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Lecture 4

Lecture 4 - Basic Concepts of SI Continued.docx

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Sociology 2234E
Lesley Harman

Lecture 4 Basic Concepts of SI Continued The Projected Act (Schultz) - The picture we have in our mind before we carry an act out - At the first stage we are only planning - The meaning of an action is in the completed act – the emotion produced from the act Empty Horizons (Schultz) - All sort of possible outcomes The meaning of the projected action is always different from that of the accomplished one I and ME (MEAD) - How is it possible to have a conversation with oneself? We must be able to see ourselves as both subject and object ⁃ I: is the subject phase, the actor responding to a stimulus ⁃ Me: is the object phase in which people respond to themselves as objects in their situations. (A good way to remember the difference is the saying “How could you do that to me?” you would not say “How could you do that to I?”. The “me” represents an object that is being acted upon in that sentence.) ⁃ A conversation with yourself is possible when you treat your own action as an object that in turn is responded to ⁃ we are able to control actions by not responding spontaneously, but by reflecting on the social consequences ⁃ For example if you see some ice cream and the voice in your head says not to eat it because you are too fat. If you disregarded that voice and ate it anyway the “I” won. If you then felt so bad you threw it up the “me” won. (view yourself as an object- an object that is too fat and must be acted upon) ⁃ If we are going to conform the ME will usually wins. This is because conforming relies on the ability to see yourself within society and to imagine how others view you. ⁃ (Should I or Shouldn't I) – It is treating your own actions as an object that is responded to. ⁃ The “I” is a historical figure ⁃ What you were a second ago is the I of the ME ⁃ Think of Helen Keller, eating off other people's plates. She does not have a “ME” only an “I”. She was unable to view herself as part of society and imagine how other people viewed her and consequently change her behviour ⁃ We are constantly changing. The “I” is never the same that is why it is a historical figure. The definition of a Situation ( W.I. Thomas) ⁃ All behavior is “Situated” ⁃ Where everyone agrees on the objects and appropriate social actions to be taken, this agreement is the “definition of the situation” ⁃ The “Order of things” or “Social Order” ⁃ The definition of a situation is invisible unless something goes
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