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Lecture 2

Lecture 2 - Basic Concepts of Symbolic Interactionism.docx

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Sociology 2234E
Lesley Harman

Lecture 2 Subject vs Object Subject: A person engaged in willful action, acting in the world. Object: A thing that is “acted upon” usually inanimate. You can treat a subject as an object: Objectification Objectification and invisibility – do not allow us to act freely in the world “Is it liberating or oppressing to be objectified?” ⁃ Sometimes objectification can cause invisibility ⁃ Example: Prison or Slavery. Puzzle of Intersubjectivity “Between” -subjectivities How is it possible that we can understand each other at all? - We have a common understanding of symbols. Symbols do not exist on their own. Herbert Blumer – American Sociologist introduced symbolic interaction Symbol: Something that stands for something else. It has to have a shared meaning. Language is an example of a symbol Words represent something other than themselves. They have a shared meaning to both the person who uses them and the person who hears them. Language allows us to understand each other. It is also important to note a majority of communication is also nonverbal. We are able to understand actions as they also have a shared meaning. Non distorted Communication. ⁃ Jurgen Habermas: introduced non-distorted communication ⁃ It is a goal. ⁃ You want to minimize filtering ⁃ Moving toward a clear understanding of each other. Imagination ⁃ A trait that sets humans aside from all other living things ⁃ Makes society possible ⁃ Allows us to imagine the consequences of our actions ⁃ Think before we act ⁃ This ability allows us to
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