1.1. The uniqueness of social inquiry lies in the fact that while physical theory is not itself an instance of physics, social theorizing is itself a social fact. The inquirer is a social being reflecting on some aspect of social reality. Since the inquiring subject is generically identical with the object of inquiry, the enterprise of social theorizing is self-referential. The social inquirer discovers his own nature in the object of inquiry; he discovers the nature of his object in reflecting upon himself.
1.2. Human beings are social and conscious prior to any explicit inquiry which is directed toward them. They have their view of the world and of themselves as social beings at a level of ordinary practical understanding embodied in social institutions. Human beings define themselves as human as part of the very process through which they achieve humanity. Human beings cannot become human without acquiring some view of what it is to be human—without a view of time and space, of history and society, of the distinctions and connections among men and women, superior and subordinate, labor and leisure, science, art, religion, given reality and unfulfilled ideal. We shall refer to this____________________