SOC 107 Lecture Notes - Lecture 3: Sense Data, Antipositivism, Symbolic Interactionism

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3 Feb 2016
SOC 107
Class 3
Tools for Examining Everyday Life
-We know our everyday lives so well that we don’t explore or recognize our norms
-What counts as knowledge? Depends on realm of life, conversation with friend
vs. scholarly newspaper
-What is a fact? Evidence, objective, proven true
-Sense data comes from outside our head
-Ways of knowing: Everyday vs. social science
-Social science as a way of knowing
Positivism (psychology, economics) vs. Interpretivism (sociology, history,
humans are determined by our interpretations)
Gathering sense data suggests social science
-Interpretivism looks at interviews and in depth analysis
-Positivism is tests and theories
Premises of Symbolic Interactionism
-3 premises (Blumer)
1. Human beings act towards things on the basis of the meaning things have for
them (eating an apple because it is associated with a time of day…its
healthy…it keeps you awake…whether it tastes good) (there is nothing
beautiful or ugly in the world… nothing hot or cold…that is a meaning
we’re attributing)
2. Meanings develop out of symbolic interaction with others (we learn to love
things that other people love, “you’ll love sushi”) (at first passion fruit
was slimy and gross but because everyone liked it, I liked it)
3. Meanings- handled- interpretive process (no such thing as something being
inherently good or bad) (people do things that are painful based on a
meaning that is learned: pain is pleasure) (only once we can name the
colour we can draw meaning)
-We define first and then see (Kuhn 1964:69)
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