The Self And Interaction Nature vs. nurture Socialization Development of Self-Freud, Cooley, Mead, Goffman Impression Management Agents of Socialization-family, schools, peers, media Statuses and Roles
The Self and Nature vs. Nurture The self is connected to all social phenomena and interaction constructs them all What is human nature? Nature vs. Nurture – ongoing debate over the importance of genes and socialization in determining our behaviors and traits Sociologists argue that human behavior is learned and shaped thru social interaction Either one alone is insufficient to explain what makes us human
Socialization and the Self Socialization – process of learning & internalizing the values, beliefs and norms of social group – helps us become functioning members of society 1. Skills to satisfy basic human needs 2. Teaches norms, values, beliefs Social Isolation – feral children –Isabelle Babies do have innate capacities, but can only fully develop as human beings through contact with others Isabelle-1930s Self – individual’s conscious, reflexive experience of personal identity, separate and distinct from others Self created through social interaction over a lifetime
Development of Self-Freud Freud’s theory of self centered on unconscious mind The mind consists of three interrelated parts: Id – basic inborn drive – instinctive psychic energy – goal is pleasure and avoid pain- selfish Ego – the realistic aspect of the mind that mediates between id and superego Superego – the conscience (moral) and ego ideal (ideally who we should be)-Internalized demands of society Develops as a result of parental guidance
Development of Self-Cooley Looking-glass self-notion that the self develops thru our perception of others’ evaluations of us Dev. by Charles Horton Cooley (Chicago School) We all act like mirrors to each other, reflecting back images of ourselves 1.We imagine how we look to others 2. We imagine other people’s judgment of us 3. We experience some kind of feeling about ourselves based on our perception of other people’s judgments All of us come to know ourselves through relationships with others
Development of Self-Mead George Herbert Mead (Chicago School)-development of self started in childhood-when kids develop language Mead’s Theory of Self – 3 stages: 1. Preparatory stage – under 3 – imitate or mimic those around them 2. Play stage – after 3 – “roles” pretend play at being a “nurse”, “teacher,” etc… 3. Game stage – early school years- organized games at school – must follow rules of game and understand where others playing game are coming from (generalized other)
Development of Self-Goffman Mead-Generalized other- perspectives and expectations of others in society that child learns and takes into account when shaping his or her behavior Erving Goffman-*all meaning is constructed through interaction Thomas theorem- “if people define situations as real, they are real in their consequences” Many interpretations are possible of same event Woman slapping man in public?
Goffman Defines Expression Goffman looks at how we define situations interactionally Definition of the Situation- agreement about what is “going on” – allows us to coordinate our actions with others Woman slapping man?-what are others’ reactions? Expressions of Behavior- small actions that serve as an interaction tool to project our definition of the situation to others Expressions given – verbal and intended (speech) Expressions given off – non-verbal, but observable – intended or unintended Facial expressions, mannerisms, etc… It’s not just what you say but how you say it that creates meaning
What is Impression Management? Goffman-we work at controlling the impressions others have of us Impression Management – effort to control impressions we make on others so that they form a desired view of us and the situation Dramaturgy-social life compared to theater Front- the setting or scene of performances that helps define the situation (classroom) Personal Front – equipment we use to present ourselves to others (glasses) Region – context or setting where performance takes place – person out of context can be confusing
What is Impression Management? Backstage – rehearse and prepare for performances Frontstage – where we deliver our public performance Cooling the mark out – behavior that allows others to avoid embarrassment Civility or tact
Agents of Socialization Agents of Socialization-social groups, institutions, and individuals that provide structured situations in which socialization takes place 1. Family – most significant- social bonds created, learn norms and values of society 2. School – Besides teaching normal curriculum, also responsible for P.E., meals, discipline, child care, etc… Hidden curriculum – values/behaviors that children learn at school (competition, obedience) 3. Peers – Family has longest-lasting effect on us, but by adolescence, youth spend more time w/ friends than anyone else 4. Media-Fiji (pg. 127)
Adult Socialization Being adults means being put in new situations, having to learn and adjust to new conditions over the life course Resocialization-process of replacing previously learned norms and values with new ones as part of a transition in life Due to divorce, raising family, moving, losing a job, etc… Total Institution – (Goffman) institutions in which individuals are cut off from rest of society – total control – strips away old identities for new ones
Statuses and Roles Statuses influence how others see us and respond to us Status – position in society that carries a particular set of expectations Parent, CEO, waitress, etc… Ascribed Status – inborn and hard to change Embodied Status – physical characteristics (ex. beauty) Achieved Status – earned through effort or imposed by others (ex. occupation) Master Status – relevant and affects all other statuses.
Statuses and Roles Role – behavior expectations that go with a certain status Role Strain – contradictory expectations within ONE role Parent-discipline or nurture Role Conflict – we occupy 2 or more roles with contradictory expectations Work/family conflict Role exit-the process of leaving a role that we will no longer occupy *Statuses and roles help shape our identities by providing guidelines for our own behavior
Role Conflict: Chris Spielman Family or Football? Spielman-From Ohio, linebacker for Buffalo Bills Wife diagnosed with breast cancer, required her to stay in Ohio for treatment He would have to be on road for football… What did he choose?
Social Construction of Emotions Role-Taking Emotions-like sympathy, embarrassment and shame, require that we be able to see thing from someone else’s point of view Feeling Rules – norms regarding the expression and display of emotions – expectations about acceptable emotions in a given social situation Emotion Work – manage feelings to create a publicly observable display of emotion Copresence – face to face interaction in the presence of others – has lessened with technology.