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"Inertia Creeps", or a phenomenological perspective on objects in sociology

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In this paper, the attitude of general sociology towards nature and objects is criticized. Usually, the social is so defined that it excludes objects, "things" in general. But this limiting definition of the social has led to a proliferation of the concept of "society", which excludes first of all certain people - those not a part of a conscience collective - and second, it excludes objects from the social and thus from the realm of study of the social sciences. Yet objects, it is maintained here, have a very constitutive impact on social life. In order to clarify this, the paper aims to show two things: that there is a vocabulary with the help of which humans and non-humans can be sociologically described in a similar way; that objects cannot be sociologically explained away in the way a "radical" social constructivism would do.
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Keywords: Phenomenology; Social Theories; Society

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 April 2004

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