Symbolic Interactionism

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  • http://blog.okcupid.com/index.php/the-4-big-myths-of-profile-pictures/\n
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  • Symbolic Interactionism

    1. 1. SYMBOLICINTERACTIONISMContemporary Sociological TheoryDanielle Dirks, Ph.D.
    2. 2. OBJECTIVESIntroduce Symbolic InteractionismUnderstand usefulness to understandingsocial life
    3. 3. Sociology of Knowledge Symbolic Phenomenological Interactionism Sociology Labeling Existential Ethno-Dramaturgy Theory Sociology methodology
    4. 4. DEFINITION“A micro-level theory in which sharedmeanings, orientations, and assumptions formthe basic motivation behind people’s.” Conley (2008):29
    5. 5. ORIGINSReaction toStructural Functionalism“Variable Sociology”“Scientificism”
    6. 6. GOALSFocus on“Micro” aspects of social lifeFace to face interactionsLived experience
    7. 7. QUESTIONSHow do we view ourselves?How do we respond to our surroundings?
    8. 8. QUESTIONSHow is meaning constructed?How are identities constructed?Both = How world is constructed
    9. 9. GOALSFocus onInterpretationSocial meaningBehaviorRelationships
    10. 10. TENETS1) Humans act based on meanings
    11. 11. TENETS1) Humans act based on meanings2) Meanings created through socialinteraction
    12. 12. TENETS1) Humans act based on meanings2) Meanings created through socialinteraction3) Meanings continuously shift throughinterpretation
    13. 13. THEORISTS1 1 2 3 1 Charles Cooley 2 George Herbert Mead 3 Herbert Blumer 4 Erving Goffman* 5 Arlie Russell Hochschild4 5
    14. 14. How do we develop “selves”?
    15. 15. OUR FOCUSCooley’s “Looking Glass Self”Mead’s “I and Me”Social Construction of RealitySI Research
    16. 16. COOLEY“Looking Glass Self”
    17. 17. COOLEYSelf emerges through an interactive socialprocess
    18. 18. COOLEYThree Aspects of Identity1) How actors imagine they appear2) How actors believe others judge them3) How actors develop feelings of shame
    19. 19. Examples of when we have viewed ourselves through the eyes of others?
    20. 20. But, is this conscious or unconscious? What would Goffman say?
    21. 21. What are some of the consequences of an unfavorable self-concept?
    22. 22. OUR FOCUSCooley’s “Looking Glass Self”Mead’s “I and Me”Social Construction of RealitySI Research
    23. 23. How do we develop “selves”?
    24. 24. MEAD“I and Me”
    25. 25. MEAD“I”“Agentic”Independent of situations
    26. 26. MEAD“Me”Socialized partSituated and responsiveComposed of messages we receive fromothers and mirrors of self
    27. 27. MEADOtherSomeone/something outside of ourselves
    28. 28. MEADGeneralized Other -- Our view of the viewsof society
    29. 29. MEAD“I and Me”Self = I (subject) + Me (object)
    30. 30. EXAMPLES?
    31. 31. The MySpace Shot:Is this the I or the Me?
    32. 32. Who are we online? Is this our “core” self?
    33. 33. What do our online identities reveal?Try: personas.media.mit.edu/personasWeb
    34. 34. What does it mean to have an identity constructed as “illegal”?
    35. 35. What does it mean to have a “stigmatized” identity?
    36. 36. OUR FOCUSCooley’s “Looking Glass Self”Mead’s “I and Me”Social Construction of RealitySI Research
    37. 37. SOCIALCONSTRUCTIONOF REALITY“Reality is socially constructed...”“Sociology of knowledge must analyze theprocesses in which this occurs.” Berger & Luckman (1967):1
    38. 38. SOCIALCONSTRUCTIONOF REALITYRealityTaken for grantedAppears inevitable
    39. 39. SOCIALCONSTRUCTIONOF REALITYReality = “quality pertaining to phenomenawe recognize as having a being independentof our own volition”
    40. 40. SOCIALCONSTRUCTIONOF REALITYKnowledge = “the certainty thatphenomena are real and that they possessspecific characteristics”
    41. 41. SOCIALCONSTRUCTIONOF REALITY“An institutionalized entity or artifact...‘invented’ or ‘constructed’ byparticipants in a particular culture or societythat exists because people agree tobehave as if it exists...” Conley (2008):
    42. 42. SOCIALCONSTRUCTIONOF REALITYChallenges to KnowledgeReality is not determined by situationsNot inevitable
    43. 43. EXAMPLES?When can you vote?When can you drink legally?Is relationship violence a problem?
    44. 44. EXAMPLES?Who is “black”?Who is “white”?Who is “other”?
    45. 45. EXAMPLES?How is the world socially constructed?What “evidence” counts in ourunderstanding of social world?
    46. 46. OUR FOCUSCooley’s “Looking Glass Self”Mead’s “I and Me”Social Construction of RealitySI Research
    47. 47. SI RESEARCHA few examples...Deviance ResearchLabeling TheorySociology of EmotionsQualitatively Oriented
    48. 48. SI: “Deviant” Subcultures
    49. 49. SI: Labeling Theory and Becoming “Deviant”
    50. 50. SI: Emotional Labor and Service Work
    51. 51. CRITICISMSWhere’s the “data”?Focus on structure?SI more framework than theory
    52. 52. EXAMPLES?How could you use SI in your own researchprojects?
    53. 53. QUESTIONS?
    54. 54. Thank You!
    55. 55. Thank You!Danielle Dirks, Ph.D.Department of SociologyOccidental Collegedirks@oxy.edudanielledirks.com@danielledirks

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