ABSTRACT

This chapter provides a summary account of the reception of Schutzian phenomenology in American social science. The goal is to highlight key pathways that led Schutzian theory from a mostly marginal position in American academia toward the core of critical self-assessments of the aims and methods of sociology in the post-functionalist era. The chapter first situates Schutz’s work within the broader phenomenological tradition begun by Edmund Husserl. It then successively discusses the perspectives in American sociology that incorporated and appropriated Schutzian theory in various forms: ethnomethodology, social constructionism, and phenomenological sociology. The purpose of tracing the most influential perspectives or schools that came under the influence of phenomenology is to both document Schutz’s disciplinary impact and also critically assess the readings (and non-readings) to which Schutz became subject in the decades after his death.