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Lecture 3

SOC365H1 Lecture Notes - Lecture 3: Herma, Racialization, Pierre Bourdieu

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Adam Green

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SOC365 Lecture 3 Jan 22
West + Zimmerman
Goffman - presentation of self
used "Dramatrugy" as a method; he suggest that social life is a bit like a piece of theatre
in the process of being human we all take on certain roles, in conscious ways that
become habitual
he suggested that there's a front & backstage; the front stage is the front that we put on
to other people to appear socially acceptable and normal
back stage is the actual way we really feel in any given situation
we're not really unified as social actors but atleast we are unified in this front + back
he studied the presentation and management of self in different roles, ie. students,
professor, female, male, etc
in terms of gender - the ways in which there are certain ques or displays that reenact in
order to signal certain sex
concerned with what we did, how we perform, what ques we gave in the front that would
signal what sex we were
women & men would signal their sex through their gender role by particular kind of
displays and ques
we do scheduled performances; ie. men opening doors for women, paying for chqs;
interactional displays
gender occurs in certain scenes and not in others
West + Zimmerman
finds Goffman's arguments lacking
gender is omni relevant; it's relevant all the time not just when a man opens a door for a
it's not reducible to a role we put on for just a moment
it is a fundamental part of every interaction
there's no opportunity to not be a sex; sex & gender are omni relevant, they are always
finds Goffman's analysis too limited and did not take into account the ubiquity of gender
we are always objects of prosthesis/ of gender attributions
p.130 2nd last paragraph:" Gender is not nearly sth that happens in the nooks &
crannies of interaction..."
we are always being assessed in the self-attribution process
Why do we constantly engage in this self-attribution process?
if we don't then there's a violation of our incorrigible, as a consequence
accountability structure - we are always in part accountable of of gender;
structure that suggests certain people/institutions/groups that are part of this
policing process and will arrest us if we don't behave properly of our sex
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