SOCI 140 Lecture 3 Notes 'Social construction'
SOCI 140 Lecture 3 Notes 'Social construction' SOCI 140
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This 4 page Class Notes was uploaded by Kirsten Matthewman on Monday January 25, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to SOCI 140 at James Madison University taught by D. Trouille in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 105 views. For similar materials see Microsociology in Sociology at James Madison University.
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Date Created: 01/25/16
GSOCI 140 The Individual in Societv Lecture 2 Social Constructing The two sides of sociology 1 2 Making familiar what people do not understand The strange foreign deviant trying to see how They re just like us Gaining new understanding of the familiar How are the things that we take to be natural biological inherent inevitable socially constructed To make the familiar unfamiliar sociologists show how reality itself arose through human activities We socially construct Reality Sociologists try to show this to reveal who has the power inequalities assumptions inconsistencies paradoxes contradictions Reality Much of our everyday knowledge is based on accepting as real the existence of things that can t be seen touched or proved the world taken for granted Examples gt We socially construct marriage marriage doesn t have to be the way it is marriage isn t biological and it is an idea we assume it exists independently of us gt Dates amp time Thursday It feels like Thursday days are things that we treat as real they aren t real Correspondence between socially shared or objective reality and subjective expenence The goal of socialization internalization Shared meanings intersubjectivity promote the coordination of action We need to share with each other what bad words are and what an angry facial expression is A world shared and reaffirmed with others Language is a socially constructed thing that is used to share meaning Behaviors that are very different from what is expected become weird and not normal People who exhibit these behaviors are seen as nonconformists Or people that show these behaviors are from a different social context than we are used to Essential views of reality Objective reality exists independently of us snow exists the word doesn t we constructed the word snow subjective reality doesn t Deterministic It has to be this way Tautological the essence also serves as the explanation Human nature 0 Not created by human activities independent of our own volition Examples gt Our body is biologically dependent on food gt Biological limitations water and food gt When does this become social how we eat who we eat with what we eat gt We reproduce gt When does this become social Social stigma the age at which we reproduce who we reproduce with where the boundary is drawn cant reproduce with blood relations Hair growth Becomes social in the ways we deal with it eg how long it is how it is styled what it means VV Facts of nature our biological constitution Death when does someone die Abortion brain dead Why does someone die Procreation Disease Natural disasters Time Space Language Emotion Beauty Sexuality Intelligence Art Race Borders What about murder The idea that murder is bad is socially constructed eg capital punishment isn t necessarily seen as bad selfdefense etc 0 Mozart We socially constructed the fact that his music is beautiful it is not biologicaly beautiful Gestures and beauty standards from around the world 0 One gesture might mean something in one country and might mean something completely different in another 0 How is this reality shared knowledge maintained in one society and not another Imitation What s the relationship between human thought here gestures beauty standards and the social context within which it arises Reification Reification is the apprehension of human phenomena as if they were things it is the apprehension of the products of human activity as if they were something else than human products such as facts of nature results in cosmic laws or manifestation of divine will Reification implies that man is capable of forgetting his own authorship of the human world The reified world confronts man as something outside of himself Human meanings are no longer understood as world producing but as products of the nature of things Berger and Luckmann How real is a social definition 0 The power of social definition categories types 0 The more people act as though something is real the more powerful the definition becomes 0 Social definitions are an issue of explanation They do not exist without us neither do morals The historical processes by which our knowledge comes to be socially established as reality 0 For example substances can intoxicate but whether they are legal or not is socially constructed What does it mean to say something is socially constructed 0 Something that is not natural or inevitable A definition of something could be different eg definition of marriage could be different o If it is a product of social activity A product of action to pursue one s own interests Sociologists are less interested in proving that race is real or not but how it emerged over time and the social consequences and implications of it Berger amp Luckmann Social order is a human product or more precisely an ongoing human production 0 There is no human nature in the sense of biologically fixed substratum Social order cannot be derived from the laws of nature 0 Big thesis The individual is not born a member of society He is born with a predisposition toward sociality and he becomes a member of society The social construction of identity the self as social Identities emerge in specific histories specific times and places 0 One is not born but later becomes a woman
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