SOCI 240 Textbook Summary.docx

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SOCI 240
Brett Gilley

SOCI240 Reading Summary 10/4/2011 7:06:00 PM Textbook Chapter one: The meaning of symbolic interactionism Social life depends on judgments about the nature of the world. It stresses that people create, negotiate and change social meanings through the process of interaction. The origin and development of symbolic interactionism - Meaning interaction and human agency at the center of understanding social life. 1.The nature of reality John Dewey asserted: reality has multiple natures and possibilities, and it is open to many interpretations. Example: Beer can 2.The nature of the human knower John Dewey posited: we establish the meaning of object through our practice skills, symbolic abilities, and manipulative power. 3. The relative nature of truth and the linkage of facts, value and action According to the pragmatist view, then, truth is not an absolute phenomenon. Rather, it is to the needs and interest of particular individuals and groups. 4. The progressive role of science Even in scientific guise, the pragmatist believed strongly in the possibility of human progress facilitated by a scientifically informed process of social reconstruction. Significant symbols 1. They allow us to exchange shared meaning and communicate effectively with others. 2. They enable us to anticipate how others are likely to act in a situation and to coordinate our actions with theirs. Social origins and dynamics of mind Taking roles of others The processual and creative nature of human action Herbert Bulmer 3 premises 1. Human beings act towards things on the basis of meanings those things have for them. 2. Meaning of such things is derived from, or arises out of, the social interaction. 3. The meaning are handle in, and modified through, an interpretive process used by the person in dealing with the things he encounters 8 assumptions 1. Human beings are unique creatures because of their ability to use symbols. 2. People become distinctly human through interaction. 3. People are purposive creatures who act in and towards situations 4. People are conscious, self-reflexive beings who shape their own behavior. 5. Society consist people engaging in symbolic interaction 6. Emotions are central to meaning, behavior, and the self. 7. The social act should be fundamental unit of social analysis 8. Sociological methods should enable researchers to grasp people’s meaning. The three guiding possess of interactionism 1. people act towards things on the basis of meaning those things have for them 2. these meaning derives from interaction with others 3. these meaning are handled in, sustained or altered through interaction of people 10/4/2011 7:06:00 PM Textbook Charpter2 1. Naturalistic inquiry: focus people’s behavior in natural sittings and advocates the use of informal and unobtrusive techniques to acquire a first-hand understanding of the behavior two key phases: exploration and inspection ethnographic methods 2. Ground theory they engage in the process of collecting and analyzing data simultaneously, working back and forth between these processes to develop theoretical explanations of the data they are gathering. Changing directions in interactionism ethnography 1. greater emphasis on theory directing ethnographic observation and writing and greater self-awareness of the role of the ethnographer as both author and witness. 2. Autoethnography: which refers to the study of oneself own experience Alternatives to ethnography: the Iowa school and conventional scientific methods Dramaturgical theory Dramaturgy is a sociological perspective stemming from symbolic interactionism, and commonly used in microsociological accounts of social interaction in everyday life. The term was first adapted into sociology from the theatre by Erving Goffman, who developed most of the related terminology and ideas in his 1959 book, The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life. Kenneth Burke, whom Goffman would later acknowledge as an [1] influence, had earlier presented his notions of dramatism in 1945 which, in turn, derives fromShakespeare. In dramaturgical sociology it is argued that human actions are dependent upon time, place, and audience. In other words, to Goffman, the self is a sense of who one is, a dramatic effect emerging from the immediate scene being presented. [2Goffman forms a theatrical metaphor in defining the method in which one human being presents itself to another based on cultural values, norms, and expectations. Performances can have disruptions (actors are aware of such) but most are successful. The goal of this presentation of self is acceptance from the audience through carefully conducted perf
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