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Soc 388 March 8th 2012.docx

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Vanina Leschziner

Soc 388 March 8 2012  Howard Blecker  Labeling Theory  Harold Garfinkel  Ethnomedthodology  Behaviour  Process  Interaction  meaning  Every day life  Ongoing practical accomplishment  Common sense  Taking for grantedness  Reality- 5 key feature  Social order  Breaching experiments Readings – contemporary sociologists – both still alive and very influential in contemporary sociology. Have lots in common. On most shallow level  they both deal with some kind of deviance. Becker more concretely and explicitly studies marijuana use. Garfinkel doesn’t study deviance in the sense of explaining but in his experiment he finds a way to study social order by looking at deviations from social explanation. Both very different methods and approaches Becker known for many things. Active 60 year career. Mostly studies jazz musicians. Wrote a book called outsiders. Lots of qualitative work. He is associated with labeling theory Labeling theory  theory not developed before article becoming a marijauan user. A radically new way of understanding deviance. Deviance before this was explained through characteristics of the person, genetics, social, educational etc. now it was explained through the person! Labeling theory explains that much of the how deviance develops is how we label people deviant. Once people have that label they know how others think they are deviant so they behave in those way. Explains how social behaviour develops based on labels people assign to us Smoking weed has nothing to do with the person or the attributes of weed its self but rather labels Garfinkel developed ethno methodology – created this approach through breaching experiments Students breach common everyday understanding in order to show the work we do to maintain that social order. Goffman in contrast discusses everything we do to contribute to social order. Garfinkel focuses on disruptions instead to illustrate this. What do we do to maintain order? Did it during a time when it was easy to do. Today with ethic board approval not a easy Proff did something similar in study years ago but hard to get approvalCan use this approach to look at everyday interaction whether it is deviant or not. Think of mead and bloomer how we develop sense of self through meaning in social interaction. Beker’s idea is consistent with this ideas. BECKER Piece was revolutionary at the time (50’s) – studying marijuana for pleasure only. What was his basic conclusion? st nd It a social process. 1 Need to learn how to smoke it right. 2 need to recognize the symptoms / the high. 3 have to see the symptoms as enjoyable. Need to learn how to label the high as something enjoyable. If you do it on your own you will not learn it. Need to do it with other in order to learn. Can use beckers approach to understand social practices deviant or otherwise. Asks the question to the class what behaviour have you seen around you that you can apply beckers approach. i.e. learning the outcome is enjoyable. e.g. exercise. Need to learn how to do it properly, recognize heart rate experience etc. and even though you are in pain, muscles ache you learn that is a great thing and enjoyable even though you are out of breath. e.g. 2. Learning humor. What is funny? Why it’s funny? Humor differs from culture to culture The whole idea here is that we learn from others. Learn by observing others and the perceptions of others. Make the action desirable. Inclinations not prior to learning. Only once we learn to enjoy certain things like smoking weed do we develop the want. (process) Major shift in sociology when this came out. Not looking at the causes for behaviour, not what we should identify. But looking very closely at the behaviour and understanding the process and describe the changes people go through when they learn the activity. Learning is a process (interaction  meaning) Ties into bloomer and mead. Learn through social interaction with others. This is how meaning is developed. Through interacting with others we develop the meaning and learn. Becker criticizes pre dispositional theory – cant account for why people may take up smoking marijuana and why they may stop. It’s not about inclinations or attributes of marijuana but again process in social meaning e.g. people who start and eventually they stop. Why? This is part of his persuasive argument and how it has to do with social meaning.If you have had a very bad experience and don’t find it pleasurable naturally you would stop (student response) If you don’t learn how to smoke it properly and begin the process you wont ever reach the high (student) Beckers answers why people stop (1) Some people get high all the time and eventually can’t distinguish between being high and not being high so they just stop (2)Some people combine drugs with alcohol or other drugs so they don’t really feel the weed high any more so they stop If they can’t associate a special meaning to smoking and the experience of being high then they stop If they can continue to label the activity as pleasurable then they will usually continue smoking. Can transpose this to other activities to explain them in the same way not just about smoking weed see the big picture here in what becker is saying People respond to things in different ways – only around other people do they learn how to respond to objects. For marijuana example need to be around more experienced users to learn. Construction of meaning is done through social process. Its not just learning how to puff and then going and smoking but maintain the meaning What we can learn through Becker?  How people learn to do certain things and how meaning are constructed and maintained in a social setting Labeling theory used to understand deviant behaviour. Not usually used for other kinds of. Examples BUT can use it to label some straight A student then they feel the pressure to keep up the marks. Generally though used for deviant behaviour. Moving on to Garfinkel Founded ethno medthodolgy ( 60’s)- developed a whole new way of studying sociology. Very much a method less of a theory like in other cases. A method for understanding everyday life. Like most methods it has assumptions on what maintains or disrupts social order (common sense) What is common sense ?(question she asked the class) Shared characteristics we think everyone knows about and use to function in everyday life. Learned through experience. Repository for basic knowledge about reality. Shared set of cultural rules for making sense of the world. Assumptions that help us everyday. Established and taken for granted. Don’t need tothink about. If someone asks why we
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