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SOCI 1010 Notes for ESSAY 1.docx

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SOCI 1010
Robert Kenedy

Social Solidarity:  Is the integration, and degree and type of integration shown by a society or group  Ties in a society  What forms the basis of solidarity varies between societies - In simple societies: it may be mainly based around kinship and shared values - In complex societies: there are various theories as to what contributes to a sense of social solidarity  According to Durkheim: - Mechanical solidarity o In a society exhibiting mechanical solidarity its cohesion and integration comes from the homogeneity of individuals o People feel connected through similar work, educational, and religious training and lifestyles o Mechanical solidarity normally operates in traditional and small scale societies o In simpler societies (tribal) solidarity usually is based on kinship ties of familiar networks - Organic solidarity o Comes from the interdependence that arises from specialization of work and the complementary between people- a development that occurs in modern and industrial societies o Definition: it is social cohesion based upon the dependence individuals have on each other in more advanced societies o Although individuals perform different tasks and often have different values and interests, the order and very solidarity of society depends on their reliance on each other to perform their specialized tasks o Organic here, is referring to the interdependence of the component parts o Thus social solidarity is maintained in more complex societies through the interdependence of its component parts (e.g farmers producer food to feed the factory workers who produce tractors to allow the farmer to produce the food)  Community: - A society where peoples relations with each other are direct and personal and where a complex web of ties links people in mutual bonds of emotion and obligation - In the social sciences, especially sociology, the idea of community has provided a model to contrast to the emergence of more modern, less personal societies where cultural, economic, and technological transformation has uprooted tradition and where complexity has created a less personal and more rationalized and goal-directed social life  Otherness: - A persons other is part of what defines or even constitutes the self and other phenomena and cultural units - It is used to understand the processes by which societies and groups exclude ‘others’ whom they want to subordinate or who do not fit into their society - The concept of otherness is also integral to the comprehending of a person, as people constructive roles for themselves in relation to an ‘other’ as part of a process of reaction that is not necessarily related to stigmatization or condemnation - Other is imperative to national identities, where practices of admittance and segregation can form and sustain boundaries and national character - Othering helps distinguish between home and away, uncertain and certain - It often involves demonization and dehumanization of groups, which further justifies attempts to civilize and exploit these inferior others  Inclusion: -  Mead’s Nature of the Self: - The mind as the individual importation of the social process - Mead presented the self and the mind in terms of a social process - As gestures are taken in by the individual organism, the individual organism also takes in the collective attitudes of others, in the form of gestures, and reacts according with other organized attitudes= this process is characterized by Mead as the “I” and the “Me”. - The “Me” is the social self - The “I” is the response to the “Me” - In other words, the “I” is the response of an individual to the attitudes of others,, while the “me” is the organized set of attitudes of others which an individual assumes - The “me” is the accumulated understanding of “the generalized other” (i.e. how one thinks one’s group perceives oneself etc) - The “I” is the individual’s impulses - The “I” is self as subject: the “me” is self as object - The “I” is the knower, the “me” is the known - The mind, or stream of thought, is the self-reflective movements of the interaction between the “I” and the “me” - The thinking process is the internalized dialogue between the “I” and the “me” - Understood as a combination of the “I” and the “Me”, Mead’s self proves to be noticeably entwined within a sociological existence - For Mead, existence in community comes before individual consciousness - First one must participate in the different social positions within society and only subsequently can one use that experience to take the perspective of others and thus become self-conscious - The “Me” is what is learned in interaction with others and (more generally) with the environment: other people’s attitudes, once internalized in the self constitutes the me - “What the individual is for himself is not something that he invented. It is what his significant others have come to…treat him as being” - This is because people learn to see who they are by observing the responses of others themselves or their actions - At the same time, the “me” disciplines the “I” by holding it back from breaking the law of the community related to Freud’s ego - The “I” is the response to the individual to the attitude of the community the “I” acts creatively, though within the context of the me - “it is only after we have acted that we know what we have done…what we have said” - People he argues are not automations they do not blindly follow rules, the construct a response on the basis of what they have learned, the me - Mead highlighted accordingly those values that attach particularly to the “I” rather than the “me” which cannot be calculated which involve a reconstruction of the society, and so of the “me” which belongs to that society - Taken together, the “I” and the “me” form the person or the self in Mead’s social philiophy MEADS THEORY OF THE SELF: - His theory of the social self, which is based on the central arugment that the self is a social emergent - The social concept of self entails that individual selves are the products of social interaction and not the logical or biological preconditions of that interaction - It is not initially there at birth but arises in the process of social experience and activity - According to Mead there are there activities through which the self is developed: Language, play and game  Language allows individuals to take on the “role of the other” and allows people to respond to his or her own gestures in terms of the symbolized attitudes of the others  During play, individuals take the roles of other people and pretend to be those other people in order to express the expectations of significant others this process of role playing is key to the generation of self-consciousness and to the general development of the self  In the game, the individual is required to internalize the roles of all others who are involved with him and her in the game and must comprehend the rules of the game - Meads concept of the ‘generalized other’ is also essential to his theory, which he defines as an organized and generalized attitudes of the group  The individual defines his or her own behaviour with reference to the generalized attitude of the group they occupy  When the individual can view himself from the standpoint of the generalized other, self- consciousness in the full sense of the term is attained - Mead is also well known for his concept of the “I” and the “me”  According to Mead the self has two sides:  The me: represents expectations and attitudes of others (the generalized other) it is the organized set of attitudes of others that the individual assumes  The “I”: is the response to the me, or the person’s individuality according to Mead, the generalized other (internalized in the me) is the major instrument of social control for it is the mechanism by which the community exercises control over the conduct of its individual members  Goffman: The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life - Face-to-face interaction as a subject of sociological study - He frames out the theatrical performance that applies to face-to-face interactions - He believed that when an individual comes in contact with people the individual will attempt to control or guide the impression that other might make of him by changing or fixing his or her setting, appearance and manner - At the same time, the person the individual is interacting with is trying to form and obtain information with the individual = Navi girl and Jake - Goffman also believed that all participants in social interactions are engaged in certain practices to avoid being embarrassed or embarrassing others this led to Goffman’s dramaturgical analysis - Goffman saw the connection between the kinds of acts that people put on in their daily life and theatrical performances - In social interaction: as in theatrical performance there is a front region where the actors (individuals) are on stage in front of the audiences this is where the positive aspect of the idea of self and desired impressions are highlighted - There is also a back region or stage that can also be considered as a hidden or private place where individuals can see themselves and get rid of their role or identity in society - The core of Goffman’s analysis lies in this relationship between performance and life - An actor performs on a setting, which is constructed of a stage and a backstage; the props in both settings direct his action; he is being watched by an audience but at the same time he is an audience for his viewer’s play - The social actor has the ability to choose his stage and props as well as costume - The actor’s main goal is to keep coherent and adjust to different settings offered to him= this is done mainly though interaction with other actors - A major theme that Goffman treats throughout the work is the fundamental importance of having an agreed upon definition of the situation in a given interaction in order to give the interaction coherency - In interactions or performances, the involved parties may be audience members and performances simultaneously, the actors usually foster impressions that reflect well upon themselves and encourage the others by various means, to accept their preferred definition - Goffman acknowledges that when the accepted definition of the situation has been discredited some or all of the actors may pretend that nothing has changed - If they find this strategy profitable to themselves or wish to keep the peace - He uses the imagery of theatre in order to portray the importance of human and social action and interaction the dramaturgical model of social life - Social interaction linked to theatre, and people in everyday life to actors on stage each playing a variety of roles - The audience consists of other individuals who observe the role-playing and react to the performances - In social interaction, like in theatrical performances, there is a front region where the actors are on stage in front of an audience - There is also a back stage where individuals can be themselves and get rid of their role or identity that they play when they are in front of other (Jake on Pandora and Jake on earth) - Performance= refers to all the activity of an individual in front of a particular set of observes or audiences  Through this performance, the individual or actor gives meaning to themselves ot other, and to their situation  These performances deliver impressions to others and information is exchanged to confirm identity  The actor may or may not be aware of their performance or have an objective to their performance (at first Jake was doing his job)however the audience is always attributing meaning it and to the actor - Setting: the setting for the performance includes scenery, props, location in which the interaction takes place, different settings will have different audiences and thus require the actor to alter his performance of each setting (PANDORA AND THE OFFICE) - Appearance: appearance functions to portray to the audience the performer’s social statuses, appearance also tells us of the individual’s temporary social state or role (for example whether he is engaging in work by wearing a uniform, informal recreation, or a formal social activity). Here dress and props serve to communication gender, status, occupation, age and personal commitments (JAKES TRANSFORMATION INTO An AVATAR) - Manner: Manner refers to how the individual plays the role and functions to warn the audience of how the performer will act or seek to act in role (for example dominant, aggressive, receptive) (JAKE BECOMING DOMINANT LEADER LATER IN THE MOVIE). Inconsistency and contradiction between appearance band manner may occur and will confuse the audience (e.g. when one does not present himself or behave in accordance to his social status or position (TRUDY, JAKE, ALL NOT SUPPORTING THE COMPANY THEY WORK FOR AND SUPPORT THE AVATAR COMMUNITY) - Front: the actors front= the part of the individual’s performance which functions to define the situation for the observes or audience (JAKE GETTING INTELL FOR THE SARGENT). It is the image or impression he or she gives off to the audience (JAKE WINNING THE ROLE OF THE AVATAR’S APPROVAL INTO THEIR WORLD). A social front can also be thought of as a script. Certain social scripts tend to become institutionalized in terms of the abstract stereotyped expectations it contains. If the individual takes on a task or role that is new to him, he or she may find that there are already several well-established fronts among which he must choose. According to Goffman, when a task is given a new front, or script, we rarely find that the script itself is completely new. Individuals commonly use pre-established scripts to follow for new situations, even if it is not completely appropriate or desired for that situation. - Front Stage, Back Stage, Off Stage: Front stage: when the actor formally performs and adheres to conventions that have meaning to the audience. The actor knows he or she is being watched and acts accordingly. Back stage: the actor may behave differently than when in front of the audience on the front stage. His is where the individual truly gets to be himself or herself and get rid of roles that he or she plays when they are in front of people (THIS CAN GO BOTH WAYS, JAKE TRANSFORM BACK TO NORMAL HIM (CRIPPLED) OR WHEN JAKE GAINS THE AVATAR PERSONA BUT PRETENDS TO BE A CORPORAL IN FRONT OF THE SARGENT). Off stage:
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