Quakerism and the Social Construction of Reality: Variations on Universe Maintenance
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In contemporary America, the established military government system inherently involves violence and capitalist exploitation of other human beings. In this system, American Quaker lives are in a practically constant state of conflict; they are caught between the lives they are called to lead and the way of life presented to them by the majority. An important question that arises as a result of this contradiction is how, in this social environment, one that fundamentally contradicts and often condemns Quaker belief and practice, are Quakers able to maintain their faith and religious dedication? This paper will explore both the internal processes and the external mechanisms within the Quaker meeting and community that have allowed the maintenance of Quaker belief for over three hundred years. An application of Berger and Luckman theory on the social construction of reality to the Quaker experience will reveal the methods of maintenance that sufficiently ease this contradiction.