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Lecture 8

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Department
Sociology
Course
SOCB43H3
Professor
Dan Silver
Semester
Winter

Description
o George Hebert Mead  Life - Interested in how people creatively respond to the actions of other people - First non-European to be studying sociology: Born in 1863, came from a religious family (long line of clergy), dad was a minister that taught at university in Ohio - He grew up in a place that was politically aggressive but not open to the social sciences - After he graduated, he became an engineer that designed tracks (adapted to real problems) - Decided to study philosophy, came in contact with James (famous person in philosophy) - Moved on to the university of Chicago in the 1890’s (went through a modern expansion) a symbol of a technical, modern view b/c they had a lot of money since it was built by Rockefeller - He was a major social activist, opened up settlement houses - Basically invented the area of social psych (he was a good lecturer but bad at writing) verbal flow of idea’s was his strength, he never actually published his own book, the book was a collection of readings his students compiled from lecture notes only after he died - Mead’s model of society is an organic model in which individuals are related to the social process as bodily parts are related to bodies.  The act - He’s an action theorist, much like Weber - Social psych’s aim is to understand how our mental self is a product of the interaction and development of relationships with other people - His work was a response to behaviourism (you can observe things they can do, you can’t do that for your minds intentions, thoughts and emotions) - 2 behaviourists lying in bed after a sexual encounter. One says how was it? The other says you tell me. = old joke that the prof told to relate to behaviourism - THEORY OF ACTION: to see human mentality occurring we need… 1. Impulse: need to do something about the stimulus ex. Feeling thirsty you find something to drink (the actor and environment is intertwined/ totally inseparable like breathing) 2. Perception: looking for stimuli that can help you find something that will solve your impulse (not everything is going to help) 3. Manipulation: sort of narrow things down by picking up things you perceive, test/ experiment to see if they’ll work (if they have the qualities to solve your problems) now you have an experimental relationship with objects, more and more of the world are less defined by automatic perceptions through a moment of possibility, way of seeing the active mind in the world 4. Consummation: whether you actually finish, take action in order to satisfy initial impulses  Interaction - Focuses on the process of the interaction, you don’t really know what you are doing until it’s over> Social interactions – understanding them by building up their basic elements (mind is the outcome of action) 1. Gestures: minimal ability is to make and understand a gesture (movements of the first organism calling/ evoke responses by the second organism), not just humans, Mead uses nd the example of dogs (1 dog is just drinking, 2 dog barks and provokes a different attitude and make a different response of the 1 dog due to the gesture) ‘Conversation of gestures’ (movements without words, back and forth process, whole relationship is taking place at that level, ex. Boxing/ martial arts a lot of interaction happened before you even hit the person, not significant gestures don’t require a lot of thought) – communication is evolutionary for Mead 2. Significant symbols (important next step): interpretation becomes key, ‘vocal gestures’ is making a gesture but with no vocal cords, ex a facial gesture only they can hear it but a vocal gesture we can both her it- which means a new possibility of interaction> ultimate examples are words b/c they are able to arouse of stimulate others and makes a common space where true communication is possible/ genuine interaction - Organic conditions of having a mental life 1. Allow for adjustments: you can communicate your displeasures, plants aren’t good but even children are, prepare for the response 2. Having a mind/ mental life: is simply an internalized conversation with yourself, thought is really just talking to yourself, historically reading by yourself is not how it starting, when you were composing a book you would think of how it would physical sound aloud 3. Creating the possibility of symbolic interactio
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