(2015) Human Studies 38 (2).

Subjectivity and power

Jochen Dreher, Daniela Griselda López

pp. 197-222

The statement that an important dualism runs throughout sociological literature belongs to what can be called extended "sociological common sense". In this context, Alfred Schutz's phenomenology is often used critically as a paradigmatic example of subjectivism, as it supposedly places exclusive emphasis on actors' "subjective" interpretations, thereby neglecting "objective" social structures such as power relationships. This article proposes that not only do those characterizations have dualistic grounds, but they also disregard the explicit intention of phenomenology to overcome the dualism between subjectivism and objectivism. The various criticisms directed at the Schutzian paradigm will be confronted with an analysis of the phenomenon of power based on Schutz's theory of the life-world, in particular his theory of relevance. This theoretical perspective will be replenished by reflections on power as a meaning selection, which specifically allow the hiatus of subjectivism and objectivism to be overcome.

Publication details

DOI: 10.1007/s10746-014-9338-9

Full citation [Harvard style]:

Dreher, J. , López, D.G. (2015). Subjectivity and power. Human Studies 38 (2), pp. 197-222.

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