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Social constructionism - Wikipedia

Thus, in social-theoretical terms, Goffman's occupy a middle ground which avoids both the extremes of the total relativism of sheer intersubjectivity (whatever an actor appears to construct at the time) and that of the objective determinism of a reality which is pre-given and external to the actor (as if it would be enough for students and lecturer to enter the lecture hall for a lecture to take place). Frame analysis precisely invites attention to how the pre-given and the locally-constructed interrelate. Its particular analytical purchase lies in how interactants attend to the simultaneity of multiple realities, how they adjust constructions, manage disruptions, etc. Hence, not surprisingly, Goffman's interest in, on the one hand, impostors, spies, theatrical performances, etc. and, on the other hand, the acting out of sociability in talk, i.e. phenomena which reveal the transformation of ordinary action into things seen in a different light. Thus, we read in the opening paragraphs of the introduction to Goffman (1981:2-4)

Social and Political Recognition

In actual experience institutions generally manifest themselves incollectivities containing considerable numbers of people. It istheoretically important, however, to emphasize that theinstitutionalizing process of reciprocal typification would occureven if two individuals began to interact . . . . and alone are responsible for having constructedthis world. and remain capable of changing orabolishing it. What is more, since they themselves have shaped thisworld in the course of a shared biography which they can remember,the world thus shaped appears fully transparent to them. Theyunderstand the world that they themselves have made. All this changesin the process of transmission to the new generation. The objectivityof the institutional world "thickens" and "hardens," not only for thechildren, but (by a mirror effect) for the parents as well. The"There we go again" now becomes "This is how these things are done."A world so regarded attains a firmness in consciousness; it becomesreal in an ever more massive way and it can no longer be changed soreadily. For the children, especially in the early phase of theirsocialization into it, it becomes world. For the parents,it loses its playful quality and becomes "serious." For the children,the parentally transmitted world is not fully transparent. Since theyhad no part in shaping it, it confronts them as a given reality that,like nature, is opaque in places at least.


Social construction of gender - Wikipedia

It is important to keep in mind that the objectivity of theinstitutional world, however massive it may appear to the individual,is a humanly produced, constructed objectivity. The process by whichthe externalized products of human activity attain the character ofobjectivity is objectivation. The institutional world is objectivatedhuman activity, and so is every single institution. In other wordsdespite the objectivity that marks the social world in humanexperience, it does not thereby acquire an ontological status apartfrom the human activity that produced it. The paradox that man iscapable of producing a world that he then experiences as somethingother than a human product will concern us later on. At the moment,it is important to emphasize that the relationship between man, theproducer, and the social world, his product, is and remains adialectical one. That is, man (not of course, in isolation but in hiscollectivities) and his social world interact with each other. Theproduct acts back upon the producer. Externalization andobjectivation are moments in a continuing dialectical process, whichis internalization (by which the objectivated social world isretrojected into consciousness in the course of socialization), willoccupy us in considerable detail later on. It is already possible,however, to see the fundamental relationship of these threedialectical moments in social reality. Each of them corresponds to anessential characterization of the social world. It may also already be evident that an analysis of thesocial world that leaves out any one of these three moments will bedistortive. One may further add that only with the transmission ofthe social world to a new generation (that is, internalization aseffectuated in socialization) does the fundamental social dialecticappear in its totality. To repeat, only with the appearance of a newgeneration can one properly speak of a social world.

1) How do we construct a socially stratified reality? Discuss the ways in which we construct our category-driven realities (you may wish to revisit and reference earlier course materials – such as “Five Features of Reality” (1. Hugh Mehan and Houston Wood, “Five Features of Reality,” in Jodi O’Brien, The Production of Reality: Essays and Readings on Social Interaction (5th Edition), Pine Forge Press: Thousand Oaks, CA, 2011.) and materials on Symbolic Interactionism – for this part).

Global Capitalism, The History and Nature of Capitalism

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Thisessay offers the reader an alternative to supernatural explanation formagic.

SYMBOLIC INTERACTIONAL THEORY, SOCIAL MAGIC AND NONLINEARITY SymbolicInteraction Theory is a loose set of assumptions about how symbols areused to create a shared frame of meaning which, in turn, is used to organizeand to interpret human behavior in loose and everchanging patterns of work,commerce, family, worship and play.

If one imagines concrete socialoccasions in which one has been immersed, it will help the reader see thenonlinear, hence chaotic nature of social interaction and the everchangingrealities it produces.

Strange Attractors There are several pointsat which the nonlinearity of symbolic interaction and the theoretical frameworkof chaos theory are easily connected.

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Ethnomethodology and Social Phenomenology | …

In many respects the essay on 'footing' can be read as a challenge to unwarranted theorising which limits a communicative situation to the presence of a speaker and a hearer engaged in a conversation. Essentializing speaker and hearer suggests that only sound is at isssue, whereas in fact sight is organisationally very significant, too - sometimes also touch (e.g. when at a convivial dinner table with competing and quite freely shifting participation frameworks, speakers feel it necessary to police listenership and rely on pitch raising, interruption, bodily orientation and touch to "bring back strays and encourage incipient joiners", 1981, p. 135). Similarly, the development of the category of overhearer/bystander (an original contribution by Goffman) is the communicative 'anomaly' which forces us to consider the facts of interaction as relative to a 'gathering' rather than an 'encounter': "[...] in dealing with the notion of 'bystanders', a shift was tacitly made from the encounter as a point of reference to something somewhat wider, namely 'the social situation,' defining this as the full physical arena in which persons present are in sight and sound of one another. (Goffman 1981: 136 ). The sections in the essay titled 'Footing' which deal with podium events (one-to-many) and the one which enquires into activities where non-linguistic activities provide the organising context for utterances (e.g. talk connected to an extended joint task such as repairing a car) can be read in the same way.

The Production of Reality by Jodi A

Philosophers concerned to defend the rationality of science againstsociological misrepresentations include Larry Laudan (1984) JamesBrown (1989, 1994), Alvin Goldman (1987, 1995) and Susan Haack(1996). The details of these philosophers' approaches differ, but theyagree in holding that scientists are persuaded by what they regard asthe best evidence or argument, the evidence most indicative of thetruth by their lights, and in holding that arguments and evidence arethe appropriate focus of attention for understanding the production ofscientific knowledge. When evidential considerations have not trumpednon-evidential considerations, we have an instance of badscience. They read the sociologists as arguing that a principleddistinction between evidential and nonevidential considerations cannotbe drawn and devote considerable effort to refuting thosearguments. In their positive proposals for accomodating the socialcharacter of science, sociality is understood as a matter of theaggregation of individuals, not their interactions, and publicknowledge as simply the additive outcome of many individuals makingsound epistemic judgments. Individual rationality and individualknowledge are thus the proper focus of philosophers ofscience. Exhibiting principles of rationality applicable to individualreasoning is sufficient to demonstrate the rationality of science, atleast in its ideal form.

Meaning Is Negotiated through Interaction ..

It is these practices that can be understood, more generally, as instances of the double hermeneutic of scholarship. Communication research is inter-, trans-, and multi-disciplinary and -traditional; it is all of these things in response to a reality that is endlessly communicating – or attempting to do so. The infrastructure of research institutions, journals, and conferences provides more glacial evidence of the dialectic. In addition to disciplinary and systematic distinctions such as communication and law, media economy, media production and content, and media effects, the field has been organized, further, according to domains of practical relevance, for example, educational communication and strategic communication, and with a view to historically contested notions such as popular communication. New institutional configurations of a theoretical heritage arise; revised disciplinary identities with a direct bearing on communication emerge, as in the case of information science, which in some settings used to be known as library science, but whose research questions, with digitization, increasingly overlap those of human–computer interaction. And, given the centrality of media and communication in contemporary society, communication researchers are regularly questioned in public to account for the role of communication in cultural change; for example, with reference to a possible epoch of postmodernism and communication. The responses perform the double hermeneutic in live communication.

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