I believe that the phrase that generated the title of this entry is basic in order to really understand the social life. Each of its terms gives an account of one of the fundamental characteristics of it. To show the above we will use for each one of them a quote that I think represents it, and the glosaremos to show its importance.
They seem to conceive man in nature as an empire within an empire (Baruch Spinoza, Ethics, Preface to Part 3)
Social world: social life is part of nature, and raised its full integration to it is what allows us to analyze it, without necessarily losing the specific characteristics of it. That is why you may want to try a universal science of the social life at the same time to recognize the historic nature of it and the character of a subject of the actors, because none of the above prevents that these features are an integral part of a certain space in nature. The social life is historical and created by agents, but in both we give account of the processes that allow it to be so, then we may as well have a social science ‘naturalistic’: Because the processes and traits that allow her to be so they can be analyzed as any reality.
In effect, the world is not given (in full), in no intuition (Immanuel Kant, Critique of Pure Reason, 519, B, 547)
Open: The social life has a character open. The actors that generate that world through a cluster of distinctions that can’t they deplete, the world is always more extensive than any thing that they do. The possibility that the world that generate surprise and be new for them is always given. There is No way to list all the possible actions and alternatives of the actors, because they are the ones who in their actions make them. The opening of the social life is one of their universal features, and what allows your study to be hopelessly historic. The social actors are at the same time limited in their capabilities, and universal in their scope of apply them (can’t calculate without limit, but can be calculated on the whole; they learn with limitations, but it can learn about anything, and so on); and this generates inevitably the open character of the social world they inhabit.
All the mysteries that go astray the theory towards mysticism find their rational solution in human practice and in the comprehension of this practice (Karl Marx, Thesis on Feuerbach 8)
Construction: The social life is an active life in which they are made, and produce various items. Without understanding that everything in it is the product of a permanent construction and real she is not understood. A construction that necessarily is real. Not only are we faced with a social construction of reality, which is seen as something objective and ‘solid’ and what is not; but that we are in a construction of the social reality (to use the title of the book of Searle) and to give an account of the work of construction qua construction involves does not reduce the reality to an agreement and changing the local on the meaning (as they say Boltanski and Thévenot in On Justification). What the subjects constructed is a real construction of social life, and not only in its material aspect (a building, a road), but what they create in their interactions: they are also realities that any actor should recognize in its action. These processes of construction are at the same time permanent and inescapable: The actors cannot avoid constructing some kind of order, and at the same time and by the same processes by which they build orders, these orders may not ensure its stability. There are different processes of construction of orders and destabilizing them, the same process that constructs an order dissolves it. By the way, the use that we make of the quote from Marx is, in reality, little marxist: it Is to understand, not to transform, that we note the practice -but, in the end, we are quoting the Thesis 8 not the Thesis 11.
The fact that men, not Man, live on Earth and inhabit the world (Hannah Arendt, The Human Condition, Ch 1, §1)
Plural: And finally, the fourth point, which is somewhat incomprehensible easily forgotten in the social sciences, is that social life is inherently plural; and it is this that ends to ensure the open character and real of all social construction. This is because the actors among themselves are unpredictable and therefore, uncontrollable; although they may try to control other actors, to the extent that they require the other actors to act, those attempts did not come crowned with success. The other actors create possibilities and alternatives that go beyond what any actor you can think of, anticipate or control. The social life is potentia not only potestas. Negri in the Anomaly Wild has insisted, to examine the political thought of Spinoza, on the necessity of differentiating between the two; and a similar distinction about the power, as distinct from the force, being intrinsic to the plurality in The Human Condition Arendt (Chap 5, § 28) , and the same idea around the power as a mutual agreement in the Revolution (Chap 4: 3).
These four features make the social life then that is a building open and plural of a world. So thinking, then it can be concluded that the social life, with its particularities, is part of the world; and then the business of producing knowledge about it should be as interesting and valid as it has been in other fields.