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SOC388.MAR 8 2012.SP.doc

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SOC388 – SOCIOLOGY IN EVERYDAY LIFE March 8 2012 – Week 9 TG. SP Page 1 Week 9 - Howard Becker o Labeling theory - Harold Garfinkel o Ethnomethodology - Behavior o Process o Interaction  meaning - Everyday life o Ongoing practical accomplishment o Common sense o Taken for grantedness o Reality  5 key features o Social order o Breaching experiments - Today we have 2 interesting readings by Howard Becker and Harold Garfinkel. They are both influential in contemporary sociology. There are many things in common in them. They both deal with some kinds of deviance. Garfinkel doesn’t explain deviance in ways to find social order but deviating from social expectations. They also have very different approaches. Howard Becker - Studies with jazz musicians - Wrote a book called Outsiders - Labeling theory – radically new way of understanding deviance. He explained much of how deviance develops is when they are labeled. It explains how social behavior develops. - It doesn’t have anything to do with marijuana, psychological, genetic relations. - To show that in large extent, people act in a way that they are labeled. - Becker’s idea is very consistent with those ideas that sense of self and meanings to things we do have not very much to do with internal relations but things that are outside and around us. - Marijuana use back then – he studied it. He smoked marijuana for distinction (and look cool) o You have to learn how to smoke it right o You need to recognize the symptoms o The symptoms of being high you have to know that it is something enjoyable SOC388 – SOCIOLOGY IN EVERYDAY LIFE March 8 2012 – Week 9 TG. SP Page 2  If you do it by yourself you would not know if it is enjoyable or not - We can use Becker’s approach and apply to social behaviours around us: o You are exhausted – your muscles ache o Watching comedy because if you don’t enjoy them or normally watch them you might know when something is funny so you have to learn what is funny you have to be able to identify that, so you laugh when others laugh o We learn from others and by observing others, looking at perceptions and judgments of situations - We should look closely and describe the changes that people go through  process. That way we know how people experience it. - This is close to Mead. - Becker criticizes prepositional theories because they cannot explain why people smoke marijuana and why they cannot stop. He explains why this is a social process not a personal thing. o People are high all the time so that becomes normal life. They cant associate smoking with special experience - We have to continue labeling activities to keep smoking o It is not like once we do it, it is ok o A person has to keep point to themselves and say this is pleasurable - We see the role of social interaction here. It is the key to meaning understand what we do. - Being by surrounded by other people that teach them and associate, people may change the conception of the activities they have. - Process that happens over time – we can learn through this. Meanings are constructed and maintained in larger social group. - Labeling theory is generally used to understand deviance. But it can be used to observe something that deviance. Harold Garfinkel - How people study social reality of everyday life through ethnomethod - Looks at disrupted social order and through that what it is that we do to maintain order in everyday life. o It is harder to do that today because of ethical codes - New way of studying sociology - This is method, not really a theory - It is based on ethnomethod (method that people use on daily basis SOC388 – SOCIOLOGY IN EVERYDAY LIFE March 8 2012 – Week 9 TG. SP Page 3 to accomplish their daily lives) o What we do to do things we do everyday we don’t really use formal logic. But we use practical reasoning. o Practical reasoning: doing things without realizing it - If we can get close to this, in that sense, what makes us say that is practical reasoning? o Tiring to ask people what do you mean  How are you? Emotionally? Physically? What do you mean? o We go by assumptions o We still hold onto that idea that being on the ground is safer than flying - So that the world is ongoing practical accomplishment o Practical is what we talk about o This suppresses us especially when we have to maintain it o It is an accomplishment in that we are contributing to this. We as members of that situation are accomplishing this. It is active process. This was a big departure of approaches. - Criticized traditional sociology for having an abstract view of social view and not relating to world. - The last critique he had was that he saw sociology as connections between variables. When we look closely that shows when things can break down and what it is that helped things not to breaking down. - He was focused on organization of everyday life. How is it that we organize everyday lives? Ethnomethodology – people are not cultural dopes. A lot of theorists say the strong idea of socialization is that we absorb what is being thrown upon us. - People were stupid ingesting things critically. So he said that people are not always critical and reflexive of themselves. Yes we may not be cultural dopes but not reflexive either. Interpreting new experiences - Because of this, how people make sense in the world is common sense. - Common sense: o Shared heuristics and knowledge that we use in everyday lives o Most basic knowledge of reality like covering yourself from rain o Where do we get this? - The whole reality for ethnomethodologist – that is what Garfinkel SOC388 – SOCIOLOGY IN EVERYDAY LIFE March 8 2012 – Week 9 TG. SP Page 4 wanted to show. This structures everything we do. - 5 key features o Reflexive  Beliefs that cannot be proven wrong  Weather forecast – they are wrong often but we don’t really think that it is the weather is so hard to predict but we think our technology is not good enough o Coherent  Strong sense that world is coher
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