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Social construction and symbolic interactionism.docx

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Social Science
SOSC 2650
Anita Lam

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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