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The purpose of the article is to convey a better understanding of what guides our actions in everyday life. The method used to support the arguments of the article is a ‘phenomenological analysis’: a technique which is purely descriptive and empirical(relying sole on experiment and observation). Different spheres of realities exist within everyday life. The transition from one reality to another creates a shock, as a result of the shift in attentiveness in the psyche. Of all existing realities, the ‘reality of everyday life’ reigns supreme. It empowers attentiveness and alertness in normal, conscious life. Everyday life is experienced in relation to space and time, although time assumes a more critical role. Intense interest is devoted to the ‘zone of everyday life’. Found in this zone are immediate concerns that guide our daily routines. Reality is an inter-subjective experience. Each individual exits in his/her own private reality, yet co-exists in a normal shared common sense reality with society. To momentarily escape the presence of reality in order to assume a different perspective requires a concentrated and deliberate effort. When foreign tasks are introduced into our daily routines, the reality of everyday life integrates the foreign information into what is more natural and understood. Other subconscious realities find themselves engulfed within the reality of everyday life as a result of its overpowering nature. We are successful in our endeavors only when a specific set of sequences are followed that emphasize the temporality of everyday life. Time keeps individuals oriented within the vast composition of everyday life.
The most significant experience in everyday life is the ‘face-to-face’ situation, all other types of encounters are mere branches stemming from it. We create typification(putting elements into categories) that govern our conversations and attempt to establish patterns that can be reused when similar situations and settings occur. The social experience of everyday life is managed through the use of typification that are gradually less specific as they are removed from the face-to-face-situation.
Humans express their emotions most successfully while in the face-to-face situation. Often objects can carry with them subjective emotions and intentions without any apparent human presence. Signs and sign systems are objectifications because they are presented as objects that assume the subjective expressions of individuals. Language serves as the most important sign system in society. An individual’s expresssion is made more real to himself and to others when his/her voice is spoken and heard simultaneously. Subjective intent is clarified through the use of expressive language. A common theme that can be justly applied to the spheres of reality is defined as a ‘symbol’. Symbolism and symbolic language become essential constituents of the reality of everyday life as well as the common sense vision of the reality. Knowledge of one’s position within the social structure of everyday life allows individuals to constantly and continuously locate themselves. ‘Recipe knowledge’ does not concern anything except that which must be known for practical purposes. We perceive knowledge to be valid until a conflict occurs that cannot be solved using that knowledge. The knowledge of everyday life is more of a focused light rather than a full spectrum which spans reality.
Various devices are incorporated into the article to present a stronger argument. Among the tools used are: anecdote, syllogism, rhetorical virtuosity, appeal to authority and other scattered techniques.
ANECDOTE (a fictional story that conveys personal opinion, lacks systematic evidence yet is interesting)
1) “Whether I . . . am viewing the panorama of New York City or whether I become conscious of an inner anxiety, the process of consciousness involved are intentional in both instances.”(p.20)
This anecdote attempts to illustrate the common intentional nature of all consciousness. It is a personal opinion and lacks analytic support. Evaluation: I find this anecdote to confuse the statement wished to prove. The article states that consciousness intends or is directed toward objects. Anxiety is a subjective experience that would vary in each individual. The notion of consciousness being directed toward objects is confused when anxiety is introduced due to its subjective quality.
2) “Suppose that I am an automobile mechanic who is highly knowledgeable about all American made cars . . . One day someone appears in the garage and asks me to repair his Volkswagen. I am now compelled to enter the problematic world of foreign made cars.”(p.24)
This fictional story tries to explain that as long as the routines of everyday life continue you will avoid the problematic world. Evaluation: This tale seems contradictory. If he were truly knowledgeable about American cars, then he would not find German cars belonging to ‘another world’ as described. The basic structure of the automobile varies only slightly from country to country. Although the initial anecdote seems to fail, it is later proven useful when the next point is introduced. The article continues to state that when new information is introdu.............
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