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SOCIOL 2S06 Study Guide - Sylvia Walby, Socialist Feminism, Conversation Analysis


Department
Sociology
Course Code
SOCIOL 2S06
Professor
David Young

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Erving Goffman
- Alberta 1922
- BA - U of T
- PHD - U of Chicago
- Died in 1982 (60)
- ―Presentation of the self in every day life‖
- influenced by I & ME discrepancy between ourselves+socialized selves (ME)
Goffman‘s Dramaturgical Theory
- see‘s social life as a series of dramatic performances, similar to theatre
- people presenting themselves in a certain way
- ―All the worlds a stage‖ Shakespeare
- analogy to the theatre
o actor given a position, follows society‘s script
o role behavior expected of a person based on norms actor can stick to or go against
script
o stage front stage (where actor peforms role for audience), setting (physical)
personal front-appearance(items that reveal actor‘s status-ie menus) and manner
(tells audience type of role actors playing)
back stage (actor can step out of role)
o script
o performance
Impression Management
= attempt to influence the views others have of them
- occurs in the front stage The Self in Dramaturgical Theory
- people engage to present a self that will be accept
- most performances are successful (presentation of self)
- Tries to avoid making mistakes in the performance
- The audience sometimes has a stake in successful performance displaying great interest or not
noticing mistakes in the performance (ie. Date)
Criticism of Dramaturgical Theory
- A cynical view of people calculating and selfish
- Impression management seems to be a way for people to manipulate others
- His theory rules out any human behavior motivated by altruism
Stigma
- A mark or sign of disgrace
- gap between what a person ought to be (virtual vs. social identity)-fat stigma
- The dramaturgical interaction between stigmatized people and ―normal‖
Discredited stigma known to audience members or assumed to be
o A convicted criminal, blind person, wheelchair audience knows they suffer a stigma.
Stigmatized persons will engage in impression management
- Discreditable stigma audience cannot see stigma, it is unknown to them
o A homosexual person who has a partial hearing loss, person who is a devil worshiper. Ie
homosexual will engage in impression management and present himself as heterosexual
Focused on people who have obvious, grotesque stigmas. Ie. People missing limbs
Applies to many because most have experienced it or seen as difference ie. Race
Frame Analysis
=The basic frameworks of understanding available in our society for making sense of events (micro)
-Schemata of interpretation
How Do Frames Work?
- In two main ways: 1. focus attention on our surroundings: relevant (in frames) or irrelevant(out of)
ie. Someone who uses a racist frame will focus on things that fit stereotypes

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2.frames link relevant elements so that a particular ―story‖ is told or interpreted
ie. Racial stereotypes present an overall picture of that group of people
-frames interpret behav (ie old lady stealing criminal frame: shoplifting, security; psych:absent minded)
-― statements (ie all women belong at home-patriarchal and feminist frames)
-news use frames to reduce a lot of info down to something that is much easier for audience to understand
-frame of conflict (amplifies issues..ie polcy, news turns it into story about conservative vs. liberal)
-news frames present less powerful groups negatively (ie management vs. strikers)
―all the world is NOT a stage‖
Evaluation(SI)
Advantages of S.I. Theory: provided a much needed corrector to early theorists (bc they didn‘t focus on
micro) Simmel->Mead->Goffman
Criticisms:
1.Sci analysis (use qualitative analysis to see how people behave, not much use of quan.)
2.Key Concepts (vague/unclear ideas…ie ME and I hard to operationalize concepts)
3.Large Scale Social Structures(ignores these bc focus on micro-should look at how cap affects behav)
4. Microscopic Approach (ie does not look at psych factors..too focused on social)
Ethno-methodology: study of common sense knowledge and the range of procedures by which people
make sense of and act on the circumstances in which they find themselves
-It is less focused on theoretical ideas, and more rooted empirical observations (induction)
-developed by Garfinkel late 1940‘s
became big when he published ―Studies in Ethnomethodology‖ (late 1960‘s)
What is studied?
-not micro/macro, si interested on micro and actor, ethno are interested in methods (practices through
which people produce an understanding of the social
Analysis of Accounts
-ways in which people explain, describe, criticize or idealize specific social situations
-Ethnomethodolgists are interested in the nature of an account (ie missing a test, interested in how
account is offered and accepted)
-ethnomethodological indifference they do not pass judgement on an account
breaching experiments(early studies) ‗common sense‘, social rules or expectations are broken (to shine
light on methods by which people make sense of situations)
-breach: asked to be stranger in home, reaction: shock,anger,demanded explain., aftermath-harmony
restored OR hard feelings
Conversation Analysis
detail understanding of the fundamental structures of conversations, social rules governing convos
-assumption:convos=sequential orgn,turn by turn basis, context shaped(content will shape context)
-stable,orderly properties
Methodology: examining convos in natural situs, videotape, requires highly detailed data
-can analyze words, cut-offs, throat clearing, breathing,laughter,silence,re-starts,non-verbal
STUDY 1 (gale Jefferson) examining how people know when to laugh (structure designed to
make other person laugh-speaker to place a laugh at the end AND within utterance)
STUDY 2 (Phillip Glenn) speaker usually laughs first in 2 party, someone other than in multi
SHYNESS/SELF CONFIDENCE (Philip Manning, George Ray) lab experiment on uni
students, videotaped convos, 10 shy dyads/10 self confident, both ―setting talked‖, shy people 2 ½
more likely to go back, 8 more times likely to come back

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AUDIENCE REACTIONS: structures/social rules/procedures that come into play
1. Applause independent, individual decision making; occurs immediately after pop remark
2. Booing monitoring behave of others, signal=a murmur going through audience then booing(time lag)
Analysis of Institutional Settings
- an ethnomethodologist might be interested in looking at hospitals, police departments
- Conventional sociologists who are studying institutional settings would be concerned w/
analysis of the formal structures and bureaucratic rules connected to that structure
- Ethnomethodologists would be interested in the procedures and practices that people within
these institutions do to make sense of things (ie crime rates-bureacratic), ethno would look at
how to classify victim
1) Job Interviews (Graham Button)
o Saw job interviews as sequential, turn-taking conversations that take place in a
variety of institutional settings (moves onto something else, can‘t go back)
o 3 structural procedures that the interviewer uses
1. The interviewer may indicate that the interview as a whole is over
2. The interview may ask another question that moves the discussion in a different
direction
3. May assess the answer given in such a way that the interviewee is precluded
from returning to it
- what makes a job interview a job interview? what people to and in particular how they
structure and organize their conversations that makes a job interview a job interview
2) Calls to Emergency Centres (Marilyn Whalen and Don Zimmerman )
- in normal telephone conversations we usually find that the opening of the conversation is
structurally organized in a particular sequence (answer, greeting)
- they found that certain events which would be ignored in normal telephone conversations are
treated quite seriously (ie silence, hanging up-indicate assistance)
Criticisms of Conventional Sociology
Ethnomethodology vs. Conventional Sociology
-Studies of institutional settings approach studies in very different ways
A. Conventional Sociologists Impose Their Own Sense of Social Reality(conventional don‘t pay
enough attention to everyday world, do not examine structures(ie social rules governing things
such as laughter, conversations), rely on their assumptions about how things work, distorts sr
B. Using Scientific Techniques (stats cant capture social world, engage in
coding(distorting..preconceived notions)
C. Using descriptions of Phenomena (rely on research subjects to describe)
D. Confuse Resources and topic (ie seeing speech as a resource that can be used to study norms,
ethno sees speech as a topic-bc can reveal how social life is organized)
Feminist Theory = system of ideas about social life and human experience that is developed from a woman
centered perspective, interdisciplinary, tries to broaden sociology
centered in two ways takes as its starting point its situations and experiences as women
Questions
1. What amount the women (draw attention to empirical issues..ie are they present in social situ,if not y..ift
they are what are they doing)
2. Why is all this as it is (theoretical explanations-developed gender in 1970s-(sex bio) = deals with
physical differences (gender social concept) = deals with culturally learned behaviours(mas,fem) Men =
aggressive, women= submissive
3. How can the Social World be changed to make it More Just? (theoretical exp. for empir issues)
Social change (explain why women not present, come up w/ solutions)
4.What About the Differences among Women? women experience different due to different conditions(sex,
ethnicity, location)-recently paid attention to bc fem theory was developed by white,midclass
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