The Road Less Traveled: Phenomenology as Transformative Practice for exploring Lifeworlds and Deathworlds

Phenomenology can be seen as an abstract or philosophical discipline, encapsulated in relatively dense texts and interpreted within a mostly academic context. Alfred Schutz, progenitor of social (“lifeworld”) phenomenology had a more pragmatic view in mind, as evidenced by his lamentation in his later days that his work was seemingly not capable of changing the social forces he saw emerging in his native Germany in the late 193o’s and late 1940’s. In our own times, the urgency of global conflicts, pandemics, supply chain failures, racial unrest, and other disturbing patterns reminds us of Schutz’s intentions for phenomenology, which were transformational in nature. Various types of phenomenological analysis can help to shed light on the question of “what is the form that is transformed” and thereby advance the trajectory of personal and social transformation in more intentional, purposeful, and holistic ways. This workshop examines contemporary work using phenomenological methods to identify both life-giving and life-draining forces at the levels of individual consciousness and social systems. We invite all roundtable participants to an exploration of ways to examine current problematic patterns and dilemmas in our social worlds, and how the exploration of these phenomena at a deeper level can be potentially transformative.

Format: Roundtable Session


Barton Buechner, Adler University
Sergej van Middendorp, Miles Ahead
Session Date & Time: Thu, 07 Apr 2022 | 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM EDT