WALT: How do Sociological perspectives explain the 'Self' and ...
WALT: How do Sociological perspectives explain the Self and Identity? WILFs: D - Can describe, explain and summarise how Sociological perspectives explain the self and identity B - Can assess how Sociological perspectives explain the self and identity.
A - Can evaluate how Sociological perspectives explain the self and identity Definitions Think Pair Share Identity Is a person's conception and expression of their individuality or group affiliations: who I am Self
Is an individual person as the object of his or her own reflective consciousness: who I think I am/How I see myself WHO ARE YOU? How you see yourself = SELF Who we are/personality= IDENTITY This usually consists of some
combination of STATUSES you occupy and other ATTRIBUTES you feel you possess. Nouns = Identity = Statuses Adjectives = Self-Concept = Attributes What is Symbolic Interactionism Aims to understand identity
Key thinkers: Charles Horton Cooley George Herbert Mead Cooley and Mead were primarily concerned with the emergence of the individual's sense of self. Looking Glass Self Cooley (1922)
me Called the side of our self the looking glass self, referring to how, after a while, we begin to view ourselves as if others eyes are a mirror. Our image of ourselves is largely a reflection of how other people react to us their reflected
appraisals of us. Cooley called this the "looking glass self." Is what others think of us important to our own sense of self? Your Turn Write a reflected appraisal
Cooleys 3 Stages of Self-Development 1. recognition of oneself as distinct from the physical environment 2. language acquisition 3. development of looking-glass self we interpret actions of others toward us as mirrors in which we see ourselves Elements of the Looking-glass self
1. our perception of how we appear to another person 2. our estimate of the judgement the other person makes about us 3. some emotional feeling about this judgement, such as pride or shame Looking Glass Self in Action
Why are the REFLECTED APPRAISALS of others so important.?? Write down 3 reasons: Cooley Cooley argued that the self is defined and developed through symbolic interaction. (SI) Our image of ourselves is largely a reflection of how other people react to us their reflected
appraisals of us. Cooley called this the "looking glass self." Mead: Self = I + Me George Herbert Mead's theory of the self distinguished between two aspects: the "I" and the "Me." The "I" is the impulsive and creative aspect of the self and the "Me" is the socialized aspect of the self
which is composed of internalized norms and values and is ever mindful of its social reflection. Mead He argued that humans interact through the use of symbols such as Visual signs (red traffic light = stop)
Expressions (frown = angry) Verbal (scream = fear) Shared understanding of these symbols and how to respond to them form the basis of communication.
Whilst we are each conscious individuals, the way in which we choose to behave is influenced by the social context of that behaviour. An example. A father is angry at his daughter's behaviour and tells her to go to her room and stay there until dinner. What does the girl do? The girl starts to protest, but then checks herself
and does what she is told. The spontaneous, willful "I" wants to protest, but the "Me" is concerned about her reflection in her father's eyes and complies. How does it link to symbolic interactionism Symbolic interactionism: A sociological perspective on
self and society based on the ideas of George Mead (1934). The central theme of symbolic interactionism is that human life is based on the use of symbols. Through language and communication, symbols provide the means by which reality is constructed. Meads work: Human behaviour is social because people interact in terms of symbols. Symbols stand for other objects and imply certain behaviour. For example; The no entry symbol implies to the majority of people that they
cannot enter. Therefore Meads work is credible that we follow symbols, however as the majority follow this rule, does this show there must be some sort of collective norms and values? Can we really say that reality being so complex comes down to simply the use of symbols? However, Meads work is accurate that we do associates symbols Explaining Deviance & Creativity
Now, the socialized "Me" does not always win out. Mead attributed both deviance (or antisocial behaviour) and creativity to the times when the "I" wins out over the Me. Examples? How useful is Meads theory to an understanding of society? Can you think of at least TWO strengths and TWO
criticisms How useful is Meads theory to an understanding of society? Although Meads theory is over 70 years old, humans do relate the meanings of symbols to what they do, i.e at a red traffic light, the majority of people would stop. Therefore, Mead is correct to an
extent. However, Mead states that we as individuals shape society, but for the majority to abide by the symbols, rules and regulations there must be some sort of collective conscience, norms and values. In order to have shared meanings, it must feed off some sort of structural factors.
Whats this? Development of the Me So, the question remains, how do we develop this "Me" -- the reflective, socialized sense of self? Observing children's behaviour, Mead identified two stages that occur as children
develop this reflexive sense of self called the Me -- they are known as the play stage and the game stage. What do you think happens in.. The play stage? The game stage?
Play stage.taking the role of the other In the early part of the play stage -- around three years of age -- children pretend to be people in different statuses: daddy, mummy, postie, doctor, police officer, and so on. They imitate their speech and activities, delivering imaginary letters, sweeping imaginary floors, performing imaginary operations, and so on.
Adults may call this make believe, but this is serious business in terms of developing a mature sense of self. By pretending to be people who occupy other statuses, children come to understand the perspectives of people other than themselves. . Game stage Later in life, the child begins to engage in team
sports and group activities which require that she not just perform one role, but she must be able to understand what is going on from the perspective of all of the others involved in the game. That is, taking the role of multiple others at one time. Mead actually uses baseball as an example in his work. Who can explain this? The same is true of netball, football, and any other team sport you can imagine.
What is the Looking Glass Self? What is the I and the Me. What is the Play Stage and the Game Stage?
Erving Goffman Goffman saw the social world as being rather like a drama, or a performance in a play. His work is therefore referred to as a dramaturgical approach.
Erving Goffman (1959) Dramaturgi cal approach all the world is a stage Goffmans idea..
Individuals put on a performance for others to convince them about who they are.. We can adopt unlimited roles in our lives.. Teamwork Goffman believes that actors work in teams:
We cooperate with one another..we feed each other lines to give an impression. Lets try an application activity: For each of the following teams: List their props Explain how they act. Key idea: Front stage v Back stage Which areas of life do you think are Front and Back
stage? Goffman uses the term: Impression Management What do you think he means? Front or back stage?
Stigma Goffman developed his work by analysing the difficulties some groups face in constructing a positive social identity. Think Pair Share: What groups are stigmatised in/by society?
Becker (1963): labelling theory An early Interactionist theorist links to deviance Deviance only becomes deviant when a social group has labelled it sothere is no such thing as a deviant act. Whether or not the label is applied depends on how the act is interpreted by the audience.
Stuart Hall Identity sutures the subject into the structure of society Applying theories to Identity
How useful are these approaches in understanding how we create our identity? How do they say we create our identity? Are we always active in our identity creation? Symbolic interactionism Assess the extent to which social identity is shaped by interactions with others. (24 marks)
Rally Table Item 1B Social action or interactionist theories emphasise the importance of the self. Individuals develop a self-concept, a picture of themselves, which is an important influence on the way they act. This self-concept is developed through interactions with other people because it is based partly on how others react to
the individual. This idea was developed by Cooley, who introduced the term looking-glass self to describe this process. Critics of this approach argue that too much emphasis is given to individuals ability to shape their own identity. Structural approaches such as functionalism and Marxism are more likely to focus on the role of social institutions or inequalities of power in shaping identity. Using material from Item 1B and elsewhere, assess the
extent to which social identity is shaped by interactions with others. (24 marks) Concepts and issues such as the following may appear: looking-glass self; impression management; frontstage/backstage; master status; I/me/self; socialisation; stigmatised identity; ideology; macro/micro; structure/action; meaning; labelling: societal reaction; negotiation;
self-concept; consensus; conflict; suturing the subject Structure v Action Structure Functionalism consensus Marxism conflict
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