Phenomenological Analysis and its Contemporary Significance*

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Can a phenomenologically-founded sociology contribute to the understanding of social change? By reference to the structure of the lifeworld as it has been analyzed by Husserl and Schutz, I argue that human action is formed by temporal, spatial, and social dimensions. These are objectified by a social semantics through which they gain their intersubjective cultural shape. From this perspective, I investigate changes in the temporal, spatial, and social dimensions of this semantics, as they occur in the present transformation of post-socialist societies. Finally, I consider whether these changes mark a return to Western patterns and whether they confirm the thesis of “the end of history.”

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