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Leanne Joanisse

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Brief overview of symbolic Interactionism Oct 22 2012  Society is the sum of the interactions of individuals and small groups  It is a study of how people interact with other people  Symbol – something that meaniningfully represents something else (written or spoken word or a gesture)  Interaction – refers to the ways, 2 or more people respond to one another  Most interactions among human beings is symbolic  Depends on words and actions that have meanings beyond themselves  This approach focuses on how people act toward one another and how they make sense of those interactions o Subjectively define and interpret environments o Human possess free will- not a deterministic theory o They assign individual meanings to their world o We are not billiard balls reacting passively to external forces o Individual meanings , act for reasons rather than causes - Within social psychology, symbolic Interactionism had traditionally been the one mose concerned with the meanings that people give to actions and events, and with understanding how these meanings.. Negotiations ? o Symbolic interactions stresses cognitive processes but it places more emphasis on the interaction between the individual and society o In this perspective, a persons behavior is constructed through give and take others o Article assigned for today: McCall and Simmons: “Symbolic interaction: core concepts and principals “ o Behavior is not nearly a response to stimuli o Our thoughts and behavior are shaped by social interaction with others th o Distinctively American sociological tradition developed in the late 19 , early 20 century o Early founders  Dewey, James, Peirce, Thomas Cooley etc o George Herbert mead  must know this name o Never achieved an advanced graduate degree o Wrote very little in his life time o Published book after his death because of his students, they assembled notes from his courses o Book called “Mind self and society” ( know the name of the book) 1934 o More social alternative in explaining human behavior , while meads definition of social psychology, it is the study of the activity or the behavior of the individual as it lies within the social process Pragmatists- view intellectual and social lives linked together o They stress the process of human adjustment to the world, in which humans constantly seek to master the conditions of their environment o They arise out of the process of adjusting to their life conditions o Traditional philosophy separates our physical environments from our spiritual lives o Humans adapt to their psychical environments as well as their social worlds o They negotiate their psychical and cognitive lives with other people , adapting to new situations as they come along. o Indication of pragmatism psychical and internal environments cannot be separated o We derive meaning through interactions with others and internal thought processes. - How human beings are distinct from other creatures o Mead emphasized we are different from other creatures, we have the capacity for language *** important, thus we can think reason , communicate and coordinate our actions with others o We have evolved in a way that has freed of some of the constraints of other animals o We can create social worlds that are apart from the demands of nature o He focuses his analyses to unique character and the consequences of the human ability o People communicate through a system of symbols o Great deal of emphasis about language o Most interactions among humans are based of significant symbols o Significant symbols – words or gestures that have the same meanings to others as they do for themselves are all these ** on exam ** o When 2 people communicate they have to make sense of their gestures and behaviors o Only when we have significant symbols can we truly have communication o Language, significant symbols call out same response in individual o Language stimulates person speaking as it does to others o According to mead, vocal utterances are most likely to become significant symbols o Set of vocal gestures are most likely to become significant symbols is LANGUAGE o It calls out the same response in the individual  invokes the same response, the word dog or cat elicits the same mental image uttering the word as it does to the person being address if they have speaking the same language o Significant symbols allow people to become their own stimulators of their own actions o Non human animals: interaction takes form of “conversation gestures” o No though processes between stimulus and response o Dog fighting with another dog o Growling serves as stimuli for the other dog - Ones dogs gesture automatically elicits a gesture from the second dog - Have no control over their gestures, instinctual manifestations – also on the exam - Meads work on social acts and social object on 3 components o Animal has impulses (incipient acts) seeking enactment o Animal then encounters stimuli favoring one or another of this incipient acts - Acts are present on the latent form and are released, not stimulated - Things exist prior to and independent of the animal -Animal is not a passive robot; it does seek to act upon the environment - Mead would say that the animal creates the object of its environment - Objects exist only in relation to acts - Example object of eating is nutrition if one is hungry one has an impulse to eat - The same bundle of stimuli release two very different acts with 2 very different objects o Objects may exist in physical form but for the human being, they are named and given meaning through social interaction. o We transform things, events and actions into social objects o Example of the stolen base  it has no psychical structure, it is simply a social object because it is a symbolic structure o Social objects are often insubstantial but they are extremely abundant and important The dramaturgical perspective - Emphasizes how most of what e do is a result of acting Missing oct 25 note here Oct 29 2012 The Self Self- Persons experience and awareness of having a personal identity that is desperate from that of other people  The influence of symbolic Interactionism  The self is created through social interaction with others  Believe by the process by which people develop the sense of self, is the same as the process by which they internalize their culture  A child is not born with a sense of self, anymore than he or she is not able to speak English or play sports  Created with social interaction with others  Society makes us human  Draw heavily on the ideas of George Herbert Med, discussing the self and its dynamics  Self operates as a communicative process  Highly mutable and flexible sense of self  The self is linked through society through the actions of individuals  Meads view of the development of the self was influenced by o William James (1842-1910) o Self as a subject o Self as object - Was the first American to study concept of the self, He recognized that 2 aspects of the self exist (capacities to develop self attitudes and self feelings) ({abilities to respond to ones self or object) Multiple selves- The idea that an individual has many social selves or different relationships with various people - He pointed out we show a different side of ourselves to the different groups we car about (parents, friends, classmates, coworkers and bosses etc) - This tendency to be a different person to different groups, we divide the self into different social selves, regardless if we think of ourselves singular in nature -Mead was strongly influenced by the concept of the dual nature of the self, and others are important in the development of the self -John Dewey (1859-1952) o Human capacity to think is what sets us apart from animals  Mind was not an entity it was a process of adjusting , thinking and deliberating different forms of action, from Dewey mead ……?  Charles Horton Cooley (1864-1929) - We come to see ourselves as others view us (looking glass self) much like a view in the mirror  Our view of our selves is not directly from us but how others perceive us  Base who we are on how people see us, how we think other people see us and whether this seems good or bad to us - How does the looking glass self develop?  1. We imagine how we appear to others (Attractive, unfriendly)  2 We imagine others judgment of our behavior or appearance  3. We experience some feeling with respect the self (prime, or embarrassment because of peoples perceived judgment) Meads concept of the self  Focused on the social origin and the social nature of the self  Role taking  The process by which a person mentally assumes the role of another person in order to understand the world from that persons point of view  We are able to see ourselves as others see us  The development of the self takes place in 3 stages o Prepatory Stage o Play Stage o Game Stage -Preparatory stage (0 to 3)  Actions lack meaning, lack understanding of the meaning of there behavior (Copying others)  Kids don’t know what they are doing, mimicking, don’t understanding intentions, so at this point they have NO SELF  They are preparing for role taking - Play stage (2-6)  Children model themselves after significant others  Self emerges in the form of PLAY  Modeled on significant others (important people who have a strong influence on the children during the development of the self)  Play at taking role of others, such as doctors, super hero or bad guy, as a result the child can pretend to be other people  Playing mommy or daddy helps the child learn the parents point of view, child has no unified concept of self -Game stage (7 through adolescent)  Coherent self develops  Child can take a number of roles simultaneously  Mead used an example of a baseball game  must look at all the roles at the same time, plan there responses to the predicted actions of other players based on the big picture of the entire situation  Develop the generalized picture of how ppl will act towards us  We begin to take on the role of the Generalized Other  Which is  The representation of an individual internalization of societies rules  Key to developing the self is gaining sophistication and developing the other  Self is divided into 2 distinct aspects  The “I” and the “Me” o I is the subjective element of the self (impulsive, spontaneous and self interested traits of the person) o Me is the objective element ( the result of socialization and is therefore conscious of social norms, values and expectations ) The Human Group -Nov 5 1. The Self ( conclusion) 2. Person Perception th Nov 5 2012 Dramaturgical Theory  Ervig Goffman : The Presentation of the self in everyday life (1959)  Goffmans conception of self indebted to meads ideas  - Notes “crucial discrepancy between our all too human selves and our socialized self”  Tension is due to what people expect us to do and what we want to do spontaneously  In order to maintain a stable self image people perform for their social audiences  He developed dramaturgical analysis: the study of social interaction that compared every day life to a theatrical presentation  A status mirror a part in a play, a role serves as a script , supplies dialogue and action for each of the characters and members of our audience judge our performance  When individuals interaction, they want a certain self to be accepted by others  Impression management  the attempt to present oneself as one wishes to be viewed by others  Members of each of our audience in this play of life  audience are also actors and they are trying to convince us that they are the characters they are playing  Impression management  we can rely on a number of clues  To communicate information about the self we create the front 1. The setting: geographical location performance takes place ( taxi drives needs a cab, surgeon needs a operation room) 2. Appearance: Includes clothing, hairstyle, facial expression and titles (hairstyles , clothes convey the actors social status) includes objects people carry 3. Manner: attitudes we demonstrate as we play our roles ( moods, feelings, tone of voice and gestures  Example of a physicians office  Does convey important information  Typically is no where to be seen in the front region  Private office  they are in the back region of the setting  Physician usually remains seated behind a desk  Patient is only provided with a chair  Executives have a raised desk and give chairs with short legs  Doctor wil call you by their first name, shows dominate position  Social interaction, like a theatre has a front stage and a back stage  Front stage – Actor performs a specific role before an audience  Front of a restaurant - front stage.. spend most of your life on the front stage  Where every you deliver your lines  Backstage  area where a player is not required to perform a specific role because it is out of view of a given audience  Boundaries between front and back regions are crucial for successful impression management because they prevent members of the audience that would ….  Face saving behaviour  what we use to rescue our performance when we have potential or actual loss of face Ch 5 Person Perception  Attribution – the process by which we come to understand who people are, based on their behavior  Heider (1958) All people are “naïve” psychologists  Everyone tries to understand the causes of other behavior, attributed this to stable  See a man with a smile could be friendly or he could be sly  We pay attention to actions that produce non common effects  Ex. Of Carla the violinist 3. We also pay greater attention to actions that are low in social desirability - People who perform a socially desirable act show us only that they are conforming to a social norm and reveals nothing about their distinctive dispositions - We learn about others traits and characteristics that are somehow out of the ordinary MISSING NOV 8 NOTE HERe Nov 12 2012 1. Person Perception (Conclusion) 2. Attitudes and attitude change Cultural Basis of Attributions  An important difference among cultures is whether a culture is individualistic or collectivistic  Is this difference in values reflected in the attributions people making regarding behavior  Not surprisingly in an individualistic society, perceivers are more likely to attribute behavior to individual dispositions but in a collectivistic society it is more attributed to environmental or situational influences. Empirical Literature  - Study of children and adults in U.S and India  Study of Euro Americans, Chinese Americans and mainland Chinese  Self-effacement of modesty bias  Americans show a higher self serving bias than Chinese Americans and mainland Chinese  Today, both adults and children’s show a less prevalent bias in collectivistic societies  Chinee students who used this type of attribution, were liked more than did not, this suggests that this is an important part of social relations Impressions and how they influence the ways others respond to us  Primacy effect  The tendency to give greater weight to early information in formation of impressions  First impressions are very important and have a big impact  People who hear someone who I intelligent, impulsive and critical, stubborn etc they develop a more positive impression of the person then hearing the same descriptors in the reverse order.  Asch’s (1946) study   Group A. intelligent, industrious, impulsive, critical, stubborn, envious  Group B. Reverse order  Subjects who heard the first list had more favorable impressions…  2 reasons why it is so powerful o When they formed an accurate impression so they become less attention they become less attention to subsequent contradictory information o Meaning of later adjective was influenced by earlier ones  hearing the positive adjectives first hearing the the negative ones lets people interpret neutral and negative ones in a positive light, hearing the negatives ones first can cast a negative light have the opposite effect  Recency Effect  The tendency to give a greater weight to later information in the formational of impressions o Time which elapses between early and later information can also affect the type of effect that will be produced o Also more likely to occur when judging characteristics that change over time (moods and attitudes) The self-fulfilling prophecy effect on first impressions  The impression we form of people influence our behavior towards them  Self-fulfilling prophecy  an unsubstantiated belief or prediction resulting in behavior that makes originally false belief come true  Because our own actions invoke, our initially impressions correct or incorrect are often confirmed by the reaction of others.  When this happens our impressions become self-fulfilling prophecies  Research by Rosenthal and Jacobson (1968) o Researchers divided (randomly) students into 2 groups (20 percent) : exceptional “spurters” and average, the names were selected at random, only thing that could attribute to this is the expectation of success, spurters were found to score significantly higher o The exceptional students in post test, scored high on IQ levels than students who were labeled average Chapter 6. Attitudes and Attitude Change  Cold plays music is great  My ______ class is really boring  I like my job All have one thing in common  Attitude Attitudes do influence in behaviors  Attitude  A tendency to evaluate a person, object, object or idea with some degree of approval or disapproval Attitude object  anything that can become a though or evaluation can serve as an attitude ( an event, a person, a group of people, an idea, a kind of behavior, anything at all) Components of an Attitude - Cognitive component - though of what people have ( attitude or object( -Affective ‘’ - refers to emotions or feelings towards an object or attitude Behavioral ‘‘ refers to a persons actions towards an object or attitude and intentional to act (think of CAB when you memorize) a person thinks all university students are arrogant ( this is a cognitive aspect of the attitude) They feel uncomfortable  it is the affective A person refuses a ride to the student and that’s the behavioral component Attitudes are not always shown through actions Measuring Attitudes  Attitudes and interactions  where you meet, who you both know , current nation and local affects ( want to find out the attitudes towards objects that are relevant)  Attitude and mental states – mental states cannot be directly observed, slogans printed on t-shirts and bumper stickers - Asking a direct question - We want to know the attitudes of people Soc psychologists use different methods to find this out Single item scales – consists of direct positive or negative statement about the object, disagrees agrees or is unsure ____ YES ____NO ____ UNSURE Advantages  economically, takes minimal time and space to present Easy to score, not precise , must be general and must have gross differences in attitude, only separate people into 2 groups , ( those who favor pre marital abstinence and everyone else  Likert Scale -> use multiple questioners called Attitude scales  Most popular is the Likert  Asked about s subject and asked how strongly they agree or disagree on the subject  Each respondents attitude score is calculated Ex. I think people should wait until they are married to have sex - Strongly Agree (-2) -Agree (-1) -Undecided (0) -Disagree (+1) -Strongly Disagree (+2) Advantages – Allows to order respondents precisely, strong idea of how they feel, are commonly used to public opinion poles Disadvantages  More time to administer, involves a scoring stage therefore more time to score Functions of ATTITUDES  Attitudes can serve 4 classes of purposes  One is the Adjustment function -->Holding specific attitudes can gain approval and acceptance of others  People are attracted to other people who have similar attitudes  Ego-defensive function  boosting ones self esteem, ones own anxiety, person cut from a hockey time, this person might be feeling a feeling of loss of failure (easier saying I don’t like hockey, good thing this happened… boosting his or her own ego)  Value-expressive function  refers to the role of attitudes in defining and asserting the self , what is important to us, these attitudes tend to be very central to ones self concept that they can be betrayed only at risk as betraying the self  Attitudes that serve this function arise from early training, developed later through extended activities that support the attitudes development  Knowledge function  they help us make sense of our world, cope with everyday decisions, assist people in selection mariot objects that go into the visual field, guide reactions and interpretation of events , not mutually exclusive relatively equally, it may serve entirely one of the other, they are not mutally exclusive November 19 Consistency Theory Cognition: an individuals perception of attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors. Example: Bill believes in God and follows Gods teachings therefore perceives both as applying to him. He has a negative attitude towards pre-marital sex and adultery. Given his attitude to premarital sex, we would expect Bill to abstain from sex until marriage. He has never engaged in premarital sex, so we see that his behaviour is consistent with his attitudes (however this is not always the case). Slide 3 If you value equal rights for all persons – chances are you support employment equity plans. If you value equal rights for all persons, you believe in non-sexist ways. Consistency among a persons perceptions is wide spread. The observation that peoples cognations are consistent show that people are motivated to maintain consistency. In general, consistency theories hypothesize that if inconsistency develops between c
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