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Review Piece: Thoughts On Reading Peter L. Berger’s Recent Memoir

By

Daniel Liechty, PhD
School of Social Work, Illinois State University

 

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Boston University sociologist Peter L. Berger recently published a memoir, under the telling title Adventures of an Accidental Sociologist (Berger, 2011). Although somewhat eclipsed now, during the 1970s and 1980s, Berger was one of the most widely read contemporary sociologists, and reading this book has often felt like reminiscing with an old friend.  To be sure, I only know Berger through his books and other writings; I have never met the man personally. Yet in many ways (as any bibliophile will understand) I do feel like he is an old friend, one with whom I have had a troubled, on-again off-again relationship.

If my recollection is correct, I was a senior in high school, circa 1971, when I first encountered the book for which Berger is best known, The Social Construction of Reality (Berger & Luckmann, 1966). At the time, I had no a strong background in sociology nor any field of scholarship, and this book was a hard reading for me. It angered me and confused me, and numerous times, I lay it down saying ‘That’s enough of that!’ Yet, I kept coming back to it, and when I finally did finish it, I immediately sat down and read the whole thing again, cover to cover. Over the years, I have returned to that book many times, each time with new understanding of its implications. What I do remember clearly from that first reading is how the social mores and traditions of the religiously conservative community (Mennonite) in which I had been raised began to make sense to me, as socially constructed and maintained ethnic customs. I went to the school library (my high school was on a college campus, so we had unusually good library access), found Berger’s book, The Sacred Canopy (Berger, 1967), and devoured that one as well. By the time I finished college, I had read all of Berger’s books published books to that date. [The reader might want to explore the Peter L. Berger Room maintained at http://www.angelfire.com/or/sociologyshop/PLB.html].

Berger’s work was my introduction to what we now call the constructionist perspective. I was most fascinated by Berger’s way of looking at solid social institutions as ‘precarious,’ wholly dependent on the willingness of each generation to uphold, obey, and conform to the social norms and values of these institutions. The mental image I got (as I tend to think in pictures) was that of people playing hockey on firm lake ice, oblivious to the fact that the ice is not nearly as thick as they think it is. Likewise, society goes on its merry way, largely unaware that it is always skating over a relatively thin veneer of social respectability separating it from the chaos lurking just under the surface.

That image was an integral part of my intellectual outlook as I went off to seminary school in 1976. As I combined this sociological construction with other elements of the 1970s zeitgeist, I came to think that some confrontation of the social order with ‘creative chaos’ was probably a good thing. It was also during my first semester of seminary that I was introduced to Ernest Becker’s book, The Denial of Death (Becker, 1973) and I began to  understand that this ‘lake of chaos’ just under the surface was fundamentally an image of individual and social anxiety, more specifically an existential anxiety about human finitude, mortality and death. Although Ernest Becker became my main intellectual passion, I see in retrospect that I may well have understood Becker very differently, or perhaps not at all, had I not come to his writings with an already firm acquaintance with Berger’s work. When I graduated seminary in spring of 1978 and went off to study philosophy in Hungary (an Eastern-Bloc communist country at the time) I made sure to pack Becker’s Denial of Death (Becker, 1973) and Escape from Evil (Becker, 1975) in my suitcase, but also Berger’s books, The Social Construction of Reality (Berger & Luckmann, 1966), The Homeless Mind (Berger, Berger and Kellner, 1973), and Pyramids of Sacrifice (Berger, 1974).

At that time, President Carter (still very popular) and the USSR leader Leonid Brezhnev were, it certainly appeared, quite sincerely pursuing a warming relationship between the so-called Superpowers, and an end to the Cold War. Along with most everyone I associated with, I assumed that in the coming decades, Soviet economics and social policy would become increasingly market oriented and democratic; correspondingly, economics and social policy in the USA would continue to incorporate major elements of European-style social democracy. This path of convergence in world politics was more or less inevitable, objected to only by strange and kooky folks on the far-right, irrelevant fringes of our society.

Of course, world events soon moved in a different direction. The Iranian Revolution and ensuing American hostage crisis more or less sank the Carter administration. Soon after, the USSR invaded Afghanistan, spelling the end of Détente. Because by then I was living in Hungary, a communist Warsaw Pact country behind the so-called Iron Curtain, I know my perspective on this was much different from that of most people in the USA. I had regular access to the daily newspaper International Herald Tribune and the weekly European edition of Time Magazine. The US Embassy library also had other American newspapers, although I tried to keep my visits there to a minimum. Nevertheless, while I could grasp intellectually that things had changed significantly in the general social and political ethos in the USA, emotionally I still lived in that space of Détente, moving toward that future of social democracy (in many ways, I still do!)

It was in the winter or spring of 1980 when, in the reading room attached to the philosophy faculty at the University of Budapest (Eotvos Larand Egyetemeny) I spied a journal, or more like a magazine, with a prominent cover article by Peter L. Berger. I jumped on it like it was a desert oasis, but was quite dismayed to find that what Berger was spouting was little more than standard Cold War rhetoric about totalitarian repression and forced conformity under communism, contrasting it with what amounted to a rationalization for US support of authoritarian military regimes in the developing countries the world. I have tried many times subsequently to figure out which magazine that was so that I could review it again more closely, but I have not been able to nail it down. My recollection of it, however, these 30 years later, is that Berger argued that while authoritarian military regimes (capitalist) have the possibility of evolving into democracies, totalitarian regimes (communist) cannot do so and so must be resisted militarily and overthrown. Furthermore, as I recall, the litmus test Berger employed for delineating between regimes of totalitarian repression and military authoritarianism is the degree of independence each gives to its intellectual class in general and its sociologists in particular. Military authoritarianism tends to ignore mere intellectuals, while totalitarian regimes go after them with a vengeance, hence stamping out even the intellectual seeds of future reform.

I knew Berger was not shy about criticizing and pointing out the inconsistencies of American liberals and liberal policies, even though he considered himself a liberal himself. It was a positive point of honor in his favor in my view. Berger was not a man afraid to go against the grain of public opinion. Therefore, I was simply stunned by this article, and spent some weeks wondering if there might be another writer altogether also named with Peter L. Berger. This was an example of bravely going against the grain, but was simply conformed, rationalized propaganda for a grain that recently had shifted direction.

Furthermore, from the evidence in front of my face every day I knew that what Berger wrote was full of malicious lies and willful exaggerations about what social life and more importantly intellectual life is like in a supposedly totalitarian communist country. After all, I had accessed this magazine on the reading table in the philosophy faculty library at the main university of a communist country (a library which, I assume, was open to any person; certainly no one ever checked my ID to enter or ever inquired under what authorization I was there.) I was engaged in a seminar at that university focused on the social and political theory of the highly critical Frankfurt School, and even with my language limitations, I understood clearly that the discussions ranged far and wide, without any sense of fear or intimidation. It is true that a young sociologist, Miklos Haraszti, had had his dissertation rejected by the state-run academic publisher, on the almost comical excuse that it was not up to the scholarly standards of the press. However, that rejection itself was a big scandal and the source of much debate in academic circles. In any case, the English version published by Penguin Books under the title A Worker in a Workers’ State (Haraszti, 1978) was easily available to anyone who wanted to read it. Manuscript copies of the Hungarian version floated around as well. Though these were scarce by today’s standards (this was back when photocopy was 25 cents a page or more), I saw at least three of them myself. (note: Haraszti’s book dealt with the feelings of boredom, discontent, alienation and being valued only for their labor among industrial workers in state-owned factories in Hungary, every point of which reminded me of what I had experienced among American factory workers during the months I spent as a line metal punch-press operator, an employee of the Anderson-Boling Corporation, turning out Dodge truck grills for Chrysler auto; in both cases, that of the industrial workers of America and of Hungary, the irony of the situation is that the ruling ideology insisted that the workers’ plight was fair to them, empowered them with dignity, and was simultaneously building a society and economy in which their children would enjoy even greater social justice and dignity in their work.)

Furthermore, Haraszti helped found and edit an ‘unofficial’ (samizsdat) newspaper, Beszelo, which was at least moderately available to anyone who wanted to read it. Most of my friends did so regularly. In short, his views and those of his circle were certainly well known and openly discussed. I could go on here about things such as the private lectures held regularly in people’s apartments, about the artistic and intellectual life centered around various Budapest cafes, coffeehouses, and theaters, about the strong registering of dissent on many public issues including even the tacit support Hungary’s government expressed for the Soviet invasion and occupation of Afghanistan.  My point is, I knew first hand that Berger’s simplistic analysis was exaggerated to the point of being abjectly false.

Over the ensuing years, I watched a number of intellectuals of a once-Lefty bent suddenly, when the winds shifted during the Reagan years, convert to rightwing, hawkish Neoconservativism. David Horowitz, Michael Novak, and Richard John Neuhaus are just a few such public intellectuals who had been prominent in my own intellectual life; each of them were generously rewarded for their change of heart by the growing list of foundations, institutes and think tanks set up for that purpose. Although I can see from his memoir that at least in his own mind Berger tried to chart an independent path, everything I saw then put him directly in the center of that crowd.

In this memoir, Berger does talk about these years and acknowledges that a recognizable shift occurred in his point of view, especially related to capitalism versus socialism, so more about the book itself. This memoir is a book-length expansion of a lecture Berger delivered to a faculty of sociology (ironically, at the University of Budapest), part of a sponsored lecture series in which prominent late-career intellectuals are invited to examine and comment on their intellectual development and career path. The book follows an essentially chronological sequence, beginning with his decision to study sociology in graduate school, the turn in his career goal from becoming a Lutheran minister to becoming a professional sociologist, and the quite intriguing discussion of the peculiar types of sociology and social theory being taught at The New School in New York, where Berger completed both the MA and PhD degrees. Born in Austria in 1929, he was a young 25 year old when he received the doctorate. Berger’s professors at The New School by no means taught from a single, unified perspective, but clearly each one of them left a special stamp of influence on Berger. It was at The New School that Berger also formed deeply personal and academic relationships that shaped his life and career ever since. Not least of these friends are Thomas Luckmann, Hansfried Kellner, and through Kellner, his sister Brigitte Kellner, who eventually became Brigitte Berger. Each of these has coauthored significant works with Berger.

Berger worked as a low-level academic during the immediate years following his graduate studies, but throughout the decade of his 30s, he began to publish prodigiously, with a fervor Berger refers to with characteristically self-deprecating wit as ‘bibliorrhea.’ It was during this time that Berger completed the works in the sociology of religion by which he is best known even to this day, as well as the classic collaboration with Thomas Luckmann, The Social Construction of Reality (1966). All of these works, read in context, show Berger was building a paradigm for sociology that was far out of step with the mainstream of American academic sociology at the time (and still is, really.) His group of collaborators was aware of this and there was some discussion of creating an institutionally-based center for the propagation of this counter-vision. However, for reasons Berger somewhat skirts, this did not happen. One cannot help but wonder if Berger has not presented events very selectively here, since this group certainly was not lacking in vision, ambition, talent, and resources for the task. As Berger presents it here, the years just sort of rolled by and momentum for the project waned. Thomas Luckmann returned to a professorship in Germany, where he did create something approaching this vision, although Luckmann’s center has had almost no discernible influence on American sociology, as would have certainly been the case had the institutional center been located in America with Berger as a leading spokesperson.

Perhaps part of the problem (reading here between the lines a bit) is that Berger reacted very negatively to the rise of the student movement and the New Left in this country during the 1960s. Berger himself was liberal in his political views and claims to have remained so to this day. However, his liberalism was built on the foundation of a Lutheran Austrian upbringing and a basic education in the European gymnasium system. That system instills high respect for order and propriety. People may have diametrically opposing views on almost any issue, but they must never let their views become the source of disorderly conduct or to show any disrespect for tose in positions of authority. Berger, I believe, has carried this vein of abhorrence for disorder and disrespect as an undercurrent throughout his entire life.

Berger comes close at times to acknowledging this undercurrent explicitly; for example, his oft-repeated assertion that the sociological vision he represents is radical in its criticism of the social order, but very cautious in its sense of what should or could be done to change that social order. Tinker around the edges in pursuit of social justice, that is fine. Berger strongly supported civil rights policies for racial minorities and the decriminalization of homosexual relationships; he was also an early critic of American military involvement in Vietnam. However, exactly because reality is a social construction, based on ongoing social consensus, even very basic pillar social institutions that characterize and contour our society (marriage, family, religion, democracy, education, conventional morals, and ethics) are inherently fragile. We would not want to live in the kind of chaotic anarchy that would ensue absent these social institutions. Therefore, we should proceed very, very cautiously in instituting any reform policies that strike too quickly at the heart of any of these basic social institutions. Thus, Berger’s approach to social problems was to be radical in criticism (social analysis) but conservative in application (political reform policy.) Sociological wisdom and maturity is exactly the ability to keep these two perspectives actively in mind and not collapse one into the other. Marx meets Weber, we might say.

Berger was increasingly horrified to find young New Left activists had clearly digested the radical social criticism inherent in the widely-read and much discussed Berger/Luckmann text, but simply did not share or even begin to understand the conservative side of Berger’s formulation. Berger found his work being touted in support of wildly anarchist campus politics, and these young radicals even seemed to expect that Berger himself would join them in ‘tearing down the structures’ of academy and society (and were quick to accuse him of being a sell out when he vigorously refused.)

There are other minor streams in Berger’s growing alienation from the emerging counterculture of the 1960s and 1970s. Although from inside the counterculture the rise of interest in intentional communities, organic farming, and a simpler lifestyle exhibiting a vaguely rural or pastoral sensitivity toward life was understood as rejection of the encroachment of instrumental rationality into areas of ethics and values, from outside the counterculture it was easily viewed as an irrational stand against modern society in general. Despite the fact that Berger wrote some of the most pungent critical analysis of the cognitive/emotional costs of modernity, Berger himself always loved modernity. To Berger, the vision of rural/pastoral intentional community was at best stifling, and in its more extreme forms echoed the ‘back to nature’ themes present in the youth education material of extreme nationalistic rightwing, pan-Germanic propaganda Berger was exposed to in Europe as an adolescent (note that even Adolf Hitler was an outspoken advocate of ruralism and vegetarianism.)

Likewise, while his classic text was titled The Social Construction of Reality, what Berger and Luckmann really meant was the social construction of social reality. It was never Berger’s view that all of reality is socially constructed. He was simply appalled, as the 1970s fed into the 1980s, to see the new crop of ‘tenured radicals’ glopping onto postmodernist, poststructuralist and perspectival views which at times seemed to be saying that even established scientific facts and natural laws are mere social constructions, as if such laws of nature exist only as part of an interpretive framework and could be dispensed with outside of that framework. One can only imagine Berger biting right through his ubiquitous cigar in seeing his name appear in the footnotes in support of ideas such as that!

Another seed in his craw as these years proceeded was the rise of radical feminism, whose representatives publically, loudly, and eventually disruptively protested Berger’s studied use of male pronouns in his lecturing and general conversation. Berger presents in this memoir a classic scene in which he agreed to dialogue with a group of young Harvard women about their concerns. However, der Herr Professor’s idea of dialogue was to explain to these young women the fine points of Indo-European languages in general and of English grammar in particular. To put it mildly, these women were there to express how much they felt marginalized, hurt, and alienated by the exclusive use of male pronouns in reference to generic humanity. They were certainly not there to be lectured to further. As one can imagine, that episode did not end happily. Although Berger seems to have always enjoyed basic respect and appreciation within the academic institutions that employed him, with increasing regularity his invited lectures on other campuses were met with disruptive and unruly signals of disrespect and protest.

Throughout all of this, Berger could see little else than a strong current of fascism just under the surface of ‘lefty’ activism. In retrospect, and speaking as one of the generation of the protestors, I think Berger’s view of the situation was really off base. These were mostly young people with a legitimate awareness that something was very wrong in society. They were feeling out their own sense of newly acquired independence and authority and navigating life without the maturity of years to help them channel that youthful energy. They were raised in the American public schools, not the European Gymnasium, after all. Living in Vienna for many years, I was pleasantly amazed to watch how easily schoolteachers could line up their students and walk them down the sidewalks in an orderly single file, just as directed. I knew instinctively that American teachers could never do this (a hypothesis fully confirmed in the subsequent years I myself struggled mightily as a public schoolteacher!) There is much to be said for an instilled sense of order and high respect for authority; it was the regimented European gymnasia that produced a generation of raging Brownshirts, something the disorderly American system has never done, so far anyway.

At least one result of this tragic clash with The Left is that Berger was driven to spend way too much energy in subsequent years of his long career (and he is still active, even as an octogenarian) joisting at the windmills of a Left largely of his own mental construction. This has surely detracted from the really solid and valuable work he has produced.

Like a number of other notable intellectuals who found the youthful excesses of the student-led New Left movement of the late 1960s and early 1970s to be abhorrent and frightening, Berger denounced this movement and threw his lot in with the emerging academic nexus of foundations, institutes, and think tanks being formed during the Reagan administration. I do not doubt the sincerity of these people’s feelings that The Left presented a real and dangerous force to be reckoned with, yet in hindsight clearly this force was mostly a mirage rooted in youthful energy. The real power to shape every concrete aspect of social, political, economic, and even cultural policy (with the possible short-lived exception of pop music) always remained firmly in the hands of those with massive wealth and deeply-rooted establishmentarian connections. As even our current advertising makes clear, as it co-opts every last symbol of New Left ‘revolution’ to sell the endless products of late-capitalist consumption [denizen of the corner office: Yea! Stick it to the Man!  To which the office underling replies: …but Sir, you ARE the Man] the supposed power of the New Left, along with any real danger to the social order it once represented, was always more a matter of style than of substance.

Again, let me say I do not question the sincerity of the initial feelings of threat experienced by the cadre of intellectuals mentioned above. I certainly remember a song sense at the time that, as the song put it, “there’s something happening here, what it is ain’t exactly clear.” However, the shallowness and ineffectual nature of the supposed revolutionary spirit of that time became clear to anyone with half a brain within a few short years. In the meantime, the forces of real power continued to assert themselves unabashedly.

As we know now, as a direct response to the Powell Memo of 1971, by 1980 there was a growing network of generously funded foundations, institutes, think tanks, magazines, and journals, all dedicated to keeping the myth of a powerful and dangerous ‘Left’ alive, and massively funding the ‘research projects’ of this cadre of intellectuals to fight against it. As the years wore on, the very pitiful nonexistence of any real and tangible power on the Left or even milquetoast Liberal side of our social politics has only increased their need to shout all the louder about the hidden dangers this supposed Left represents (Barak Obama, the radical socialist-communist Kenyan anti-colonialist, intent on undermining the very foundations of American society? I mean, really…). Even granting the initial sincerity of this cadre of intellectuals, it is simply incredible to that such well-trained analysts of society have continued all these decades to actually believe their own militantly apocalyptic rhetoric.

During his late 40s, 50s and 60s, these were the folks Berger associated with, both professionally and personally. Berger claims that he was never actually one of them, that he always maintained his sense of intellectual distance and independence, and that he remained basically the true liberal he had always been; and in fairness, it should be said that at key junctures Berger did act to assert this independence, for example, by having his name removed from the Contributing Editor mast of First Things, as that magazine moved increasingly from being a voice of traditional ecumenism to that of the most militant type of conservative Roman Catholic dogmatism. Nevertheless, these were years that might have otherwise been ones that solidified his most concrete and lasting contributions, both to sociology and to wider academia. What mess of pottage did we get instead?

Berger veered off into economics and the sociology of development. Well and good. However, what we got was book after book, article after the next, extolling the virtues of the Capitalist Model of Development over that of the supposed socialist model. In this, Berger always claimed his vaunted value neutral position that he only went where the raw data led him. This illustrates vividly what I have found most frustrating about Berger’s work since about 1980. He excoriates the ideological blindness of others, especially academic leaders from communist and socialist countries, in many places even crossing the line of suggesting that they willfully misread their data because slanting it as they do enhances their power and economic self-interest. Such criticism is what we would expect from the author of The Social Construction of Reality! But then in his own work, Berger resorts to the justification of value neutrality, even when referring to the ‘studies’ he engaged in for the tobacco industry and their deep-pocketed attempts to undermine the public credibility of the nascent anti-smoking campaign in society.

Berger noted, rightly, that all economic development is a trade-off between traditional forces of meaning (community, religion, tribal family bonds) and that of increased material standards of living. His general view (where, he claimed, the raw data led him) was to see that while both the capitalist and socialist models of development more or less equally undermine and destroy traditional forces of meaning, the capitalist model at least delivers the promised material goods, a rising standard of living for the vast population; meanwhile the socialist model succeeds here barely at all or is even counter-productive, leaving people both without traditional sources of meaning and further impoverished materially to boot.

To put it mildly, Berger found no trouble lining up sources for continued funding of this work, which simply restated this basic formula repeatedly. It is highly doubtful, however, that any of this work will be of lasting value to the profession. In the first place, that we would even think of ‘socialism’ as a model for development is a relic of the Cold War competition between the USA and the USSR. It has little or no organic roots in the way people actually cooperate to create wealth. Secondly, the particular model, whether socialist or capitalist, is vastly overridden in the results it produces by such factors as whether or not there is an established and functionally autonomous and independent judicial system in the countries undergoing development (certainly one would think that for a Weberian, such as Berger, this factor of social analysis would be front and center.) Berger and his contributors perhaps have argued that an independent judicial system is more compatible with the capitalist model. However, I hardly think this could be empirically demonstrated. If anything, our current experience in the USA suggests that the highly skewed distribution of wealth inherent in the capitalist model tends to undermine judicial independence and autonomy.

The vast majority of that work is also unlikely to have any lasting value to the profession because so much of it was simply intellectual window dressing, academic fig leaf, for political leaders intending to do what they wanted to do anyway, regardless of what the ‘studies’ indicated, up to and including the use of economic coercion backed by military force. At one point, Berger seems aware of the role he willingly played during those years. He relates being invited by very well-funded sources to attend a planning meeting at a private location in Texas, supposedly focused on economic development in the Caribbean. It was all a bit confusing to him, because while the generous money was there for just about any study he wanted to pursue, no one really seemed to care what he chose to study, nor was anyone particular interested in the results.

In retrospect, even Berger himself cannot escape the sneaking realization that his real function there was to provide a known public name as fig leaf for a meeting, the actual purpose of which was to plan out strategy (clearly illegal) for getting funds and probably weapons to the Contra movement in Nicaragua. I am not impugning Berger’s motives, nor suggesting that he himself took part in illegal activities in relation to Contra support. I am saying it is unlikely that the comfortably funded report he produced as part of this venture will have any lasting value. I also must say that I would at least hope that such an experience would have led the author of The Social Construction of Reality to engage in some very deep introspection about current power relationships in our society and his own place within that structure. We might imagine him pondering the question, “If that is what they had in mind, why did they feel so confident inviting me of all people to be the beard?” There is little evidence here that Berger was led to engage in such introspection.

Despite these disappointments, I this was an enjoyable book. Berger’s dry wit is evident throughout. He steadfastly sticks to a ‘sociological’ track, studiously refusing beyond a few tantalizing statements here and there to get into his personal (especially, religious) views. While I found this odd for one known primarily as a sociologist of religion, it is in keeping with the method of writing Berger established for himself over the decades, and it raises my hopes that another volume focusing on the more personal side is in the making.

I have expressed a lot of frustration with Berger in this reading of his memoir. In the end, however, the overall message I take away is that even our most highly regarded intellectual heroes and role models are “human, all too human.” Some have the advantage of dying young, before they disappoint us. Others, like Berger, live long lives and leave behind a very mixed legacy as a result. As said above, my main intellectual passion is the work of Ernest Becker (also about Berger’s age). Becker died very young, and though he did heroically stand up against Ronald Reagan’s and S.I Hayakawa’s crack down on the student movement at San Francisco State University in the late 1960s, costing him his job and really any chance of a tenured position in the USA (he had to move to Canada for that) Becker also had strong reservations about the excesses of that time, as can be seen in his stated preference for Apollonian order over Dionysian disorder. Becker also can be rightly understood as moving in an increasingly ‘conservative’ direction during the early 1970s. At the very least, Becker’s political philosophy such as it is (to seek maximum freedom within maximum community) is highly compatible if not simply congruent with Berger’s idea of “radical in analysis, conservative in application.” Many times as I was reading Berger’s book, I wondered what my view of Becker would be had he lived to 89 instead of just 49.

Well, if for nothing else we have to thank Peter L. Berger for that vision of sociology he formulated with his group back in the early 1960s and for the vivid and entertaining style with which he communicated this vision to the rest of us. As I notice my students even today lighting up to the insights sparked in them by Berger’s work from that time, I am confident that at least that segment of Berger’s work does continue to have lasting value, even as the rest of it sinks mercifully into obscurity. May God bless you, Peter L. Berger.

References

Becker, E. (1973). The denial of death. New York, NY: Free Press.

Becker, E. (1975). Escape from evil. New York, NY: Free Press.

Berger, P. L. (1967). The sacred canopy: Elements of a sociological theory of religion. New York, NY: Anchor Books.

Berger, P. L. (1974). Pyramids of sacrifice: Political ethics and social change. New York, NY: Anchor Books.

Berger, P. L. (2011). Adventures of an accidental sociologist. Amherst, NY: Prometheus Publishing.

Berger, P. L., Berger, B., & Kellner, H. (1973). The homeless mind: Modernization and consciousness. New York, NY: Vintage Press.

Berger, P. L., & Luckmann, T. (1966). The social construction of reality: A treatise in the sociology of knowledge. New York, NY: Anchor Books.

Haraszti, M. (1978). A worker in a worker’s state. London, ENG: Penguin Publishing.

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