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by: Ally Hill

4/2/15 SOC0150

Ally Hill
GPA 3.3
Social Theory
Rod Nelson

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Social Theory
Rod Nelson
Class Notes
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This 7 page Class Notes was uploaded by Ally Hill on Thursday April 2, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to SOC0150 at a university taught by Rod Nelson in Fall. Since its upload, it has received 221 views.

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Date Created: 04/02/15
Social Theory 4215 805 PM Mead and Symbolic Interactionism Transitioning from macrosociology to microsociology Microsociology is face to face and small group interactions 0 Sociology is pretty well divided nowadays George Herbert Mead 18631931 was employed as a philosopher not a sociologist at the University of Chicago He was someone with a lot of strong social logic interests As a philosopher he was associated with American Pragmatism as well as William James Charles Sanders Peirce and John Dewey Mead is the forefather of symbolic theorizing 0 He argues that human society as we know it could not exist without minds and selves since all of its most characteristic features presuppose the possession of minds and selves by its individual members 0 Meads basic concepts are those of mind self and society 0 Correspondence theory of truth objective correspondence between object and its mental representation pragmatists don t believe in this Darwinian model of selection is the under pitting of this pragmatist vision of how we should think of ideas and truth 0 If it works it s true If it s not true it s false 0 There s an element of reflexivity which is a feature of our development 0 The self is not something we re born with it s something we develop over time o Mead s idea of the self is connected with his conception with what constitutes a mind 0 Turns nouns into verbs mind to minded Mind and self are not static Childhood does occur in a couple different stages 0 There is a play stage around 2 years old child begins to take the role of others around them they first grasp that there are significant others around him or her child realizes he or she is an object daughter son brother sister etc 0 Different people have different roles associated with their position 0 Game stage games involve a lot of different people and everyone has different roles Particularly team sports help with this Contributions expected of each player About 8 years old 0 Third stage extension of the game stage start to be aware that people are thinking about different types of things political economic cultural ideas we realize that there is a community of attitudes that we have to adjust our behavior and beliefs because of once this is met Mead calls this the generalized other 0 There are a number of implications that can be drawn from this conception of the self 0 Having a self changes the relationship of the human organism to its environment 0 With a self we develop an inner life in which we communicate with our self we develop the capacity for selfconsciousness and for minded behavior 0 We objectify the external world and find meaning in things We classify things in our environment this is not just a piece of wood this is a baseball batquot 0 Mind Mead argues that our internal conversations take place through successive phases of mental activity that he called the I and the me The me is the object one forms of oneself from a conventional standpoint And the I is the physiological part of our brain Like I m hungry I need to eat That pizza isn t good for me but I m hungry and am going to eat it anyway We are constantly monitoring ourselves It is incessant it keeps going on and on SociaActs With selves we are able to engage in social acts 0 Mead singled out 2 forms of social interaction 0 One type of social interaction takes place through what he called a conversation of gesturesquot or nonsignificant interaction 0 A gesture for Mead is the part of some action that is perceived by some second party as requiring a response I have a dog fight two dogs might start sniffing then it will go bad from there Instinctive and spontaneous More importantly however are those class of gestures that use symbols that have a significance attached to them 0 In this case a significant gesturequot is made Mead39s second form of interaction A significant gesture is one that is interpreted or given meaning before a response is made to it o This second kind of interaction was relabeled symbolic interactionquot in a 1937 article by Herbert Blumer a student of Mead and this name stuck Society Vision is always that social interaction takes place by form of symbolic interaction There is a great deal of open endedness people think of different gestures in different ways Act of interpretation gives us freedom we don t have to interpret something in a specific sort of way Concept of social structure does not play a very large role Marx suggests we are locked into social classes Durkheim says we are locked into specific normative patterns and we will have a hard time escaping this normative interaction Weber would suggest there are structural patterns that constrain our activity or enable it in certain ways Structuralist vision of the world is more conventional Symbolic interactionism moves away from this vision of social constraint Current theorizing which comes out of this might find these things in criminology and deviance courses Things like deviance might occur by the fact that people label others as being outside of the norm and they are now considered deviant so they will align themselves with this identity Labeling theory suggests that there is a career people can start upon if that initial label sticks to them you may internalize that label Goffman was famous for his thoughts on the interaction order His view was that our behavior takes place in a couple of different arenas front stage and back stage behavior We manage our impressions fairly carefully with individuals in front stage behaviors Backstage region we let our hair down A lot of social life is divided into this Impression management Goffman we want to make the best impression possible and make sure people respond to us in a respectable manner Georg Simmel 1858 1918 Jew living in Germany Someone who gave lectures every once in a while had a hard time having a permanent academic position Originator of formal sociology Contemporary of Max Weber Radically different than Weber Formal sociology is the idea that society is a web of patterns and interactions Relationship between super ordination and subordination Processes of conflict within and between groups Social roles such as that of the stranger or the renegade The effects of group size on individual and group activities The nature of secret societies as a form of organization Believed sociology needed a specific subject matter Vision was that formal sociology is what sociology will do and what other social sciences do not do Dyads and Triads Dyads two entities that would have structurally interesting properties Tendency over time toward triviality over time in marriage you will reach triviality Will start out talking about big issues and then eventually you will know what they think about certain things politics etc Intimacy usually you will divulge intimacies about yourself in these dyad relationships No groupness in a dyad Tria ds Three kinds of typical group formationsquot The role of the mediator mediators use neutral language they are not emotional hot heads and they are very calm Tertius Gaudens the third who enjoys the third party that benefits from the dissension of the other two parties The oppressor role occurs when the third member intentionally produces a conflict between the other two parties in order to gain some advantage Here we find the strategy of divide et imperaquot or divide and rulequot active and intentional role The Metropolis and Mental Life Simmel examines two types of individualism fostered by urbanism Forces that promote the ideal of individual autonomy or independence in cities as well as those forces that threaten that autonomy Forces that threaten and promote the modern ideal of individuality the freedom to develop a unique self or as he puts it the elaboration of personal peculiaritiesquot Urban environment produces an element of reserve There is a sensory overload Technology produces great means of maintaining reserve Reduces the amount of interaction we feel comfortable with Contrast is urban vs rural Simmel emphasizes the opposition between those two ideal of individualism themselves between the ideal of autonomy and the ideal of individuality Reminders from this class No writing activity today Paper 5 due next week Last paper is due on the day of the final Final is in this classroom on April 23 at 6 pm 4215 805 PM 4215 805 PM


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