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Lecture 6

SOC2109 Lecture 6: SOC2109 Lecture 6

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University of Ottawa
Sam Alvaro

Lecture 6: Social Psychology: The Self and how do we identify ourselves? Understanding the self -The self is the individual viewed as both the source and the object of reflexive behaviour -The self is active (initiates reflexive behaviour) and passive (object towards whom reflexive behaviour is directed) -The active aspect of the self is the I and the object of self-action is the me The nature and Genesis of Self -The self is the source of action when we plan, observe and control our own behaviour -The self is the object of action when we think about who we are Mead: Action and Internal Dialogue -Mead portrays action as guided by an internal dialogue -People engage in conversations in their minds as they regulate their behaviour -They use words and images to symbolize their ideas about themselves, others their actions and other’s responses to them -There are three capacities human beings must acquire in order to engage in action 1. Ability to differentiate themselves from other persons 2. See themselves and their own actions as if through others’ eyes 3. Use a symbol system or language for inner thought Generalized other -A conception of attitudes and expectations held in common by the members of the groups -When we imagine what the group expects of us, we are taking the role of the generalized other -We are also concerned with the generalized other when we wonder what people would say or what society’s standards demands Cooley's: Looking-glass self -The most important looking glasses for children are their parents and family and later, their playmates -These are a child’s significant others- those whose reflected views have greatest influence on the child’s self-concepts Play and the game -Mead identified two stages of social experience leading to the emergence of the self in children -In play stage, children imitate activities of people around them -In the game stage, children enter organized activities such as games of house, school and team sports Role Taking -The process of imaginatively occupying the position of another person and viewing the self and the situation from their perspective -Through role taking a child learns to respond reflexively -One of the earliest signs of role taking is the correct use of the pronouns you and I Identities -the meanings attached to the self by one’s self and others -Identities are linked to social roles we enact or our membership in social groups -Identities may be associated with ingroup favouritism and outgroup stereotyping -We form self-concepts through learning and adopting role and social identities Role Identities -Concepts of self in specific roles -For each role we enact, we develop a somewhat different view of who we are -an identity -The role identities we develop depend on the social positions available to us in society The adoption of Role and social identities -Self-schemas are formed in part by adopting identities -The identities available to us depend on whether the culture is individualist or collectivist -Collectivist: Asia, Europe, Japan -USA: individualistic Identities: The Self We enact -The self we enact expresses our identities -We choose behaviours to evoke responses from others that will confirm particular identities -To confirm identities successfully, we must share with others our understanding of what these behaviours and identities mean Hierarchy of identities -We organize different role identities into a hierarchy according to their salience or relative importance to the self-schema -This hierarchy exerts a major influence on our decision to enact one or another identity 1. The more salient an identity, the more frequently we choose to perform activities to express it 2. The more salient an identity, the more likely we are to perceive that situations offer opportunity to enact that identity 3. We are more active in seeking opportunities to enact salient identities 4. We conform more with role expectations attached to identities that we consider the most important Factors in the Importance of a Role Identity 1. The resources we have invested in constructing the identity (time, effort, and money expended) 2. The extrinsic rewards that enacting the identity has brought 3. Intrinsic gratifications derived from performing the identity 4. The amount of self-esteem stacked on enacting the identity well Salience Hierarchy -The salience hierarchy helps us construct a unified sense of self from our multiple identities -The hierarchy influences consistency by: -Providing a basis to choose which situations we enter and which we avoid -Influencing the consistency of behaviour across different situations -Influencing consistency in behaviour across time Self-Verification Strategies -Behavi
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