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Lecture

Lecture 36 - February 27th.docx

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Department
Sociology
Course Code
SOCIOL 2S06
Professor
David Young

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Lecture 36 – February 27th C) The social act • 2) Non­significant gestures o Non­significant gestures involve unconscious actions  o Either animal actors or human actors will engage in a conversation of gestures o Actors (either animal or human) can engage in what Mead called a “conversation of  gestures”  Example: animals respond instinctively to any aggressive action on the part of  other animals   Example: humans respond unconsciously to the moves of their opponents in a  boxing match  • 3) Significant gestures o Significant gestures involve engaging in conscious thought before actions  o Unlike animal actors, human actors have the ability to employ significant gestures • 4) Significant symbols  o Gestures become significant symbols when they have the same meaning for both actors  Example: the word cat is a significant symbol because we share the meaning of  the word and we have the basis for communication  Example: physical gestures that becomes significant. The handshake, when you  meet someone you shake their hand and you understand the meaning of the  gesture.  Our interaction is based on these symbols – symbolic interactionism  D) Mind • Mead saw the mind as involving an “inner conversation with one’s self” that becomes possible  with the development of the self E) Self • 1) What is the self o The self involves the ability to take oneself as both a subject and an object o We are able to see our self from our own point of view (as a subject), but we are also able  to see our self from the point of view of others (as an object) o An animal does not have a self and human infants don`t have a self either • 2) The self and role­taking  o The general mechanism for the development of the self is the human ability to take the  role of the other o Through social experience, human beings acquire the ability to consciously or  unconsciously put themselves in the place of others o Consequently, people can switch from a subjective point of view and become objects to  themselves • 3) Development of the self o Mead argued the self emerges in childhood as we progress through several stages   A) The preparatory stage • Human infants and very young children simply imitate without  understanding what they are doing • For example: very young children might wave when parents say goodbye  to them, they have no idea what it means but they copy their parents  • As they grow older, children become better at understanding symbols  and using symbols to interact with others   B) The play stage • Children start to develop the ability to t
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