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SOC201H1 Study Guide - Breaching Experiment, Flight Attendant, Erving Goffman

Course Code
Robert Brym

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March 7, 2012
The Sociology of everyday life
Or. How to think sociologically
Sociological perspectives ( 2 kinds)
- Macro: big, so far what weve been studying in this course. Broad, involves graphs
(quantitative data), Marxist and Functionalists= Macro sociology
- Micro: rose out of the dissatisfaction with macro sociology. Focuses one people. Based on
the theory that Humans= meaning making animals. Our lives are constituted of ordinary
meaning making. The large scale quantitative data and analysis misses the core of
sociology which is What it is like being a social being? (interpretive approach)
Structure( what you can/ cannot do) vs. Agency( what CAN you do)
Sociology of everyday life
- Micro sociology
- Its been around for a while, its not a new perspective
- What we use, see and do every day (mundane and ordinary)
- Like banal to the complex (take something small and apply to a bigger concept)
- How is social order possible? why are we here, why are we so well-behaved?
The everyday
- Events= repeated. (our behavior=repeated=habits=routine=role)
- Temporal duration (cyclical aspect of time, unlike the linear macro approach)
- Context (location, politics, social context)
- Localized in specific places
- Engages our bodies and emotions unlike macro sociology
- Largely happens while people are unaware of it
- Breaching experiment: looks at how things became normalized. As soon as someone
breaks the social norm a BIT, people become aware of the rules
Dorothy Smith
- Canadian sociologist
The Everyday World as Problematic
Ruling apparatus: sociology is a part of it (you are doing things the way you do them
because of the ruling apparatus)
- Everyday life is embedded into the bigger historical moment
- No abstract concept, actual material contept.
- People who can see whats going on inside something is some whos outside of the
dominant ideology (outsider sees better)
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