Charles horton cooley

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Charles horton cooley

  1. 1. SOC4044 Sociological Theory: Charles Horton CooleySunday, October 21, 2012 © 1998-2006 by Ronald Keith Bolender 1
  2. 2. Charles Horton Cooley 1864-1929 Born in Ann Arbor, MI Education University of Michigan Engineering • 7 yearsSunday, October 21, 2012 © 1998-2006 by Ronald Keith Bolender 2
  3. 3. Charles Horton Cooley His father was a member of the Michigan Supreme Court He struggled living under the shadow of his famous father He once wrote to his mother: “I should like as an experiment to get off somewhere where Father was never heard of and see whether anybody would care about me for my own sake.”Sunday, October 21, 2012 © 1998-2006 by Ronald Keith Bolender 3
  4. 4. Charles Horton Cooley His dissertation was titled “The Theory of Transportation,” a pioneering study in human ecology He later moved away from the human ecology area of sociology and became more interested in the psychological element within sociological phenomenaSunday, October 21, 2012 © 1998-2006 by Ronald Keith Bolender 4
  5. 5. Charles Horton Cooley He taught at the University of Michigan He was concerned with many social problems and issues of the day, but clearly preoccupation with the self--his own self-- remained paramount to him. He did become independent of his father--but his experience caused a desire to study the self and its relationship with society. This desire to observe behavior was later applied toward his own children.Sunday, October 21, 2012 © 1998-2006 by Ronald Keith Bolender 5
  6. 6. Charles Horton Cooley Assumptions Falls within the framework of the pluralist paradigm Clearly, a vision of ambivalence, a portrait of duality marks his thoughtSunday, October 21, 2012 © 1998-2006 by Ronald Keith Bolender 6
  7. 7. Charles Horton Cooley On the question of will, he argued that while people make choices, these are not entirely free Cooley unified both the sociable and “self- assertive” sides of human character “Competition and the survival of the fittest are as righteous as kindness and cooperation, and not necessarily opposed to them: an adequate view will embrace and harmonize these diverse aspects.” (1909:35 Social Organization: A Study of the Larger Mind)Sunday, October 21, 2012 © 1998-2006 by Ronald Keith Bolender 7
  8. 8. Charles Horton Cooley Cooley perceived the mind as the center of the human universe , as the definitive maker of our being. It is both an organic whole and the context for all human interaction. Cooley’s supremely mental social world distinguishes his sociology from the attempts of Mead to assign primacy to social behavior. The mind above all, is seen as modifiable, and it emerges only in relations with members of primary groups .Sunday, October 21, 2012 © 1998-2006 by Ronald Keith Bolender 8
  9. 9. Charles Horton Cooley In Social Organization Cooley asks: What makes society possible? Cooley does not completely accepts Rousseau’s idea of social contract (a foundational philosophical view of the pluralist paradigm). He views that society is a process, continuing to form and reform via individuals, groups, patterns, and institutions.Sunday, October 21, 2012 © 1998-2006 by Ronald Keith Bolender 9
  10. 10. Charles Horton Cooley Thus in making the self, society is born.Sunday, October 21, 2012 © 1998-2006 by Ronald Keith Bolender 10
  11. 11. Charles Horton Cooley Self and Society are Twin-Born Cooley (1962:5)Cooley, Charles Horton. 1962. Social Organization. New York: Schocken.Sunday, October 21, 2012 © 1998-2006 by Ronald Keith Bolender 11
  12. 12. Charles Horton Cooley Cooley remained consistent in his position on causation. Individuals, he argued, do not make societies nor do societies make individuals. They are “distributive and collective aspects of the same thing.” The individual has no existence apart from others. There is no society not constituted of individuals.Sunday, October 21, 2012 © 1998-2006 by Ronald Keith Bolender 12
  13. 13. Charles Horton Cooley Cooley argued that a person’s self grows out of a person’s commerce with others. The social origin of his life comes by the pathway of intercourse with other persons (Cooley 1964:5).Cooley, Charles Horton. 1964. Human Nature and the Social Order. New York: Schocken.Sunday, October 21, 2012 © 1998-2006 by Ronald Keith Bolender 13
  14. 14. Charles Horton Cooley The self, to Cooley, is not first individual self and then social; it arises dialectically through communication. One’s consciousness of himself is a reflection of the ideas about himself that he attributes to other minds; thus, there can be no isolated selves. There is no sense of “I” . . . without its correlative sense of you, or he, or they (Cooley 1964:182).Sunday, October 21, 2012 © 1998-2006 by Ronald Keith Bolender 14
  15. 15. Charles Horton Cooley In his attempt to illustrate the reflected character of the self, Cooley compared it to a looking glass: Each to each a looking-glass Reflects the other that doth pass. (Cooley 1964:184)Sunday, October 21, 2012 © 1998-2006 by Ronald Keith Bolender 15
  16. 16. Charles Horton Cooley As we see our face, figure, and dress in the glass, and are interested in them because they are ours, and pleased or otherwise with them according as they do or do not answer to what we should like them to be, so in imagination we perceive in another’s mind some thought of our appearance, manners, aims, deeds, character, friends, and so on, and are variously affected by it. (Cooley 1964:184)Sunday, October 21, 2012 © 1998-2006 by Ronald Keith Bolender 16
  17. 17. Charles Horton Cooley Three Elements of the Looking Glass Self The imagination of our appearance to the other person The imagination of his judgment of that appearance Some sort of self-feeling Pride MortificationSunday, October 21, 2012 © 1998-2006 by Ronald Keith Bolender 17
  18. 18. Charles Horton Cooley An Example by Cooley The real Alice, known only to her maker Her idea of herself “I [Alice] look well in this hat” Her idea of Angela’s idea of her “Angela thinks I look well in this hat”Sunday, October 21, 2012 © 1998-2006 by Ronald Keith Bolender 18
  19. 19. Charles Horton Cooley Her idea of what Angela thinks she thinks of herself “Angela thinks I am proud of my looks in this hat” Angela’s idea of what Alice thinks of herself “Alice thinks she is stunning in that hat”Sunday, October 21, 2012 © 1998-2006 by Ronald Keith Bolender 19
  20. 20. Charles Horton Cooley Society is an interweaving and interworking of mental selves. I imagine your mind, and especially what your mind thinks about my mind. I dress my mind before yours and expect that you will dress yours before mine. Whoever cannot or will not perform these feats is not properly in the game. (Cooley 1927:200-201)Cooley, Charles Horton. 1927. Life and the Student. New York: Alfred A. Knopf.Sunday, October 21, 2012 © 1998-2006 by Ronald Keith Bolender 20
  21. 21. Charles Horton Cooley Primary GroupEmphasis on the wholeness of social life led Cooley to focus his analysis on those human groupings that he conceived to be primary in linking man with his society and in integrating individuals into the social fabric.Sunday, October 21, 2012 © 1998-2006 by Ronald Keith Bolender 21
  22. 22. Charles Horton CooleyBy primary groups I mean those characterized by intimate face-to-face association and cooperation. They are primary in several senses but chiefly in that they are fundamental in forming the social nature and ideals of individuals. The result of intimate association, psychologically, is a certain fusion of individualities in a common whole, so that one’s very self, for many purposes at least, is the common life and purpose of the group. Perhaps the simplest way of describing this wholeness is by saying that it is a “we.” (Cooley 1966:23)Cooley, Charles Horton. 1966. Social Process. Carbondale, IL: Southern Illinois University Press.Sunday, October 21, 2012 © 1998-2006 by Ronald Keith Bolender 22
  23. 23. Charles Horton Cooley Using the terminology of Cooley,…a mother does not mind doing unrewarding labor…it benefits the “we.”Sunday, October 21, 2012 © 1998-2006 by Ronald Keith Bolender 23
  24. 24. Charles Horton Cooley The most important groups in which the intimate association characteristic of primary groups have had a chance to develop to the fullest are the family, the family play group of children, and the children neighborhood. These, Cooley believed, neighborhood are practically universal breeding grounds for the emergence of human cooperation and fellowship.Sunday, October 21, 2012 © 1998-2006 by Ronald Keith Bolender 24
  25. 25. Charles Horton Cooley In these groups men are drawn away from their individualistic propensity to maximize their own advantage and are permanently linked to their fellows by ties of sympathy and affection.Sunday, October 21, 2012 © 1998-2006 by Ronald Keith Bolender 25
  26. 26. Charles Horton Cooley In these [primary groups] human nature comes into existence. Man does not have it at birth; he cannot acquire it except through fellowship, and it decays in isolation. (Cooley 1962:30)How does this concept (“we”) apply to the importance of Christian fellowship?Sunday, October 21, 2012 © 1998-2006 by Ronald Keith Bolender 26
  27. 27. Charles Horton CooleyRemember the Law of Human Progress ... Cooley’s social philosophy was grounded in the idea that human progress involves the ever-widening expansion of human sympathy so that primary group ideals would spread from the family to the local community, to the nation, and finally to the world community.Sunday, October 21, 2012 © 1998-2006 by Ronald Keith Bolender 27
  28. 28. Charles Horton CooleyIn other forms of association (which are now referred to as secondary groups , though Cooley himself never used that term) men may be related to one another because each derives a private benefit from that interchange or interaction. In such groups the other may be valued only extrinsically as a source of benefits for the self; by contrast the bond in the primary group is based upon an intrinsic valuation of the other as a person, and appreciation of others does not result from anticipation of specific benefits that he or she may be able to confer.Sunday, October 21, 2012 © 1998-2006 by Ronald Keith Bolender 28
  29. 29. Charles Horton CooleyPublic Opinion (as a Social Process) In Cooley’s view society consists of a network of communication between component actors and subgroups; therefore, the process of communication, more particularly its embodiment in public opinions, cements social bonds and insures consensus. Cooley saw public opinion as “an organic process,” and not merely as a state of agreement about some question of the day.Sunday, October 21, 2012 © 1998-2006 by Ronald Keith Bolender 29
  30. 30. Charles Horton Cooley Consider “public opinion” within the church body….think of it as a process: Divorce Movies Dancing Dating practices Unwed mothers and the offspring raised by unwed mothers HomosexualitySunday, October 21, 2012 © 1998-2006 by Ronald Keith Bolender 30
  31. 31. Charles Horton Cooley Sociological MethodThe difference, Cooley argued, between our knowledge of a horse or a dog and our knowledge of man is rooted in our ability to have a sympathetic understanding of a man’s motives and springs of action.Sunday, October 21, 2012 © 1998-2006 by Ronald Keith Bolender 31
  32. 32. Charles Horton Cooley For example. . . The sociology of a chicken yard could only be based on descriptions of the chicken’s behavior, since we can never understand the meanings that chickens attach to their activities. But the sociology of human beings can pursue a different strategy, since it can probe beneath protocols of behavior into the subjective meanings of acting individuals.This is the heart of the pluralist paradigm!Sunday, October 21, 2012 © 1998-2006 by Ronald Keith Bolender 32
  33. 33. Charles Horton Cooley Cooley was successful in breaking the idea of “disjunction between the mind and society.” societySunday, October 21, 2012 © 1998-2006 by Ronald Keith Bolender 33

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