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.