Invitation to Political Economy: Berger and the Comedic Drama of Political, Economic and Social Life
8 Pages Posted: 25 Jan 2010
Peter L. Berger is one of the most influential social scientists of the 20th century. A citation study of his work published in 1986 that studied the decade between the early 1970s to early 1980s demonstrated that his citation count during this time (1052) put him in the company of other thinkers such as Dewey, Whitehead and Marcuse. His contributions to the sociology of knowledge, sociology of religion, and the sociological/cultural analysis of capitalism are well-known and widely discussed. They are not without controversy however. In fact, it might be safe to say that Peter Berger marched to a beat of a different drum within his chosen field of sociology. Paul Samuelson once remarked that in economic science we compete for the only coin worth achieving, the applause of our peers. Peter Berger saw things differently and pursued a more subversive agenda in the social sciences. The pursuit of truth and the coming to an understanding of the society in which we dwell, as well as that which remains exotic, required a skeptical (and often comical) stance.
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