March 7, 2012 Sociology

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Robert Brym

March 7, 2012 Sociology The Sociology of everyday life Or…. How to think sociologically Sociological perspectives ( 2 kinds) - Macro: “big”, so far what we’ve 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 - It’s been around for a while, it’s 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 1987 - “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 what’s going on inside something is some who’s outside of the dominant ideology (outsider sees better) Berger and Luckmann - The Social Construction of Reality 1966 - Came up with the expression “the social construction of reality”: how you make meaning of it, and how you interpret the meaning - Use of phenomenal (experience as a source of knowledge) sociology: phenomenal analysis - Principle of meaning: essential, central to understanding human behavior - Not about what something means to you but how you make something mean to you - The world out there: is real. HOWEVER, how we come to know it is a social
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