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Lecture 3

Lecture 3 - Symbolic Interactionism Continued.docx

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Western University
Sociology 2234E
Lesley Harman

Lecture 3 Key Elements of Symbolic interactionism • To account for the formation and varieties of human conduct • Human conduct depends on the creating and maintenance of meaning. • Human conduct is self referential • People form conduct as they interact with one another • Society and culture shape and constrain conduct but they are also the products of conduct Object Two Meanings: 1)A thing that one can designate by a symbol or a name 2)A goal or purpose, an objective usually the satisfaction of needs Institution • Social Practices which successfully satisfy human needs Objects and Language: Language is the repository of the objects that have proved important in the life of particular peoples - “If language is a kind of prison that confines us and shapes our view of the world and its objects, it is a prison whose walls and bards must be constantly constructed and reconstructed by us its inmates” – Hewitt Social Acts ⁃ Action is social insofar as it takes others into consideration and is thereby oriented in its course” (Weber) Act ⁃ A functional unit of conduct with an identifiable beginning and end that is related to the organism's needs and purposes and that is oriented toward one or more objects. ⁃ Four Components of Acts (MEAD) Impulse Perception Manipulation Consummation Negotiation of Meaning ⁃ Meaning is always being negotiated through interpretation Triadic Meaning (MEAD) When an individual acts: 1)Indicate to the other what they plan to do 2)Indicate what the other is expected to do in return 3)What social object is being created by them An example would be signaling on the highway. It indicates to others drivers what you plan to do, and what is expected of them. Motive Two types of motives: “In order to” Motive: The end toward which the act is geared “Because” Motive: referring to past experiences, which cause you to act in a certain way. The Miracle Worker In this class we watched the Disney film: The Miracle Worker This film is based on the life of Helen Keller. Keller was a woman born both blind and deaf. How do you become a member of society if you cannot communicate? Language is the key to being social. Helen will be taught how to communicate and work past her disability a
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