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SOCI 240
Brett Gilley

5. Identity Self has a distinct meaning from the symbolic interactionist perspective Not the same as identity, actor, personality Self is an object of the actor’s own action The individual acts toward others and acts toward self The ‗actor‘ acts The ‗self‘ is part of the actor‘s environment Part of the definition of the situation The self is the internal environment toward which we act Self as social object Arises out of social interaction Tall, and grade, Individual sees him as an object in the environment through interaction with others View self indirectly from other‘s point of view Eye contact, gesture, Constantly changing—redefined through social interaction A continuously changing object- viewed differently in various situations Stages in the development of self 1. Preparatory stage Mead (language is the biggest symbolic system) Child imitates adult (hey- five) Imitation lacks meaning or symbolic understanding Social objects not yet defined or understood with words that have meaning to the child 2. Play stage Mead Occurs during language acquisition (Two kid sitting together, near proximity) (Barbie doll and cooking) Label and define objects with words that have shared meaning Child takes the perspective of specific individuals (significant others) with whom she/he identifies (usually parents) Only takes perspective of one significant other at a time 1 3. Game stage Necessity of assuming perspective of several others simultaneously Generalized other (society as a whole, general social norm), incorporate all significant other into generalized other (Little girl takes roles in mock family) Self becomes defined by individual and by them (internalization of society) 4. Reference groups- Shibutani Individual interacts with many different groups of individual Significant others become a complex mixture of generalized others with separate social world Particular views of self become important in one context and less so in another Self as object Three categories of actions I. Self communication Actor talks to him/ thinking, The actor talks to self II. Self perception - self concept Assessment of our own action Self is present in all situations we are in Self is the basis from which the individual makes judgments and plans toward the other objects in the situation Self-perception over time develops stability --Develop knowledge about who we are and what we do Something you do define who you are, gesture, - Self-Concept The stable picture we have of ourselves Not fixed but stable over time and situations Influences what we do in every situation An average tone of self-feeling - Self-Judgment Often called self-esteem 2 Appraisal of ourselves Results from social interaction Not just judgments of others that affect our self-judgment, but our perception of other‘s judgment that is important AND still don‘t necessarily accept it – define in a way that is useful to us Select, interpret, ignore, and exaggerate Select our significant others to reaffirm our self judgment How do you think yourself? (You have control over your self- perception) Identity Self- perception III. The name we call ourselves IV. The social location of an individual – where one is situated in relation to others V. Identities are labels used by reference groups and significant others of the individual VI. Identities are meanings a person attributes to self VII. A source of motivation Name, change of last name, family name Three basic types of identities 1. Basic (age, sex) 2. General (roles- e.g. father, mother) 3. Independent (e.g. soccer player) - Range from central, difficult to change, to peripheral. Easy to change - Turner states core identities real selves Individual believes a given identity reflects who she really is. Self-control Able to control our own actions Self is an object we are able to direct, influence and control Act toward our environment according to our goals and choices 3 Exercise control over ourselves Self-control In a large part is guided by others Thought on I and me ―I‖ = self as subject The beginning of an act Untouched by society Impulsive, spontaneous, creative ―Me‖ = self as object Completes the act Allows us to control our actions Establishes our identity Thoughts on Mind action Thinking is what symbolic interactionist call mind Mind is defined as all symbolic covert action toward oneself - Constant stream of consciousness, internal (not open to observation) Ability to control overt actions Plan rather than just respond Speed up or delay action Ability to problem solve Change plan if it is no longer working Mind action most engaged when there is a problem to solve (block/interruption in our goal achievement) Does not guarantee that we are successful, rational or clear thinkers! James, Cooley and Mead Theories of the self and identity overview William James: father of modern psychology James thinks ‗I‘ component form identity Other two thinks ―me‖ self-component form identity 4 Cooley: self and society George Mead: Mind, self and society I-self (personal) The feeling of self-identity The experience that 'I am the same self that I was yesterday,' ―The sense of our own personal exactly like any one of our other perceptions of sameness among phenomena Me self (social self) Encompasses three interrelated aspects: Material self - all those aspects of material existence in which we feel a strong sense of ownership Our bodies, our families, our possessions, car, house, I love you bell, Food, dress, Social self - our felt social relations, all social relationship, Spiritual self - our feelings of our own subjectivity, (demised friend) Self-worth and self-seeking actions are related to each of these selves Important contributions to self theory 1. The notion of many social selves “A man has as many social selves as there are individuals who recognize him and carry an image of him in their mind‖ 2. The notion of self-esteem Defined self-esteem in terms of the ratio of successes to pretensions, arguing that self-esteem can be as easily increased by lowering aspirations as by increasing successes 3. Differentiating ideal selves and real selves 5 “In each kind of self, material, social, and spiritual men distinguish between the immediate and actual, and the remote and potential Charles Cooley Self and society are twin born Emphasis on the organic link and the indissoluble Fmeadconnection between self and society is the theme of most of Cooley's writings 8. Doing Gender • Sex – ascribed by biology: anatomy, hormones, physiology Socially agreed upon biological criteria for classification • Placement in a sex category achieved by application of biological criteria BUT • In everyday life, categorization established by social identification displays • Therefore, it‘s possible to claim membership in a sex category without biological sex criteria • NOTE: sex is the primary category by which people classify others • • Gender – an achieved status: constructed through psychological, cultural, & social means • Traditionally, believed gender was ‗fixed‘ by age five • Now understand the process is much more reflexive • Gender is managed conduct that reflects normative conceptions of attitudes and activities appropriate for one‘s sex category • Sex categories are master identities cut across situations • Gender has no situational context, therefore gender is not a role or set of traits, but rather the product of social doings 6 Gender stereotype Stereotypes reflect social realities to some degree Therefore, to change the stereotype requires more than education. So we must change gender roles/gender display. (We must go against society norm) The development of stereotype Sex-classification is done spontaneously and unconsciously. Cognitive schema: save cognitive energy, short cut (But only if simply perceived, hence categorization is mostly based on physical appearance) To compensate for stereotyping requires conscious deliberation. (It takes efforts to change stereotype.) Division of Labor Societies with sex-based division of labor equate men‘s work with higher social status. Patriarchy: the social arrangement in which men possess structural power by holding high status position. The division of domestic labor, Men is stronger, historical influences, bread maker and home maker Typically egalitarian family, man and woman are equally divided. When family has child, family will go traditional way. High status people initiate interactions, determine the course of conversation, and decide on the level of intimacy allowed in conversation. (Professor dominates classroom) Status and power Lower status individuals attend closely to higher status individuals, avoid challenging, and don‘t express strong opinions. 7 Potential exploitation by higher status to exert greater control over a situation. Gender and Power Women gain dyadic power- power due to men‘s interpersonal dependency on women. Hostile sexism: derogatory stereotypes of women; women seen as sexual objects. The degrading advertisements Benevolent sexism: characterizes status differences to be in the best interests of women; women given favorable traits. Women as sexist Women‘s benevolent sexism characterizes men as irresponsible, insensitive, unable to care for themselves. Presume men need the support of women due to their masculine shortcomings. Formation of Conduct The cause of human action Free choice, personality, social environment 1. Action is not simply caused by our personality or by social forces. Largely caused by decisions we make that occur due to our definition of the situation we are in. 2. Definition of the situation occur due to both social interaction and interaction with self. 3. Acts are part of a large stream of acts. The direction of our acts is due to many decisions made along the way. Conduct and social interaction Social interaction is the intersection of different actors‘ stream of action, each altering their stream according to the actions of other to some degree. 8 • Definitions of the situation can be influenced by others but is defined by us through the thinking process Activities involved in defining a situation 1. Establish goals 2. Apply a perspective from significant other/ reference group to the situation 3. Point out to self the relevant object in the situation (people, ideas, words) 4. Take the role of the other 5. Define self in the situation: what one is doing, what is happening, judging self, giving self an identity, interpreting emotional experiences) 6. Define the future (effect of one‘s action) 7. Apply knowledge and memories from the past to the present situation Habitual acts • Habitual action is a response (we have developed over time) to a certain type of situation • Habitual action leaves us unprepared for situations that require adjustment The role of the past • The past does not cause acts in the present, the past shapes our definition of present situations, which in turn guides our behavior in the present • The past also provides a starting point for our stream of action • Where we start has an influence on where we go, BUT does not cause what we do now, choices we make now, influence our present action The role of the future  How we act in the present is influenced by our conception of the future. 9  Our acts have consequences, and we try to imagine these consequences as we act.  Imagine alternative and consequences of alternative acts Action and motives • Symbolic Interactionism assumes that individuals are goal oriented • Goals change, thus streams of actions change • Motives are used to explain our (one another‘s) actions Stated reasons for an act • Verbalized to show intentions of the actor • Used to make sense out of acts (justifications) Midterm 2 review What is the self? Has a distinct meaning within symbolic interactionism A social object- emerges out of social interaction Social: you see the self through interacting with others Object: the self is something that you act towards 3 ways we act towards the self: 1. Self-communication 2. Self- perception -Assess own actions -Self-concept -Self-judgment Our identities 3. Self control I and me selves William James Distinguishes between I self and me self Notion of many selves, image Notion of self-esteem, increase success and decrease failure. Differentiating ideal selves and real selves 10 Charles K Cooley The self and society 1. The looking glass self 2. Imagine how we appear to others 3. Imagine how they judge that appearance 4. Our self-feeling George Herbert Mead Society is prior to the individual The idea of the self only develops out of the interactions and relations that you have with the external social world i.e. the self does not exist at birth Stages in the development of 1. Preparatory stages 2. Play Stage 3. Game stage 4. Shibutani reference group Role taking The act of taking the perspective of generalized other and filling a role (behaving) as we believe it be defined Problem: roles are not always clearly defined Example: father • The act of taking the perspective of generalized other and filling a role (behaving) as we believe it to be defined • Imagine how ‗other‘ is defining the situation and act according to their perspective • Always incomplete; impossible to perfectly grasp the other‘s point of view • Always colored by our own perspective • We perform our role based on how we perceive the role of other Role making: 11 Process of attempting to define and modify roles, improvise and define the features of role to satisfy personal goal and other‘s expectation. • Principle of role reciprocity – explains changes in behavior • Change in our role reflects a changed perception of the role of the other • Through interaction, we test our assumptions of our and other‘s roles Example: ??? Symbolic interactionist perspective on conduct Actions are a result of a number of decisions along a stream of action They are a result of the definition of the situation at the time How do we define a situationF 7 possible things we think about when defining a situation: 1. Establish goals  what do you want to achieve in the situation? 2. Apply the perspective from significant other reference group 3. Point out relevant object locations. Context (people present), anything of note worthy relevance 4. Take the role of the other looking at the situation from another person‘s perspective 5. Define self in situation how are you feeling, how you see yourself in the situation 6. Define the future exchange theory 7. Apply knowledge and memories from past to present situation think about similar situation you encountered: how did you act Gender: Sex: biological, male chromosomes 12 Sex category: we place people into sex categories based on their physical feature. Gender: An achieved status Does not have to follow our sex Is something that managed from a young age we are taught how do or gender (be feminine or masculine) Social background and long-term work and personality outcomes Closeness of the supervision, routinization of our work, and its substantive complexity can have long-term effects on your values. Aspects of our personality, our intellectual flexibility and self-directed orientation, can also affect our job choices. These work and personality characteristics interact to create the feedback loop described earlier (Drive-by restaurant) Social exchange theory Direct exchange: are those that occur between two people Indirect or generalized exchanges: occur when people don‘t receive benefits directly from those to whom they give benefits (Group project, Math Project, Music performance) There are two primary ways that people with low status characteristics can effectively hold high-status positions in groups: Power in Networks: centrality Traditionally, people with a central position are considered most powerful. Modern theory and research emphasizes individuals‘ ability to exclude other people in the network as the primary 13 source of power, not just centrality in gaining power in group Distinguishing power and status Power and status are related but distinct concept • Conformity- changing one‘s behavior to match the responses or actions of others (not necessarily due to pressure) Compliance- changing one‘s behavior in response to direct a request Obedience- changing one‘s behavior in response to a directive from an authority figure Asch‘s research on group influence: conclusion. People faced with strong group consensus sometimes go alone even though they think the others may be wrong. Foot in the door technique Technique, which increases compliance with a large request by first getting compliance with a smaller, related request. Participant observation Cialdini study 1. Reciprocation 2. Commitment/consistency: personal dedication to a line of action 3. Authority 4. Social validation 5. Scarcity 6. Liking/ friendship Obedience: Milgram‘s shocking procedure TV and journalist 14 We have a motive for competence to master our environments for rewards and resources To be competent, we must make correct choices. Authority Authority figures can be very influential because they are often experts. Following their direction can provide a shortcut to choosing correctly. Expert power They capacity to influence that flows from one‘s presumed wisdom or knowledge Social validation More unsure about particular situation Larger the number of people performing the behavior, the more persuasive it is. Uncertainty Consensus and similarity We are especially likely to follow the behavior of other when: There is strong consensus among the others Uncertainity and the desire for accuracy Motivation vs. no incentive When participants were uncertain of their own judgments, motivation to be accurate increased conformity. When participates were certain, motivation to be accurate decreased conformity Gain social approval • Sometimes being factually correct may make us unpopular. • Groups put strong pressure on those with deviant positions. 15 Door in the face technique works by asking for a large favor and then retreating to a smaller favor. – This second request is typically accepted because the concession seems like a favor. – Thus, this technique capitalizes on the reciprocity norm. The that’s-not-all technique works by Making an initial offer, and then Just before the target responds, enhancing the offer. • The enhancement is designed to seem like a favor and capitalize on reciprocity. Desire for approval Motivated to gain the respect of those around them. Follow other‘s word, Researchers have found that these individuals tend to adopt the voice patterns of interaction partners. Individualists Collectivists Disrupt then reframe technique Reactance theory • Theory that we react against threats to our freedoms by reasserting those freedoms, often by doing the opposite of what we are being pressured to do • We are more likely to ―go along to get along‖ when the person attempting to influence us is appealing due to: Physical attractiveness (good looking fundraisers generated 42% vs. 23%). Car model, Victoria secret Shared group membership (“I’m a student, too” doubles donations from students). Public Observability 16 Being consistent with Commitments Personal commitment The Bait and switch technique Wal-Mart example on printer, have dismissed if it had been offered first It works by getting people to make a commitment to a general course of action (e.g., buying a new stereo) Labeling technique The label (you are generous) activates a favorable self- image This motivates the person to act in ways that are consistent with that self-image to be generous Harnessing existing commitments • Certain commitments reside within a person in the form of existing values. • Marketers who create links between our personal values and their products will likely have us as long-term customers. • Cults often connect their messages to prevalent personal values (examples: peace, justice, spiritual growth). Active and public commitments Write it down, tell others, Men, women, and public conformity Men in some studies have conformed less when they knew their judgments would be made public. Mere Presence of others and social facilitation • When other people are explicitly evaluating our performance, arousal increases (Seta & Seta, 1992). • Presence of other people can also distract us, breaking the concentration required for a complex task (Baron, 1986). 17 • Cohesiveness - Strength of bonds among group members • Interpersonal cohesiveness - Enjoyment of one another‘s company • Task cohesiveness - Commitment to the group‘s task Role, hierarchy, communication network, cohesiveness The nature of group 1. Share a common Identity, 2. Group structure, 3. Interdependence, To get things done To make accurate decisions To gain positions of leadership 7. Stratification Defining stratification 1) Social stratification refers to ways in which individuals or groups are ranked in society. 2) Important statuses include our social class, race or ethnicity, gender, age, and sexuality. 3) Social psychologists study the effect of stratification on the individual and how individuals contribute the development and maintenance of stratification systems. Basic stratification processes There are three ways that symbolic interactionist show the impacts of stratification: - Social structure shapes who we interact with - People in lower-status positions have to take the role of the other more often than their more powerful counterparts of higher status 18 - Meaning-making itself is stratified; individuals with higher statues have more power to define situations and to define themselves. - Doing gender is a social process in which individuals act according to the social rules or norms associated with being a man or a woman in society A gendered world Her study of elementary school children demonstrates that boys and girls act in ways that separate themselves from the others, a process called borderwork. Doing gender continues into adulthood Middle-class values Social class refers to a group of people who share the same relative status in a given society. A more structural perspective takes hierarchy as a given and seeks to understand the processes by which individuals become distributed in that hierarchy. Social mobility and the Wisconsin model of status attainment Social mobility refers to upwar
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