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Lecture 11

Lecture 11 Nov 23.docx

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Vanina Leschziner

SOC483Y1- November 23, 2011 Presentation Zerubavel – individualism invented by Western civilization – 3 distinct levels of analysis 1. Individual 2. Social Beings- inter-subjective world- standard/conventional time – reckoning (clocks) – Cognitive sociology – impersonal social mindscapes (what we share in common). Social mindscapes are not to be confused with universality, yes avoid strictly personal but do not jump to universality (do not jump to the other extreme) - Thought communities (nations, professions, Churches) o Developing social world that is inter-subjective 3. Human Beings- objective world of nature and logic – universality Uses examples of colours because more recognizable with names The mind is not a tabula rasa – no blank mind, there are “strong cognitive commitment” – previous encounters “Optical pluralism” – perspectivism- there is more than one cognitive standpoint – “Optical Diversity” – variation in perception - Socio-mental lenses- through which we see the world – “optical socialization” is how we perceive things as taking place in certain “Thought communities” - There is great complexity to how we see the world Thinking is inherently limited - Mental Horizons regulating what enters our mind, how we treat certain people, allow us to ignore certain parts of reality as background activities - Mental Focusing – we must ignore something and mental horizons allow us to do that- effective mental limits that keep us from being overwhelmed - Mental horizons vary across certain social settings… - Mental horizons shift with the time – ex. Smoking- it was once background but smoking today is now perceived differently - Separating relevant from irrelevant is a social act * Cognitive Socialization *Islands of meaning- classify them in order to understand them – purely mental – what is inside our head, what we do, what we think, how we classify, classification is the process of actively scoping islands of meaning Cerulo - Positive asymmetry – a positive way of seeing - For Trump‟s strategy to work one must anticipate the worst but she says this is a very difficult task to do - Tradition of studying thinking- her experiments try to understand and separate physiological from social with respect to thinking - Time lag for booing - More images of heaven than hell - How would one explain the portrayal of news today – how it is always focused on the worst stories – - Distinction of noticing something consciously or unconsciously – ex. Homeless person vs. talking to someone with something on their face vs. walking to an exam and avoiding signs etc. Look to Zerubavel – Fleck - do we all share the same cognitive style, is it that we are in different thought communities? – Zerubavel talks about different groups not sharing all, you take part in certain social mental communities and get lenses from those… etc. - You take part in different thought communities and you are socialized in certain manners as a result of different thought communities you may belong to and are conditioned within. Lecture Zerubavel‟s book is culturally based – writing for the US We are trained differently in some countries to prepare for the worst Both cognitive sociologists- contemporary sociologists in the US Zerubavel can be thought to be the founder of cognitive sociology –Manifesto for topics Zerubavel‟s first chapter setting up similar to Durkheim‟s setting up suicide separating psychology from sociology – Zerubavel island of social thinking. Up until now we have studied thinking from 2 extremes (1) the individual, terrain of philosophy, the individual thinker, Da Vinci, Einstein = geniuses with ideas for themselves- thinking in terms of individual- patterns of individual thinking (2) Universalism- some of D‟Andrad‟s work – creating prototypes in our brains which is a universal mechanism of the brain – creating prototypes because it helps thinking – positive asymmetry based on prototypes with Cerulo Inter-subjective level – it is a shared subject across different people – not that he denies some thinking is based solely on individual and mechanisms of brain universal but there is indeed part of our thinking shared with other people – that is our focus Zerubavel‟s focus on an inter-subjective level of understanding constituting a shared subject across different people or a shared a practice of thinking lends well to an explanation of Inman et al. „s (2001) findings of Asian international women feeling pressured while living in the U.S. due to familial and ethnic societal influences and pressures to maintain traditional gender roles. . These pressures contribute to the prototypical and traditional gender roles “…some Asian international women in the United States may feel pressure from their families and ethnic societies to maintain and perpetuate traditional gender roles while receiving concurrent messages related to independence, interpersonal assertiveness and pursuing personal goals from the dominant White society in the United States” Zerubavel develops many terms to explain those patterns of thinking that are shared- easy to understand… - Go back to discussion with Fleck with where do we get our optical lenses and if we agree with Zerubavel‟s understanding of our thinking… a lot of what we see there is that our thinking comes from how we are socialized and uses a lot of visual metaphors “optical lenses, optical socialization” o You can see ideas of foreground and background relating to Goffman – Goffman was his PhD advisor! – idea of ignoring and idea of purposely ignoring o Where else do we see connections? Idea from Fleck, connection to collective consciousness from Durkheim (inter-subjectively shared about how we get socialized into attending to certain things, certain categories, dividing life naturally flowing into chunks according to Zerubavel is dependent on social mental lenses) o Durkheim big influence o We agree there is a “me” and collective conscious – me is in the social or inter-subjective– Mead – o Zerubavel’s individuality belonging to thought collectives thus there is not really an “I” – relates to Fleck –  We therefore do not see much of the “I” – at individualism level which Zerubavel says he will not talk about o Zerubavel says with more differentiation and specialization we take part in different communities… we get socialized in different small groups o Durkheim only talks about the “me”= society as sui genris – above and beyond the individual, certainly thinking of power of social o Mead yes still social “I” and “me” but we think of how they connect to make us who we are  The difference is that – in the social level (middle- interest of cognitive- not shared in a social group but would differ from one group to another!)  Ex: Zambia separate reality into different chunks, think of gender differently compared t
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