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A sociology of existence for a late modern world. Basic assumptions and conceptual tools
University of Borås, Faculty of Caring Science, Work Life and Social Welfare. Department of Work Life and Social Welfare University of Borås Borås Sweden. (Arbetsliv och välfärd i omvandling)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-5611-6323
Department of Sociology and Work Science University of Gothenburg Gothenburg Sweden.
2024 (English)In: Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour, ISSN 0021-8308, E-ISSN 1468-5914Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In the present article, we outline basic assumptions and conceptual tools for a sociology of existence. First, we address man's fundamental conditions of existence: that life's finitude and encounters with the uncertainty of existence are fundamental experiences that construct social relations. Second, we outline how existential meaning-making and the ability to cope with the unpredictability of life are dependent on power resources, where especially the resource poor may experience ‘existential nausea’. Third, we discuss how existential dilemmas may intensify under certain historical eras. Therefore, studying individuals' existential dilemmas is a tool to examine the dominant social issues at a particular time and place. Fourth, we elaborate on the importance of studying turning points during individuals' life courses, as existential meaning – or lack thereof – becomes particularly salient at these times. This includes an understanding that death and rebirth are experienced in the form of various endings and beginnings in everyday life. Fifth, and finally, we emphasize an analysis in which the direction of people's lives is conceptualized in a broad time perspective, where past, present, and future interact and influence life choices and social relations constructed during a lifetime. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
John Wiley & Sons, 2024.
National Category
Sociology
Research subject
The Human Perspective in Care
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hb:diva-31598DOI: 10.1111/jtsb.12416OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hb-31598DiVA, id: diva2:1839240
Available from: 2024-02-20 Created: 2024-02-20 Last updated: 2024-05-15Bibliographically approved

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Flisbäck, Marita

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