3630: Sociology Of Education October 9 , 2013
Analytic Commentary: Due November 6 , 2013 th
- 15 marks; 8 pages, double spaced, including works cited
- Select two articles from the course readings and analyze them; a book chapter and
- Identify the common theme you wish to explore in comparing the articles
- Provide a concise summary of the selected articles
- Provide an analytic discussion of the articles with regard to the identified theme;
may bring in other literature from this course and other courses as a sociology
- Main theme is to compare and contrast the two pieces
- Concluding remarks
- List of references; does not matter what style of referencing to use as long as its
consistent; APA, MLA.
(Continuation from last class)
Interpretative of Phenomenological Perspectives
o Also called interpretive and hermeneutics
o Phenomenological sociology: our consciousness of the world, our knowledge of it
is through interpretation.
o The centrality of interpretation
o The role of meanings, symbols, and intersubjective relationships.
o Emphasizes on interactionism, and the actor‟s experience of the world.
o Encourages people to seek change through the way they think; through your own
o Drawing on Jean Paul Sartre‟s (1905-1980) views on human freedom
o Developed in the University of Chicago, Sociology Department around the 1920s
o A founding figure is George Herbert Mead (1863-1931) He focused on the
thought process, where is our thinking coming from, generation of ideas.
o A second major thinker is Herbert Blumer (1900-1987)
o A perspective emphasizing the importance of language, meaning, and use of
symbols in our social activities.
o Utilizing a research method now known as participant-observation
o We create our world by giving meaning to it
George Ritzer‟s Principles Of Symbolic Interactionism
1. Humans have the capacity for thought; can engage in meaningful/thoughtful
2. Human thinking is shaped by social interaction; social interaction implies a
social space, a group interaction with the environment and nature.
3. People learn meanings and symbols in social settings; interaction
4. Meanings and symbols enable people to carry on uniquely human actions and
interactions 3630: Sociology Of Education October 9 , 2013
5. Meanings and symbols change dependent upon interpretation; gender.
Feminism may be be defined differently in a university setting as oppose to a
religious setting, community setting, media setting.
6. Unique ability to interact with self.
7. Culmination of interaction and patterns of action make up society
Micro Vs. Macro
o Highlight the ways in which meanings are created, constructed, mediated and
changed by members of a group or society
o Georg Simmel: society is the summation of human experience and its patterned
o Experience is coming from our interaction with one another and our environment
o Mead: Mind, Self and Society (1934)- Human mind results from the individual‟s
ability to respond and engage with the environment.
o Charles Cooley (1864-1929) : sympathetic introspection; experiencing the world
through someone else‟s eyes, putting yourself in someone else‟s shoes.
o What if we change our gender, race positions, and class positions?
o Looking glass self: we develop our self-image through the cues we receive from
o Self-fulfilling prophecy: internalize impressions and as a result become the kind
of person we believe others see us as. Ex. Your parents or friends see you as a
failure, because you got one bad mark, then you become down on yourself and
your marks will reflect on that.
o Language is seen as the significant symbol
o Mead‟s notion about „the me‟, „the I „and the generalized „other‟, in his best-
known work: Mind, Self and Society.
o The notion of multiple selves as in the sentence: I am thinking about myself.
o We can have multiple selves, as we act different to our friends as we would
towards our parents, co-workers, teachers, etc.
o The self is dialectically related to the social, which means that it is influenced by
the social but at the same time influencing the social.
o The generalized other: the entire community, the others…
o The priority of the social society first, and then mind…
Main Points On The Perspective
o Human beings act towards things on the basis of the meaning that the things have
for them (University has an importance to us, we care for a university degree)
o These meanings are the product of social interaction in society
o Meanings are generated in a social space
o These meanings are processed through interpretation
o The work of Erving Goffman (1922-1982) – a dramaturgical analysis: the
presentation of self in everyday life. We present ourselves in society, in our social
space, as if we were acting. Ex. At home, you are more comfortable, you dress
more laid back and don‟t have to put on a show to impress others.
o Everything is reduced to acting 3630: Sociology Of Education October 9 , 2013
o Issues of power, conflict and change are looking into through changes in
language, meaning, symbols, acting, etc.
Symbolic interactionism and Education
o Interactionist theories: are critiques and extensions of the functionalist and