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Lecture 7

Lecture 7 - Defining Reality Continued.docx

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Western University
Sociology 2234E
Lesley Harman

Lecture 7 Aligning actions  Social interaction is based on assumptions of appropriate and expected behaviors  What happens when this is transgressed?  Aligning actions: largely verbal efforts to create an alignment between the substance of a social interaction and the selves involved and the culture they share. - Get things back on track. Motive Talk  Part of everyday life  To ask someone of their motives is to implicitly state that what they did was inappropriate. Requiring on explanation: the question is why? Example Why did you skip class? Vocabulary of Motives ⁃ People learn to use certain words to describe their acts depending on: ⁃ a) Specific situation ⁃ b) Specific audience. ⁃ Tailor their explanation/ motive talk ⁃ Hewitt “people learn that in a given situation their choices of conduct and motives are limited by what others will treat as legitimate. ⁃ Compartmentalization of motives in different spheres: what constitutes a valid explanation for one event may not be for another. Disclaimers ⁃ A way of verbally protecting yourself from the implications of what you were/ are saying “I’m not sexist but...” ⁃ Role taking at work: we know how we will be typified and we overcome it in advance. ⁃ A prospective at in which you anticipate a question about your conduct. Accounts ⁃ A form of explanation after the fact either an excuse or justification ⁃ You are giving an account of events ⁃ In court explain your actions or being late for an appointment Excuses  Relieve ourselves of responsibility if we were negligent (ex arriving late)  Effectiveness of the account makes for better outcome. You want things to be smoothed over “social lubricant”. Justification  Occur when we do take responsibility and we give an account for why our actions were valid  Allows us to avoid harsh reactions from others. Try to maintain our “good identity” Vocabularies of Emotion ⁃ Affective or emotional dimension of social interaction ⁃ eg of grief: loss of part of the self ⁃ Harman says emotion comes after the event ⁃ Grieving over loss of job or relationship ⁃ What is important is how long the thing was part of your identity ⁃ Working for 35 years- retire great loss ⁃ 2 week relationship – break up, less of a loss ⁃ SI – we do not live these identities alone. We are linked to others. Lofland – seven threads 1)Roles we play – are you still a daughter when parents die? 2)Help we receive – support system 3)The wider network of others available to us – grandparents keep family together through family events 4)The selves others create and sustain – special things others cannot replace (they way grandma cooks) 5)The comforting myth they allow us – put people on pedestal 6)The reality they validate for us – they validate our reality – reaffirm our value 7)The future they make possible – Christmas is different. - Retirement would be different without your husband. Each culture accumulates
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