Social WorldsSocial WorldsSocial worlds are networks of interaction demarcated by their participants mutual involvement in specifiable sets of activities. They form around sports, art forms and genres, pastimes, occupations, locations, conflicts and controversies, and projects, anything that can become a focus for collective interest and action. Worlds are networks whose members manifest a shared orientated towards specific conventions and common adherence to a shared framework of meaning. They are generated by interaction but also function as a context and environment which shapes interaction. As actors enter a world, interacting with others whom they recognize as members of it, they shift their orientation and perhaps also their identity, thereby collaboratively with the other (re)generating their part of that world. (Crossley 2010: 138)
The nature of social worldsThe nature of social worldsContinually (re)constituted through interactionMediated interaction and/or face to face interactionIrreducible to territory though often (re)constitutedterritoriallyProvides normative frames of reference whichparticipants can use ‘outside’ the social worldFuzzily bounded but nonetheless experienced‘inside’ and ‘outside’ or ‘inwards’/‘outwards’ facinginteractionOpens up the questions of temporal ‘entry’ and ‘exit’
Myth of Cultural IntegrationMyth of Cultural IntegrationSpecific conventions and common adherence to ashared framework of meaning...?Common tendency to conflate the ‘community’and the ‘meaning’ in sociological understandingsof cultureMistake to infer shared belief from shared practiceor vice versaIf we accept this then subjectivity becomes crucialto understanding reproduction andtransformation of social worlds
PsychobiographyPsychobiography‘Entry’ and ‘exit’ into social worlds are temporal concepts.Psychobiography as concept to recognize the “linkedseries of evolutionary transitions” which unfold at “varioussignificant junctures in the lives of individuals” (Layder1997: 47)So how do people ‘enter’ and ‘exit’ social worlds?How does this manner of entry and exit (direction,meaning, velocity) shape their participation in its(re)constitution?Social worlds as emergent from particular configurations ofconvergent psychobiographies
Case Study: AsexualityCase Study: AsexualityPeople “who do not experience sexual attraction”Great deal of diversity underlying ‘umbrella definition’Online communities began to form 2001 onwards(though some pre-history)Attracted much media attention which brings newpeople into communityOnline: forums, blogs, youtube, tumblr‘Offline’ meet-ups and activism
Psychobiographical ConvergencePsychobiographical ConvergenceLack of sexual attraction (heterogenous across thegroup) previously rendered situationally problematicBoth relations (“you’re just a late bloomer!”) andideas (“if I’m not sexual then I must be broken”) atwork hereDiscovery of the asexual social world: directly(e.g.google etc) or indirectly (e.g. media article orfriend/acquaintance)Reappraisal of prior self-interpretation andassumption of pathology
ConclusionConclusionRecognizing the independent variability of subjectivityand refusing the homogenization of ‘sub-cultures’Treating subjectivity in a way which foregroundstemporality and agencyMoving from ‘groups’ to individuals, networks andsocial worlds in sexuality studies. Getting beyondessentialism debates.The crucial question: how do identifiable psychobiographicaltrajectories shape the (re)constitution of specific social worlds?Thoughts appreciated! This is plan for analysis yet tobe undertaken....