You are here:  HomeWriting Out Loud › Social Construction of Reality

The Social Construction of Reality

Phenomenology is the study of why things mean what they do. In a classic work in the phenomenological tradition, Peter Berger and Thomas Luckmann examine how the meaning of our entire reality is derived from the taken-for-granted habits that make up each of our everyday lives. Pretty heavy stuff, no? Ponder the questions below as you work through the reading.


1. What do Berger and Luckmann mean when they say the reality of everyday life is an “intersubjective world”?

2. Berger and Luckmann wrote: “Society is a human product. Society is an objective reality. Man is a social product.” This pithy set of statements captures the three stages of social construction. Identify each stage and summarize in your own words.

3. Berger and Luckmann write about how habits emerging from social interaction lay the foundation for the construction of reality. Think back to your own experiences interacting online through sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Foursquare. What kinds of habits are formed through online interaction, and how do they shape what your online “reality” looks like?

Please login to complete these activities