやThe Social Construction of Realityを掲げており、著者は（バーガーに端を発する）非常に緩くて広い意味での社会構築主義の系譜に属しているといっていいだろう。
1 The Status of Sociology
2 Social Construction
3 Causes and Consequences
4 The Modern World
5 The Impostors
- 作者: Peter Berger,Thomas Luckmann
- 出版社/メーカー: Penguin UK
- 発売日: 1991/02/05
- メディア: ペーパーバック
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(…) There are two problems. One is that artificial experiments in social sciences have a fundamentally different relationship to the real world than chemistry experiments because the social experiment is not a facsimile of the naturally occurring: it is itself a novel social event. The other issue is that social life appears to be too complex to be broken down into simple competent parts that can then be examined in isolation.
So one major difference between the natural and social sciences is that the ideas of the latter cannot normally be rigorously tested by being subjected to experiments that isolate the features of human action that interest us from the complexities of ongoing life. (…) (p.7)
(…) More research and more sophisticated methods of analysing the data we collect will make us better informed, but we will never discover the laws of human action because people are not like atoms.
The subject matter of the social sciences is conscious sentient being who act out of choice. At this stage we do not need to get bogged down in well-rehearsed arguments about the extent in which people are really 'free'. All we have to recognize is that, whatever the sources of uniformity in human behaviour (and more of that later), they are not 'binding' in any absolute sense. The most oppressive regime may contain us so tightly that we can choose only between conformity and death, but we can still choose the latter. This distinguishes us utterly from the subject matter of the natural sciences. Water cannot refuse to have its volatility increased as it is heated. With pressure held constant, water cannot boil at 100°C for four days and then refuse to do so on the fifth day. People can. Even the lowest worm can turn. (p.10)
(…) If we wish only to identify some broad regularities of human behaviour, then we can treat social characteristics like varieties of natural science and propose, for example, that unskilled workers are more likely than businessmen to vote socialist, but if we wish to explain why that is the case then we have to examine the beliefs, values, motives, and intentions of the people in question. Because the human consciousness is the engine that drives all action, the social sciences have to go further than the natural sciences. When the chemist has repeatedly found the same reactions in his bromides, he stops. Identifying the regularity is the end of that search. For the social scientist it is only the beginning. Even if we found that everyone in a particular situation always did a particular thing (and such strong regularities are almost unknown), we would want to know why. (p.11)
The sociologist's interest in beliefs, values, motives, and intentions brings with it concerns unknown in the natural sciences. In order to understand people, we need to solicit their views or 'accounts' of what they are doing. Furthermore, we can take the same point back one step and note that it is not just understanding that requires some interest in motives. Even identifying the social act we wish to understand requires attention to motives. (…) the actions of people cannot be identified simply by observing them. Or, to put it another way, the action itself is not enough. (…) (pp.11-12)
第２章では先ずアーノルト・ゲーレンの「世界開放性（world-openness）」という概念が呈示されているのが目を引く（p.20ff.）*1――”Bulls cannot transcend the constraints of their environment.” “The ant is satisfied or it is dead. It makes no sense to talk of an unhappy or alienated or frustrated ant.”(p.20) それに対して人間は？
(…) In one way or another the sociologist ends up having to ask people 'why are you doing this?'. But the very fact of asking (in whatever form) is itself a piece of social interaction. The accounts that people give can be both honest attempts to reconstruct past motives and performances through which they purse present interests.
(…) We can be sure that the story people give of their actions during their defence in court, or in pleading for mitigation after admitting guilt, will be quite different from the version they give to friends and family after they have been found 'Not guilty' or avoided a custodial sentence. The person telling the story has interests in the outcome of the telling and the court itself requires stories to be told in an unusually stylized manner. I am not saying that the formal courtroom version is false and the informal version true. What I am saying is that giving an account is itself a social activity and not merely an explanation of earlier activities. (pp.12-13)
(…) Durkheim and Gehlen are often misunderstood by being narrowly depicted as political conservatives. To see only their concern with political stability is to miss the bigger point. All human action, conservative or radical, reactionary or revolutionary, requires some basic ordering, Thomas Hobbs worried that without some external power imposing civility, people would selfishly pursue their own interests to the detriment of the good of all. My point is that even such self-seeking requires a considerable amount of common culture. Even anarchists must stabilize their characters, communicate with each other, and understand the enemy!
We make life manageable by creating social institutions that do for us what instincts do for other animals. By routinizing programmes of action and either painting them onto the 'backcloth' or writing them into a script, we can leave for creative improvisation and conscious choice an area that is small enough for individuals and groups to manage without becoming overwhelmed. (p.24)
(…) the realm that interests sociologists is neither 'all in the mind' nor entirely external to our consciousness: it is inter-subjective. Things that people imagine, provided they are imagined similarly by large enough numbers of people, can have an enduring and even oppressive reality indistinguishable from 'objective' world. In considering how we explain our actions, the American social psychologist W. I. Thomas wrote that, if people define situations as real, then they are real in their consequences. The man who believes his house is on fire will run from it. That the house does not burn down proves his belief was wrong, but none the less, to understand why the man evacuates his house what matters is his belief and not the 'truth'. (pp.26-27)
(…) social constructions are viable only to the extent that they are shared. Fabrications they may be, but, if everyone believes them, then they are no longer beliefs; they are just 'how things are'. But a world-view that is shared by few people does not attain that solidity: it remains belief. If it is shared by very few or only one, it will be as madness.
So far I have simplified by supporting that what matters for the solidity of inter-subjectivity is numbers: the views of the many are accurate descriptions while the views of the few are pathologies to be rejected or remedied. This is important, because a world-view gains enormous plausibility from the unremarked repetition of mundane acts that embody it. When the response to every misfortune is prayer, when every parting is solemnized by saying 'God be with you' (the original of our Goodbye), when good weather is greeted with 'The lord be praised', then the idea that the world was created by God is simply taken for granted. In this way, consensus gives great power to beliefs. But it is worth pointing out that not all views are equally powerful or persuasive: individuals and social groups differ in their ability to 'define the situation'. As Peter Berger put it: he who has the biggest stick has the best chance of imposing his views. We might add what counts as a stick varies society to society. (pp.27-28)
One reason reification is so common is that it contains a basic truth. None of us personally created the social institutions that shape our lives; we were born into them. The roles*3 that structure our behaviour and encapsulate the expectations that others will have of us preceded our arrival and will endure (no doubt slightly modified) after we depart. Reality may be socially constructed, but, taken in its totality, it is not the work of any nameable individual and it certainly has little or nothing to do with any one of us. Language is a good exampke of the coercive nature of conventions. Of course it is devised by people, but its basic shape is presented to us. Though we may modify it (and one or two of us may actually author a significant change), our general sense is that we simply adopt what is already there. (p.30)
第４章では「近代」が論じられているのだが、それは何よりも先ず”sociology is itself a symptom of the very things it describes.”（p.56）であるから。ここでは”the social consequences of an increase in the ratio of inanimate to animate power”という「近代化」の定義（p.57）に疑問符を付けておく。これってテクノロジー還元主義なのでは？ またこの章の最後で「ポストモダニティ」が論じられているのだが（p.76ff.）、これはちょっといただけない。というか、ここで示されているのは所謂ポモのカリカチュアにすぎないからだ。ただ、”many of the changes heralded as 'post-modern' are only extensions of the features of the modern world that fascinated Marx, Weber, and Durkheim.”という指摘（p.79）はさらに深化されるべきか。
（To be continued）
*2:See also http://d.hatena.ne.jp/sumita-m/20050711 http://d.hatena.ne.jp/sumita-m/20050717 http://d.hatena.ne.jp/sumita-m/20060227/1141064073 http://d.hatena.ne.jp/sumita-m/20060426/1146030834 http://d.hatena.ne.jp/sumita-m/20060812/1155398586 http://d.hatena.ne.jp/sumita-m/20070517/1179425510 http://d.hatena.ne.jp/sumita-m/20070627/1182948456 http://d.hatena.ne.jp/sumita-m/20070807/1186490802 http://d.hatena.ne.jp/sumita-m/20080611/1213151660 http://d.hatena.ne.jp/sumita-m/20080812/1218470745 http://d.hatena.ne.jp/sumita-m/20090629/1246294713 http://d.hatena.ne.jp/sumita-m/20100531/1275277851 http://d.hatena.ne.jp/sumita-m/20100831/1283285647 http://d.hatena.ne.jp/sumita-m/20100905/1283706558 http://d.hatena.ne.jp/sumita-m/20101113/1289668226 http://d.hatena.ne.jp/sumita-m/20110224/1298549280 http://d.hatena.ne.jp/sumita-m/20110425/1303707664 http://d.hatena.ne.jp/sumita-m/20110428/1303978517 http://d.hatena.ne.jp/sumita-m/20110901/1314899481