UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Discourse within the culture of sociology : a study in sociological knowledge Thomas, Jill F.


This thesis is an exploration into the creation and perpetuation of sociological knowledge. There are three main areas of discussion: sociology as a cultural system, a presentation of some of the concepts of Alfred Schutz, and intellectual discourse as an example of sociological knowledge. The first section explores Clifford Geertz's concept of cultural systems as applied to the sociological enterprise. This includes a discussion of such related concepts as Thomas Kuhn's ideas of paradigms, and Fredrik Barth's notions of boundary creation and maintenance. The discipline of sociology is seen as constructing knowledge within a loose, but integrated, framework. The boundaries of this knowledge system are found in the everyday practices involved in the discipline. The second section is a presentation of some of Alfred Schutz's ideas. This includes concepts such as typification, intersubjectivity, subjective interpretation of meaning, and multiple realities. The third section takes a look at secondary source material that deals with the works of Schutz. These articles are viewed as examples of the intellectual discourse constructed by and used in the discipline of sociology. They are also seen as examples of the concepts presented in Chapter II. Thus the sociological enterprise is seen as a socially constructed reality that is produced and maintained by the members of the cultural system of sociology.

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