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The Not So Common Sense: Differences in How People Judge Social and Political Life

Rosenberg, Shawn W.

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ISBN 10: 0300084277 / ISBN 13: 9780300084276
Published by Yale University Press
Used Condition Very Good Hardcover
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Synopsis:

In this analysis, Shawn Rosenberg challenges two basic assumptions that orient much of contemporary social scientific thinking. Offering theory and empirical research, he rejects the classic liberal view that people share a basic "common sense" or rationality. At the same time, he questions the view of contemporary social theory that meaning is simply an intersubjective or cultural product. Through in-depth interviews, Rosenberg explores the underlying logic of cognition. Rather than discovering a common sense or rationality, he finds that people reason in fundamentally different ways, and these differences affect the kind of understandings they craft and the evaluations they make. As a result, people actively reconstruct culturally prevalent meanings and norms in their own subjective terms. Rosenberg provides a comprehensive description of three types of socio-political reasoning and the full text of three exemplary interviews. Rosenberg's findings help explain such puzzling social phenomena as why people do not learn even when it is to their advantage to do so, or why they fail to adapt to changed social conditions even when they have clear information and motivation. The author argues that this kind of failure is commonplace and discusses examples ranging from the crisis of modernity to the classroom performance of university students. Building on the ideas of Jean Piaget, George Herbert Mead and Jurgen Habermas, Rosenberg offers a an orienting vision, structural pragmatics, to account for these social phenomena and his own research in cognition. In the concluding chapter, he discusses the implications of his work for the study of social cognition, political behaviour, and democratic theory.

About the Author: Shawn W. Rosenberg is director of the political psychology graduate programme and professor of political science and psychology at the University of California, Irvine.

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Bibliographic Details

Title: The Not So Common Sense: Differences in How ...

Publisher: Yale University Press

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition: Very Good

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