Lecture 3 on symbols
Lecture 3 on symbols SOC 128
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This 2 page Class Notes was uploaded by Freddie816 on Tuesday January 12, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to SOC 128 at University of California - Los Angeles taught by anderson in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 54 views. For similar materials see Sociology of Emotions in Sociology at University of California - Los Angeles.
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Date Created: 01/12/16
SOC 128 1/12/16 ● What's the importance of symbols and why do they matter? ○ Symbols are important because it is symbols, that make us social human beings. Symbols are learned from social interaction which depending on our culture/where we learn the symbol, defines the meaning we assign to the symbol which in turn, defines the course of action we thus take ■ Take a fire alarm for example, what does it represent or warn us about? Danger. And where do we learn that from? Our social interaction. Thus the meaning we have applied to the fire alarm, as a symbol for danger, tell us that when we see it go off, there is danger present, and this in turn, determines the course of action that we take to get out ● the same thing goes for a door, money etc. ○ Symbols are abstract representations used to attach meaning to things, actions and events→ we act accordingly to those meanings (the meaning we apply to symbols, defines how we respond) ■ Without symbols we do not respond to the meaning assigned to things but to the stimulus itself→ we lose all understanding of what things ¨mean¨ (life, death, religion etc) ○ 3 key points ■ Symbols are critical because they are our reality ■ Symbols are important bc they make social life possible ■ They make social humans possible→ we are socialized through symbols (culture idea and rules ((all learned from interaction) ○ Language ■ Language is the ultimate symbol. It shapes our perception of the world and how we interpret certain things/event etc. thrnaming→ categories. By naming certain phenomenon, we apply meaning to that phenomenon, and the meaning, shapes how we interpret the phenomenon which defines the course of action that follows ● Take saliva for example. It is ok that it is in our mouth we do swallow it all day. But once it goes out of the mouth it becomes spit right? Would you drink your spit? No? It's the same substance so why not? ○ It is because of the name we have assigned to saliva/spit. By naming the substance saliva, we interpret the substance to be a regular bodily fluid but when we name it spit, we interpret it as something gross. And this naming of the substance shapes our perception/interpretation of the substance which hence, shapes the course of action we take (whether to drink the saliva/spit oHumans respond to the interpretation of the meaning ● Thus, meaning→ evaluation→ script/action ● the theory of SI SOC 128 1/12/16 ○ 3 premises ■ Humans act towards things based on the meaning assigned to those things ■ meaning are socially/culturally derived ■ interpretations of symbols are modified by the indiviown thoughts ○ how do we assign meaning to action and how do we respond? ■ Well, as we learned, most meaning we apply to certain symbols derives from the environment we grew up in/culture. This is demonstrated by the different meanings given to hand gestures. Depending on who we interact with (culture), defines the meaning we apply to the symbol (hand gesture). ■ Furthermore, we as individuals, interpret that symbol ourselves and this interpretation in turn, defines the course of action that we take ● We therefore need symbols to interpret the world and it does not matter what symbol it is, such as a red hexagon sign means stop in the US but, the meaning we apply to that symbol based on thculture we grew up in (the meaning we apply to symbols depends on social interaction) ● In summary, symbols are important because they define the actions we take by how we interpret those symbols ● For example, Zimmerman allegedly shot a young black male because he supposedly saw his hoodie, skin color and the fact that he was male, a threat→ which lead him to shoot the boy (probable) ● An insane man took a map which had crosshair symbols on the location of politician as a sign that he should should shoot those politicians ○ Whether, this was his interpretation or not, he shot one of the politicians while killing and injuring many others. This has not been proven but, the map was taken off of the internet right after the incident which raises the question, was this shooting cause by the man's interpretation of the map?
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