Making Sense of Reality
Culture and Perception in Everyday Life
- Tia DeNora - Exeter University, UK
Making Sense of Reality offers students and educators a guide to analysing social life. It develops a performance-based perspective (‘doing things with’) that highlights the ever-revised dimension of realities and links this perspective to a focus on object-relations and an ecological model of culture-in-action.
Making sense of the everyday is not a topic or theme, but a way of looking at things, a sense and sensibility of ordinary life. The diversity of studies and topics that DeNora puts together will enable readers to find a subject close to one's heart and, at the same time, this heterogeneity brings about a kind of sociology that is not only micro, nor individualistic, but simply human.
Making Sense of Reality articulates what culture is and how it works. It brings substantive concreteness to a concept that is so central it ordinarily defies clear definition. DeNora brings together a wide range of literatures while maintaining a strongly insightful and original voice of her own.
This book amends ordinary cultural sociology by providing it with meaning and sensitivity, and at the end leaves far away behind us the idea of any coherent ensemble of constraints determining us in spite of us, to the benefit of a collective experience able to produce new realities, relations, sites of expression and of living together. Excellent, politically/ethically empowering, and innovative!
The book provides a notably extensive case study based approach to decipher how we make sense of reality in our everyday. DeNora draws upon an eclectic mix of theories, such as socio-music, sociology of health and illness, embodiment, organisational culture and neuropsychology, in support of her argument, claiming that ‘the aim of this slightly magpie tactic is to provide tasting-sized portions of what sociology can show, and what it can do’.
The conceptual approach of this book does not fit with the overall approach in my cultural psychology course.
Sample Materials & Chapters
Making Sense of Reality: Ch 1. Introducing Slow Sociology