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Lecture 4

Sociology 2234E Lecture Notes - Lecture 4: Helen Keller, Social Order

Course Code
SOC 2234E
Lesley Harman

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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
Empty Horizons (Schultz)
- All sort of possible outcomes
The meaning of the projected action is always different from that of the accomplished
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
(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
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
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