Self and SocietySymbolic Interactionism
Objective• To get you think about your own ‘authentic  identity’ as a community development worker• To get you to ‘imagine...
• Masks• Stage• Scripts  – Discursive  – Performative• symbolic communication’• ‘authentic self’• ‘deviant’ ‘otherness’
Who am I?• How do ‘I’ get  constituted, on a daily  basis?• What is the ‘I’ that I  refer to?• When am I being ‘me’?• Who ...
Mead: The ‘I’ and the ‘Me’•     ‘I’ is the spontaneous unpredictable element of the self•     I memory is a store of creat...
Erving Goffman• Stigma (1963) Interaction Ritual (1967), Forms of Talk (1981)• Presentation of the Self in Everyday life (...
Blumer ‘meaning’• meaning states that humans act toward  people and things based upon the meanings  that they have given t...
“Minding”• Minding is the two-second delay where individuals  rehearse the next move and anticipate how others  will react...
‘I’ looking at ‘you’
Others                  Johari    Like Me          STAGEDeviantOthers
Learning/socialisation• From a period of imitation without meaning for  infants, through the play-acting world of children...
Michel Foucault Panopticism• Surveillance & Spectacle• The silent power of editing what you do  because you are being watc...
Deviance & labelling• Howard Becker• Outsiders: Studies in the  sociology of  deviance(1969)• Studies of group values  amo...
Becker, labelling• Becker and labelling – ‘social groups create  (socially construct) deviance by making the  rules whose ...
Taking the Role of the Other• This is seeing the world through another’s  eyes.• Walking in someone else’s shoes• Grown up...
Self and society
Self and society
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Self and society

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Self and society

  1. 1. Self and SocietySymbolic Interactionism
  2. 2. Objective• To get you think about your own ‘authentic identity’ as a community development worker• To get you to ‘imagine inside’ your roleplayed MI client, and the processes that led you to select that persons ‘identity’• To see ‘taken for granted’ assumptions about identity, that form the basis of ‘prejudice’
  3. 3. • Masks• Stage• Scripts – Discursive – Performative• symbolic communication’• ‘authentic self’• ‘deviant’ ‘otherness’
  4. 4. Who am I?• How do ‘I’ get constituted, on a daily basis?• What is the ‘I’ that I refer to?• When am I being ‘me’?• Who are ‘you’?• Which you am I perceiving?
  5. 5. Mead: The ‘I’ and the ‘Me’• ‘I’ is the spontaneous unpredictable element of the self• I memory is a store of creativity, adaptability and novelty in the social process.• Where our most important values are located• Constitutes the realisation of the self - i.e. reveals a definite personality• Seen as an evolutionary process• Me is the conformist aspect of the self, and the reflexive, organised aspect of the self (Mead 1934: 197).
  6. 6. Erving Goffman• Stigma (1963) Interaction Ritual (1967), Forms of Talk (1981)• Presentation of the Self in Everyday life (1956),• Dramaturgy - with human social behaviour seen as more or less well scripted and with humans as role-taking actors. – Role-taking is a key mechanism of interaction > reflexive awareness of self and others – Role-making a key mechanism of interaction in unaccustomed situations• improvisational quality of roles, with human social behaviour seen as poorly scripted and with humans as role-making improvisers.
  7. 7. Blumer ‘meaning’• meaning states that humans act toward people and things based upon the meanings that they have given to those people or things.• Language gives humans a means by which to negotiate meaning through symbols.• Thought, based on language, is a mental conversation or dialogue that requires role taking, or imagining different points of view
  8. 8. “Minding”• Minding is the two-second delay where individuals rehearse the next move and anticipate how others will react. George Herbert Mead
  9. 9. ‘I’ looking at ‘you’
  10. 10. Others Johari Like Me STAGEDeviantOthers
  11. 11. Learning/socialisation• From a period of imitation without meaning for infants, through the play-acting world of children• Through such play, one develops and internalizes a group of perspective on the self that Mead termed the "generalized other.“ (society? community? policy?)• the "inner voice" of the generalize other continues to whisper the complex requirements of being "human.“• (links to Foucault’s panopticism)
  12. 12. Michel Foucault Panopticism• Surveillance & Spectacle• The silent power of editing what you do because you are being watched, or think you are being surveilled.
  13. 13. Deviance & labelling• Howard Becker• Outsiders: Studies in the sociology of deviance(1969)• Studies of group values among ‘delinquents’ and emergence of shared codes, values contra ‘mainstream’ values
  14. 14. Becker, labelling• Becker and labelling – ‘social groups create (socially construct) deviance by making the rules whose infraction constitutes deviance, and by applying those rules to particular people and labelling them as outsiders.• From this point of view, deviance is not a quality, of the act the person commits,• but rather a consequence of the application by others of rules and sanctions to an ‘offender’.• The deviant is one to whom that label has successfully been applied; deviant behaviour is behaviour that people so label.
  15. 15. Taking the Role of the Other• This is seeing the world through another’s eyes.• Walking in someone else’s shoes• Grown up version of having imaginary friends and talking to yourself.
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