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Making Sense of Reality

Making Sense of Reality
Culture and Perception in Everyday Life

November 2014 | 200 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd
What is reality and how do we make sense of it in everyday life? Why do some realities seem more real than others, and what of seemingly contradictory and multiple realities? This book considers reality as we represent, perceive and experience it. It suggests that the realities we take as ‘real’ are the result of real-time, situated practices that draw on and draw together many things - technologies and objects, people, gestures, meanings and media. Examining these practices illuminates reality (or rather our sense of it) as always ‘virtually real’, that is simplified and artfully produced. This examination also shows us how the sense of reality that we make is nonetheless real in its consequences.

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.

Philosophically Informed Sociology
Introducing 'Slow Sociology'
Cultural Sociology
Culturally Figured Reality
Once More, With Feeling - beyond performance
Variations in Space and Time
Multiple Realities and their Maintenance
Artful Practice and Making Sense
Making Sense of Reality: Perception as Action
The Sense of Reality: here, now, artfully, pragmatically and with consequences

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.

Dafne Muntanyola-Saura, Universitat Autonoma De Barcelona, Spain

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.

Mark Jacobs
Professor of Sociology, George Mason University

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!

Antoine Hennion
Director of Research, Center for the Sociology of Innovation, Mines ParisTech

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’.

Danna-Mechelle Lewis, The Home Office, UK
Cultural Sociology

The conceptual approach of this book does not fit with the overall approach in my cultural psychology course.

Dr Andreas Georgiou Philaretou
Social & Behavioral Sciences, European University of Cyprus
October 22, 2015

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