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Lecture

Social construction and symbolic interactionism.docx

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Department
Social Science
Course
SOSC 2650
Professor
Anita Lam
Semester
Fall

Description
January 9, 2014 Lecture 12 Social construction and symbolic interactionism, Part II Lecture Overview 1) Assignments 2) Brief recap 3) Erving Goffman and Stigma *social construction and symbolic interaction* 4) Stanley Cohen and Moral Panic Proxy **common theme about contracts; becceria: social contracts with the governments and it is through the story for society; it is what lifts us out of the state of nature (describe the social contract) and Durkheim: contractual solidarity; understanding of contracts then becceria. Most advanced type in society; can be seen after society has been evolved. (how? Division of labor; show that there is a division of labor)** *forshadows debt: class and it can have transections; how these transactions affect us. Becceria = we’re all equal Brief recap • Labeling theory: social process theory *emphasize in label theory is the social process of labeling*  Societal reaction to crime *labeling certain groups as criminal or deviant* • Social construction (vs. positivistic/scientific theory)  Assumptions: No acts/people are inherently criminal. Crime and criminals are socially constructed phenomena. They do not exist, but are made. They are labeled as such but society  Criminality and deviant are socially constructed phenomena. We make them this way through symbolic interactionism • Symbolic interactionism: people communicate and interact with each other through symbols (e.g. words, gestures, images, labels, e.t.c)  E.g. looking-glass self  Labeling had an effect when they constructed themselves as deviant person Erving Goffman • Self-presentation: the attempt to present who we are, or who we want people to believe we are, through our words, nonverbal behaviors and actions *something that is not simple or straightforward because there are times when we want people to form an impression of us and as a result we act a certain way; who we are and who we want people to believe we are* Maintain people’s impression of us • Impression management: our conscious or unconscious orchestration of a carefully designed presentation of self, so as to create a certain impression that fits our goals or needs in a social interaction **both are part of Goffman’s dramaturgical model of social interaction** Dramaturgical model of social interaction • Theatre as a metaphor for social life • Took Shakespeare literally • In life we do certain things *playing a role*; present certain aspects to people • As a student what are the symbolic interactions: being quiet and learning. Showing certain aspects to other people • Front-stage: actively presenting particular self to others *first date; job interviews* • Backstage: not actively managing or creating a particular impression *not cleaning your room, especially when you make people believe you’re a clean person* • Social identity (course reader p.157) *characterized by personal attributes: are you honest; as well as structural attributes: occupation; e.g honest cop vs. corrupt cop* Stigma • How do we manage the impression of a spoiled identity? • Refers to the process by which the reaction of other people “spoils” normal identity *stigma is a spoiled identity* • HOW? Discrepancy between virtual and actual social identity *who we think we are vs. virtual – who other people think we are* • Refers to the situation of an individual who is disqualified or rejected from full social acceptance due to the possession of a deeply discrediting attribute • 3 sources of stigma  Bodily abominations and physical deformities  Weakness of individual character *refers to a sense that you as an individual have a weak character* • Can be inferred by reports by certain criminal justice agents  Race, nation and religion Reaction to Stigma • Face-to-face interaction: mixed contacts (course reader p.162) book was published in 1963 before the internet was created • How do normal react to stigmatized people?  Discrimination *stigmatized person is not quite human; creating stigma as symbolic and because of that we discriminate the stigmatized individual*  Stigma theory (course reader p.158) * • How do stigmatized people react to their own stigma?  Sympathetic others *reacting to hostile or inappropriate reactions of normal people* stigmatized as normal and human  “the wise” (e.g. police) *people who are normal and don’t have a source of stigma; work or live in a special situation or knowledgeable about the lives of these stigmatized people and they feel sympathetic and treat them as normal people* Criticism of Goffman’s work • Not an example of structural determinism (free will and agency vs. Determinism) *socioigists; Durkheim: examined stru
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