SOC388 Midterm Notes
1. Impression Management
-students clearly got the point that we want to control other people’s impressions of
us somehow; this was well done.
-key problems with this question were failing to recognize that the self is
multidimensional (e.g. talking vaguely about making oneself “look good” to others
as opposed to foregrounding particular aspects of one’s self depending on the
situation), and treating impression management as if it is inherently deceptive, or
means we’re being fake.
2. “I” and “me”
-everyone seemed to understand that the “me” has something to do with society.
-key problems with this question were:
-treating the I/me as if it primarily boils down to impulse & impulse control,
which is only a part of the distinction between I/me.
-some students seemed to think that only the “I” is capable of action.
-quite a few obvious mistakes, e.g. some people writing that the “I” is part of
the “me,” or saying that the “I” is internal to us and the “me” is external.
3. Collective consciousness
-apart from the obvious errors (e.g. saying that individual consciousness is part of
the collective consciousness) the most common mistake on this one was simply
stating that the collective consciousness was “shared beliefs, norms, and attitudes,”
and leaving it at that. Quite a few students didn’t do well on this one because they
didn’t say enough. In particular, students weren’t saying enough about individuals,
e.g. they didn’t say that the collective consciousness exists in individuals’ minds,
but still has an existence independent of individuals’ minds. This is quite important,
because otherwise it seems like the collective consciousness is ‘out there’
somewhere; and in fact, quite a few students seemed to equate it with the
government, religion, or some other external force.
4 & 5. 3 premises of symbolic interaction/3 stages in Cooley’s looking-glass self
-these were very straightforward to mark, and most people who didn’t get full
marks here did so because of obvious inaccuracies.
6. Process of ossification
-most common error on this one was saying that ‘ossification’ means that we
internalize other people’s perceptions. Some students got the key point about
repeated action becoming internalized as part of the self, and described the
difference between the stable self vs. presented identity. These students clearly
understood that people’s perceptions are a catalyst in this process; b