Berger and Luckmann write about "different spheres of reality" or "multiple realities", what do B&L mean by those terms? Can you think of examples from your experience for "multiple realities" or "different spheres of reality"?
-I think what B&L mean by "multiple realities" is the fact that society can be understood by what knowledge is objective and what is subjective. Basically, we live our lives based on what "everyone already knows", and what seems to be a natural reality even though they theorize that society and it's institutionalizations are socially constructed. It's as if the way we live our lives in society is 'common sense', but where does it come from? B&L theorize that when we attempt to change an existing way of life, we can. When a new generation of children come along, what they have learned from their predecessors becomes a sort of fixed 'thing' and is reinforced by generations to come. These foundations on ways of living seem natural, like it's how is always been. The truth is, life is socially created and we can constantly change existing ways of life. This is when a more subjective reality comes into play, but changing a way of life i.e. norms, values, morals that are collectively accepted would be difficult. This is because everyone in society have culturally accepted ways of living and if you dare go against them you might be shunned away from everyone else. Perhaps looking at the world from the reality that all of society is socially created, not just accepting it as 'natural' can be a way to spark social change. A small scale example I might use to illustrate this concept might be how more and more teenage girls are having children before they are married. It seems that especially in our society, it just seems like the 'right' way to live your life by getting married, securing a home, and then having children. However, more and more girls are unmarried teenage mothers in this day in age. Many times, the children of these teenage mothers have children young and before marriage as well. Many still look at this as 'wrong' based on religious/cultural beliefs, but it is becoming more accepted in society. This example would describe how one reality that seemed to be just how you were supposed to live is challenged by different realities. Then these existing realities become strengthened or reinforced by the way they saw generations before living their lives.
B&L stresses the importance of "language" for the creation of social meaning and social order. Why is language so important?
-Language is so important because it is passed down from generation to generation. It is an objective 'thing' that already exists and it is strengthened through transmission from parents to children. Language will always exist, whether one likes it or not. It was already in existence when you were born, and it will continue to exist after everyone dies. Most importantly, language is a social creation, a human product. This creates a special relationship, a dialectical one, between the producer and his product. Language can be compared to a socially created institution, which helps society function harmoniously. It is used to help one understand society and how it works externally as well as internally. Language is the way we transmit knowledge, which is what becomes 'what everyone knows', so we all understand what is institutionally appropriate in society.