Five Features Of Reality
Five Features of Reality
“Forms of life resemble what I call, ‘realities’. Forms of life are always form of life forming. Realities are always realities becoming” (Mehan & Wood, Five Features of Reality, 65). What is Reality? Is reality what everyone believes in or does everyone have his or her own reality? Can your reality change what you believe in? Is reality a belief, or is it what you believe in your reality? Can your reality be right or wrong?
Reality is an actual situation or event where life cannot be real with an individual and society put together. Reality is not necessarily the same for everyone. Each person may have a different reality based on society, personal experiences, as well as facts. Every individual experiences the Five Features of Reality, which include reflexive, coherence, interactional activity, fragility, and permeability. Reflexive can be defined as believing in something so strongly, to the extent that if someone were to say something different, it would not influence ones decision. The person continues to believe in what they always had in the past. But in the coherence reality, human interaction might change ones belief and they begin to believe something upon what they interact with. Fragility is even more evident in every day life, where the rules are not implicit. Permeable feature is another way of demonstrating how vulnerable ones reality really is.
Have you ever believed in something so strongly that when someone would say something different, it would not influence your decision? If so, you may have experienced the first feature of reality, Reflexivity, in which one has an incorrigible proposition. Reflexivity is a relation that exists between entity and itself. For example, if one believes that ghosts exist, one’s everyday life and actions are based on the fact that ghosts do actually exist. By believing this idea, one can increase or limit their perception of reality. One of the aspects of Reflexivity can be explained as follows: “An incorrigible proposition is one which you would never admit to be false whatever happens…the truth of an incorrigible proposition…is compatible with any and every conceivable state of affairs” (Mehan & Wood, Five Features of Reality, 52).
The next aspect of Reflexivity is secondary elaborations of belief. A person’s Secondary elaborations of beliefs are excuses or reasons why an individual’s incorrigible proposition is correct. For example, suppose an individual leaves their car keys on the kitchen counter, but when they return, they find that the keys are no longer there. Their incorrigible proposition is that another person may have taken or misplaced the keys. Their secondary belief may be an excuse on their behalf of why the keys are no longer there. For instance, they may have dropped the keys. Every individual encounters similar events and therefore assumes the features of incorrigible propositions and secondary beliefs. Mehan and Wood can see another example of Reflexivity in “Five Features of Reality”. A scientist performs an experiment where a specific amount of chloroform would be given to a butterfly. It is identified that “chloroform of a certain volume and mix is capable of killing butterflies” (Mehan & Wood, Five Features of
Reality, p.52). One night when performing the experiment, the butterfly didn’t asphyxiate. The scientist was surprised because his incorrigible belief was that the
amount of chloroform given to the butterfly would cause death was proven wrong. “Instead of rejecting chemistry, they can explain the poison’s failure by such things as ‘faulty manufacturing, mislabeling, sabotage, or practical joke” (Mehan & Wood, Five Features of Reality, p.53). In summary, the scientist had a secondary elaboration of belief to furthermore make his incorrigible belief to be truth.
Coherence is the second feature of reality. It is a reality based on one’s beliefs. “Coherence can be found upon analysis. The coherence located in a reality is found there by ethnomethodologist’s interaction work. The coherence feature, like all other features of realities, operates as an incorrigible proposition, reflexivity sustained” (Mehan & Wood, Five Features of Reality, 57). Coherence is also an organized group of knowledge. In an individual, “normality (and presumably abnormality) is distinct enough that is can be recognized wherever it occurs, for it is carried within the person” (D.L. Rosenhan, On