Sociology 2234E Lecture Notes - Lecture 3: Symbolic Interactionism, Helen Keller, George Herbert Mead

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Published on 14 Apr 2013
Department
Professor
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
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Document Summary

Two meanings: a thing that one can designate by a symbol or a name, a goal or purpose, an objective usually the satisfaction of needs. Institution: social practices which successfully satisfy human needs. Language is the repository of the objects that have proved important in the life of particular peoples. Action is social insofar as it takes others into consideration and is thereby oriented in its course (weber) 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. Meaning is always being negotiated through interpretation. When an individual acts: indicate to the other what they plan to do, indicate what the other is expected to do in return, 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.

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