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Lecture 4

SOCI 100 Lecture Notes - Lecture 4: Domestic Violence, Old Age, Rotten Apples

Course Code
SOCI 100
Chris Mac Kenzie

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Week 4, Lecture 1
Sept. 29/09
Erving Goffman – micro-sociologist
you and I behaving in certain ways with one another - gives rise to social structures
Have a self, personality - act differently in different environments. At every step of the
way, presenting self. Do it all the time.
Even when you are by yourself, you are engaged in presentation of self
Presentation of self directly related to audience
Can be one person/many
the self is a product of society. Society = product of us presenting ourselves.
Pg 93, 3/4 of 94
What does he mean by “gives” and “gives off”?
How do we try to “define” and “control” a situation?
only individuals of a particular kind are likely to be found in a certain social setting.
Carrying society around with us
When going on first date, asked around and got information about it. Seen tv shows -
can pick up cues of what a first date should involve.
Gives - impression deliberately/consciously give off
Gives off - indirect cue. Many crucial facts lie beyond time/place of interaction/lie
concealed within it. Real beliefs/attitudes of individual can be ascertained indirectly.
Indirect, subconscious cues
Keeps society going (when pretend to be intersted when actually not)
If pick up that Iʼm not interested, whoʼs in control of the situation?
Youʼre trying to define youʼre interested, but Iʼm picking up youʼre not
Control is negotiated. Product of the interaction. Trying to control it by doing
everything right, but Iʼm picking up youʼre not
pg. 95 (Shetland Isles) - ex. Of giving/giving off
Ex. Of girlʼs dorm. Seeming popular gives you control. How many friends on facebook,
twitter. Presenting an image of ourself deliberately - (popularity is what we desire)
pg. 97 - society is organized (there are social structures). You present yourself as
teacher, policeman, lawyer, educated person - the way weʼve set our society up, the
initial response is to set your response as honest. To take it on faith
There is also an expectation that if youʼre going to say youʼre something, you ought
to be that person. E.g. How do you know youʼre teacher - base it on past
experience, reserve judgement. Eventually, have to deliver goods
Interactions based on notions of faith, good will
definitional disruption:
The audience wants to believe you. E.g. If go skating and canʼt skate.
The performance is intimately related to the audience. Society is an interaction.
Audience will believe as long as they can. Will give lots of latitude to perfomrance
to help it along
pg. 96

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with presentation of self, to be successful need to control situation. But need to be
socialized into situation. To develop self, performances, need to carry society around
with us
Not just acting - we are trying to be good citizens in a genuine sense. Not a scam.
Have been socialized as a particular type of citizen.
Changing political affiliations difficult in long run.
Institutions of Socialization
Family, school, peer groups, media, workplace
Family - huge institution of socialization
What we donʼt recognize - among other things, we learn our social place in society.
E.g. Show pictures of families to children - working class family, middle class. Say:
“the middle class is the good family.” “the working place family is dirty, bad family.”
middle class children:
Acted as though right to pursue own individual preferences, actively manage
interactions in institutional settings
Shift interactions to suit their preferences
Made special request of teachers/doctors to adjust procedures to accommodate
their desires
We have socialized children to recognize that I have full right to be treated as an
equal, taken seriously, opinions matter - should learn to steer things towards my
Concerted cultivation: middle class raise their children to be individuals who are
special, matter, opinions matter. Should be able to manipulate situations to my
Entitlement: challenging authority - getting what you want out of a situation (not
necessarily in a selfish way) but realizing it is a competitive world. Must define
parameters to get what I want.
working class children
Emerging sense of distance, distrust, constraint
Distance - going to step back, not engage in the debate
Constraint - not going to express my opinions
Distrust - authority is inherently corrupt. No way to manipulate it.
unintentional socialization to a large extent - donʼt necessarily think about this.
Dispute Resolution
If you learn to settle disputes with violence (yelling, fists) will carry over that
tendency/attitude into adult life
Turns up in social work - idea that you cannot have kids growing up in
environments of domestic abuse. Will witness it, have higher preponderance to be
abusers themselves, get into trouble themselves - becomes natural.

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Formal education
Reproduces everything taught by family
When youʼre in school, worried about peer groups - have to make the right kinds of
Not as big of influence as we think
Research: for a little while, peer group is important. First real independent group
you become associated with. These are people we meet at school - stranger. Start
next generation of self. Independent - what kinds of decisions are you going to
make? What influence will they have? But research shows that a teenager is never
going to say in their peer group, “my mom wouldnʼt like me to do that” - but will
think it. Tend to follow these things. For most part, influence of peer groups is less
than parents think - we overwhelmingly make friends with people who think like us
- age, social background
Product of 20C. Has terrified us
Idea of unsupervised, outside influence
Radio back in 1920s, TV 1940s, internet today - online identities, federated identities,
virtual communities (do/be whatever/whoever) - how is that going to influence children/
Issue of violence - do video games cause us to be more insensitive, commit crimes?
In certain cases, say yes. But as group - no, we are a more critical audience than that
Americaʼs Army - official US armyʼs own game. US military - single biggest corporate
partner of the video gaming industry. Developed Americaʼs Army - modern recruitment
strategy because young men play video games. Touted as most realistic game.
Job recruiters in all types of industries - spending more time developing gaming type
platforms/strategies to train/recruit employees
Socialization effect. Have this industry - how is it going to play out?
When talk about socialization influence of media - e.g. Video games, internet, TV,
radio, music, books, magazines, posters (any form of mass communicatoin) - our
concern is slef-socialization
Media allows for self-socialization. Not supervised. We are on our own to consume,
learn from this. What impact is it having?
Concerned about teenagers (12-17) - concerns over teenage socialization: the role of
media. Linked with idea that theyʼre not supervised as much (two-income families -
parents working), have peer groups, reduced extracurricular activities (reflected class
standing. Middle class kids scheduled - learn to manage things. Have to learn how to
manage a schedule - this will prepare you well for adulthood.) < have advantage of
being used to a rigid schedule. Overall, extracurricular activities diminish - concerns of
Working class parents working - donʼt have money to put them into programs. Go
outside and play with stick < breeds creativity.
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