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Course Code
SOC 3310
Norman Dubeski
Study Guide

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WEEK 8 Symbolic Interactionism
Interpretive Pre-Cursors: Versetehen: sympathetic understanding
Early Chicago School
A) Pierce, Dewey: invented pragmatism
B) Park: conducted ethnographic research
C) Cooley & Thomas: interactionists, interpretive interaction (situation becomes real in its consequences)
D) Mead: combined philosophy & soc into social behaviouralism
E) Mead dies, Blumer: takes over
Symbolic Interationism Arises
- Blumer coins symbolic Interactionism
- Other interactionist theories linked to SI such as Goffman’s dramaturgical school
- Chicago school
Three Principles
- Act according to the meanings that things and events have for them
- Individual meanings stem from social interaction
- Entail active interpretation rather than literal compliance with expectation
******Other Important Thinkers
- Charles H Cooley: coined looking glass self
- WI Thomas: if men define situations as real, they are real in their consequences
- BF Skinner & James B Watson: explain human actions through behaviour alone
In relation to other paradigms: micro “loyal opposition” to macro structural – functionalism
Development Steps
- PRE PLAY: imitates, see self as an object
- PLAY: learn to play starting to imagine perspective
- GAME: learn games, multiple perspectives
- GENERALIZED: abstract perspective of society’s image of them
“I” and the “Me”
- Mead
- I: response, impulse, self as subject
- Me: lens, w/I to understand other ppl and society
- Made up of them (don't just have them)
- Phases of internal interaction
Gestures: significant symbol if has same/similar meaning for both parties
SI Research

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- Exploratory or descriptive
- Ethnographic and qualitative
- Doesn’t easily study structure
- Joint action to study multi purpose actions based on common meaning
- ******* What is blumers methodological mean for studying social structure joint action
- Doesn’t impose researchers values
Blumer: rejects meaning as intrinsic (realism) or psychic (psychological)
Roles: doesn’t see roles as passive, choose and juggle them, flexible and overlap
*****Mind, Self and Society: society comes first then the individual
Research Methods
- Seeking soft rather than hard data (thoughts rather than proof)
- New Iowa School
WEEK 9 Contemporary Theory, Goffman
Goffman’s Dramaturgy
- Social life like actors on stage, perform to fill roles
- Social life sum of role performance
o Front stage: public performance
o Backstage: effort that goes into role
- Discrepant roles: when conflict of roles for the situation
- Manage role distance to show professionalism
- Role strain difficult to perform under circumstances
- Roles usually have associated status position
- Women’s gender performance takes more ongoing work, men can afford more discrepancies
- Asylums total institutions to see how ppl try to keep individuality
- Stigma ppl who are deviant as their master status are marginalized
- Gender Advertisements ads reproduce gender as sexual inequality
- Emotional labour (women have to do more)
o When one expressed/feels emotions to conduct ones paid work
- Emotional dissonance when one has to express diff feelings from what they feel, try to bring together
Collins: personal accountability, ethics of caring, concrete experiences, depth of real dialogue
Role and Audience Segregation: we act diff to diff ppl, facilitates multiple roles, diff audiences demand diff things
Cell Phones in Public...” (Humphreys): new communication means new facework and unspoken conventions
WEEK 10 Exchange and Rational Choice Theories
- Assumes ppl rational in general, ppl try to make choices to benefit self & take their circumstances into account
- Influences on: utilitarian philosophers, Simmel, Smith (ppl generally selfish)
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