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SOC388.FEB 2 2012.SP.docx

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SOC388H1S Sociology in Everyday Life February 2 2012 – Week 4 TG. SP. - Methods that Blumer used – he didn’t come up with it himself. Verstehen (“understanding” in German) meaning that people give to their actions - We see the perspective of Weber – analyzing and theorizing what people do. It is not just about microfactors that we look at, but giving meaning to what people do. Blumer criticizes by-passing meaning – so not considering something is important or assuming meaning is given/taken for granted. - So he says that a lot of sociology looks at connection between social factors as independent variable that causes some kind of behavior. Blumer said we are overlooking the meaning people give to things such as media. - There are few other things that follow what we saw last week with meaning. Where does meaning come from? It comes from social interaction. - BLumer develops 3 premises o People act towards things on the basis of meanings that things have for them o Meaning of things comes from interaction people have with others o These things are handled and modified through interpretive process done by person in her interaction and things she encounters - You can isolate with these 3 instances - Whatever we do has to do with meanigns and when Blumer talks about objects he talks about physical, social (people) and the others (ideas and beliefs). When we deal with them we deal wit hthe meaning we give to these things o Affording people with agency. We need to have meaning on us. That is the major departure. - Whether we decide to do one thing or the other it is based on how we interpret those things - Critique – he says there are 2 common decision. Things have meaning in themselves. Fancy clothes have meaning in themselves because they are fancy. - We are pointing to that object and putting meaning. There is process of interpretation. - When we see violence we have different reaction and decide what to do based on the meaning we have in that violence - Symbolic interactionism o Meaning has important in those symbols - Blumer says that he talks about images. Those are basic ideas on which symbolic interaction is filled. This resends society and behavior o Symbolic interactions is like following Mead’s steps o In a different way we normally think of it o When we say something is social, what do we mean? Do we mean we belong to our group or we have been socialized into incorporating certain idea? SOC388H1S Sociology in Everyday Life February 2 2012 – Week 4 TG. SP. - Blumer points out that when he talks about interaction – it is not interaction about variable. It is not about crime and behavior – it is interaction between people - You see culture and social structure that lead to what people do. That explains action. Think of action, movement, and behavior - Blumer wouldn’t deny that if you are surrounded by poverty you will also be surrounded by different things. He talks about world and not environment because we make different meanings to this. We may even pay attention to certain things. Before symbolic interaction we just think of environment. - Everything means different to different people. Your iphone might not mean the same to the prof than it does to you. The early cell phones were big, grey one with antenna; and the prof’s friend got a cell phone. Cell phones back then used to be very expensive and didn’t much to him. He would use the phone antenna to stir his drink. So his phone had particular meaning to him that’s different for other people. - Symbolic interaction o Why is it called this o Interaction happens on a symbolic level o This statement means we are always interpreting things in accordance to those inte
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