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Chapter 7

Chapter 7: Engaging Subcultures.docx

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SOC 223
Robert Prus

Engaging Subcultures: Interactive Life-Worlds Thursday, March 7, 2013 11:47 AM Lecture Topic: Subcultures are essential for the understanding of deviance because it is in specific group settings that people work out a great many facets of their lives Outsiders are often are quick to define subcultures or other associational configurations around particular themes and typically envision these groupings in rather singular and unified manners This happens because they ignore the much fuller range of activities that take place within all subcultural arenas Generic Social Processes (GSPs) Transsituational: Premises: different qualities of group life Ongoing/ emergent qualities/ flows  Subcultures are best studied in process terms; Formulative instances (8 Terms) o These terms are inter connected and help us fully appreciate the ways which people experience subculture o Acquiring Perspectives i. The unique features of each group's perspectives serve to differentiate those groups from other groups in the broader community ii. The perspectives that people invoke include people's conceptions of what is and what is not, but also notions of how one might ACT toward and assess all things of relevance to the group at hand iii. Things that may be considered deviant or reprehensible in one group may be defined as entirely acceptable or even highly desirable (Blumer) iv. Viewpoints are apt to undergo change; people also objectify their own viewpoints with meanings v. Newcomers are encouraged to learn about and accept prevailing group standpoints 1. Encounter definitions of reality from existing members 2. Find themselves assessing group perspectives relative to other viewpoints 3. Develop images of objects pertinent to group perspectives 4. Learn group-related ways of dealing with objects 5. Define the situations that they encounter in ways that are mindful of these notions o Achieving Identity i. People's identities can only be understood within the perspectives of the groups that constitute the reference points that people invoke in making sense of the particular individuals or groups under consideration 1. In the perspective of the group ii. People may assume in drawing attention to particular objects for one another, it is essential that analysts also attend to people's capacities as "objects unto themselves" iii. The process involves finding a place for self and other within the various contexts in which people engage one another in specific life-worlds iv. When people attend to themselves as objects of definition: 1. Encountering definitions of self from others in the setting 2. Assigning definitions received from others to oneself 3. Assessing incoming and earlier definitions of self for comparative viability 4. Contesting undesired definitions 5. Selectively conveying or presenting information about self to others v. When people develop definitions of others: 1. Obtaining information about others
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