Alfred Schutz - Economist and/or sociologist? - A critique of Hartmut Esser's interpretation of Alfred Schutz's theory and of his "definition of the situation"

Authors
Citation
C. Etzrodt, Alfred Schutz - Economist and/or sociologist? - A critique of Hartmut Esser's interpretation of Alfred Schutz's theory and of his "definition of the situation", KOLNER Z SO, 52(4), 2000, pp. 761
Citations number
51
Language
TEDESCO
art.tipo
Article
Categorie Soggetti
Psycology
Journal title
KOLNER ZEITSCHRIFT FUR SOZIOLOGIE UND SOZIALPSYCHOLOGIE
ISSN journal
0023-2653 → ACNP
Volume
52
Issue
4
Year of publication
2000
Database
ISI
SICI code
0023-2653(200012)52:4<761:AS-EAS>2.0.ZU;2-Z
Abstract
In 1996, Hartmut Esser published a rational choice model of the "Definition of the Situation" in this journal (KZfSS 48, 1996: 1-34). This work is bas ed on his economic interpretation of the theory of Alfred Schutz, a co-foun der of interpretative sociology. This paper analyses Hartmut Esser's attemp t to reconstruct the sociological concept of the definition of the situatio n by means of economic theory. It shows that Esser's misinterpretations and abridgements of the theory of Alfred Schutz (this is especially true of th e interactive aspects) lead to considerable discrepancies between Esser and Schutz in modelling the definition of the situation. In his economic model ling of the definition of the situation Esser fails to conceive the sociolo gical essence of this concept (the construction of sense structures) becaus e he formulates a model of rational behavior in accordance with the economi c tradition. Schutz, however, advocates the construction of rational models of human behavior, which also includes "irrational" (not utility-maximizin g) or "sense"-directed behavior.