Sociology Towards Death: Heidegger, Time, and Social Theory

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Tad Skotnicki, Assistant Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
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Abstract: In this article, we draw on the existential phenomenology of Martin Heidegger to propose an approach to sociology that takes human experiences of finitude and possibility as crucial topics of investigation. A concern with death is not absent in sociological thought. To the contrary, Durkheim’s Suicide grounds a sociological research tradition into death and dying. Yet Heidegger’s existentialism renders our finitude – not just death – a matter of everyday life, a constitutive feature of human existence and a source of sociological investigation. By explicating Heidegger’s interconnected concepts of finitude, futurity, authenticity and resoluteness, we propose to investigate people’s ordinary temporal experiences as well as the institutional contexts that make them possible. On this basis, we develop two concepts – existential marginalisation and existential exhaustion – that foreground questions of time, meaning and institutions in the study of poverty, inequality and everyday life.

Additional Information

Journal of Classical Sociology, Vol. 19, No. 2: 111-137
Language: English
Date: 2018
Culture, institutions, phenomenology, philosophical sociology, social theory, temporality

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