Foothill College Meads Reflexivity in Absentia Paper

As mentioned in lecture, although the “reflexivity” of George Herbert Mead is the norm for human behavior, it is never an “all or none.”  Can you share with the class a scenario when you acted BEFORE you thought?  In other words, demonstrate that Mead is “correct” and Watson “incorrect” that as humans we think before we act in most circumstances.  And when we don’t, it can have negative outcomes!

And reply One classmate:

Mead’s “Reflexivity” in Absentia

A scenario where I have acted before thinking that I can think of clear as day actually happened recently at work. Some background context is that I work at a shoe store that sells non slip shoes for restaurants- employees from those restaurants come to my store, mention the company’s name when we check them out and they receive a 30% off discount. So two weeks ago I overheard this couple talking about donuts while they waited for my coworker to ring them out at the cash register. When she finally rang them out the guy asked my coworker if he could get a discount. I butted in for no reason without realizing what I was about to say and I said, “Yeah only if you hook it up with donuts.” After I said that I felt all eyes on me and we were all quiet for a few seconds. I then realized that I was in the wrong for not only interrupting their conversation and for asking for a discount in return for a discount that I am obligated to give. Easily the couple could have made a complaint to my management department that day but instead the couple laughed. Once they started laughing, I laughed along with them nervously wondering what is about to happen next. The guy looks at me and tells me that he is the owner of the donut shop and he invites me and my coworker to the shop for free donuts when ever we wanted to go. I then told him I was joking about the comment I made but he said that he isn’t and that we are welcomed to stop by when ever. Thankfully the guy was really cool and didn’t complain if not I don’t know what my manager who have said.

Theorists! Today is a “red-letter” day on your academic calendars, especially
for those of you who believed from the very beginning that you were more “micro”
than “macro” in your sociological viewpoint. For today we make the bridge to
Symbolic Interaction; the “micro” perspective within our wonderful discipline!
Is S.I. “better” than either S.F. or C.T.? Absolutely not. Each of the three
major perspectives within sociology has its merits, its flaws, its supporters, and its
critics, as you well know. Above all, remember my goal for all of you in S-320: to
be well-rounded, objective, sociological theorists. And that means you should have
the ability to understand the assumptions, pros & cons of each perspective. Once
you are able to discuss all components of each perspective, THEN AND ONLY THEN
are you allowed to take a personal stance on any given issue. But this is a huge
“positive” because it will be a sociologically informed position!
By the way, before we get started, have you yet figured out which theoretical
perspective(s) I embrace? You haven’t? Good! Because I don’t want to purposely
“tip my hand “ in any way while discussing sociological theory. I don’t want any of
you to be influenced by my viewpoints on the world; rather, I want all of you to be
independent critical thinkers . Here we go…
I. Symbolic Interaction: The “Micro”
Perspective in Sociology
The “Chicago School” was established
in 1892, by Albion Small
As you are already aware, there were many hotbeds of American sociology
including Harvard, Yale, and Columbia. Harvard should stand out in your mind
because that is where W.E.B. DuBois gained his claim to fame as the first
African-American Ph.D.! You should also know of Harvard because of Talcott
Parsons, who used his position there to strengthen the S.F. perspective while battling
C. Wright Mills and his C.T. views out of Columbia University.
While the Ivy League schools certainly had clout, don’t forget that the
University of Chicago—the “Chicago School” as it came to be known—also had
brilliant scholars who influenced greatly the direction of American sociology.
Albion Small was without question a Structural Functionalist. But he, as founder
and Chair of the Department, had great vision. As micro-sociology began to take
shape, primarily through the efforts of one of his graduate students (George Herbert
Mead), Small supported its evolution. Today, the University of Chicago is still
considered to be the “gold standard.” There are many superb Graduate programs in
the country, but Chicago is still the most revered.
STORY TIME! When I was making the decision as to where to complete my
Ph.D., I had five choices: University of Washington (a BIGGY in qualitative
methodology), Arizona State University, U.C.L.A., U.S.C., and…you guessed it…the
University of Chicago. You all know that I decided upon U.S.C. (and not just
because they had a better football team than University of Chicago ). I was
fortunate enough to have a full-ride to both of those schools, and the decision was a
very difficult one. It came down to three things (in order of importance to the
1. U.S.C. was offering me the chance to teach immediately upon arrival
2. Rox and I were tired of cold, snowy, winters and U.S.C. didn’t have those
3. Chicago was well known for “weeding out” graduate students
One of the guys I knew at Colorado State who was a year ahead of me in completing
his M.A., Ted Manley, was from Chicago. He did his undergraduate work at
Northwestern and was a very tough-minded individual. Nothing rattled Ted!
When he came to visit after his first semester at Chicago he had horror stories to tell
about 1000 page weeks in Theory and student ulcers! To make a long story short,
the first year at Chicago was designed to see if you could take the academic pressure.
In the grand scheme, there is nothing wrong with that. But I tend to be a bit more
collegial . I am not into “weeding people out.” If you prefer—based on the
“Performative Theory of Gender” by Butler—I decided that I didn’t want to
“perform” the macho role in academics. Graduate School is tough enough without
having to worry about whether or not one is living up to “academic gender
expectations.” Have I ever regretted the decision not to attend the “Cadillac” of
Graduate programs? Not for even one moment! Look where I am! I am finishing
my 29th year at CSU San Marcos—the Jewel of North County—teaching all of you!
And I wouldn’t trade that for any other academic position in the world. Trust
me…really .
Did Ted graduate? Of course! He was in the Department of Sociology at
DePaul University, spent most of his career at the University of Denver, and is easing
into retirement as a Lecturing faculty member at CSU Los Angeles. [Oh yes, Ted
was also the center on our graduate student intramural basketball and softball teams.
He was quite the athlete! Our team name? “Marx’s Magic.” Perfect for a bunch
of Sociologists, right? ] What I am trying to point out to all of you is that the quality
of education at the University of Chicago is exquisite. Always has been; always will
be. If any of you want to apply there I will do my level best to write a Letter of
Recommendation that will help you get through the front door. But be ready .
They’ll test you. Thanks for the brief trip down academic memory lane!
* Note the key influence of George Herbert
Mead (1863-1931, and a student of
Small’s) on the discipline:
(Oooo…wait… Deja vu’ again! Remember how I felt a
bond to Spencer because of his early biological
training? Well, I feel the same about Mead because
his dad was a clergy!)
– the Behavioral psychologists
(Watson, in particular) claimed
that humans simply respond to
social stimuli; only observable
behavior could be the subject of
scientific study
This is a very key point for the foundation of Mead’s counter-argument. He
believed that we as individuals in myriad social settings do much more than simply
respond to the social stimuli around us. To succumb to Watson’s viewpoint would
be to suggest that we are simply “sponges” soaking in social stimuli around us and
then basing our behaviors on those stimuli. We appear quite “passive” in Watson’s
model, don’t we? This perhaps could work for animals with lower brain function in
a laboratory setting, but Mead felt that it most certainly did not apply to human
beings. Instead….
– Mead argued that human behavior is
“reflexive”– you and I think before
we act in most circumstances
I imagine as you are reading about this idea of “reflexivity” you are having a
good laugh . Do we indeed think before we act? The wide majority of the time
this is without question true (I would hope). But I’m sure that all of you can think
of circumstances where you acted first—without thinking—and regretted it later! It
is said that spontaneity is a good thing, but spontaneity without judgment can be
disastrous. Let’s have a little fun…
Discussion Board time! This is another of the “fun” post opportunities for the
semester . Can you share with all of us a time or two when you acted before you
thought? Can you furthermore share with us the outcome of your lack of Meadian
“reflexivity?” In other words, demonstrate that Mead is “correct” and Watson
“incorrect” that as humans we think before we act in most circumstances. And when
we don’t, it can have negative outcomes. Go get ‘em!
– this requires the capacity to use and
respond to language, symbols, and
thoughts– what Mead called the
“significant gestures”
As Farganis shares in his observations about G.H. Mead:
“Our behavior is seen as reflexive because we are able to understand and react to
what others think and say about our behavior. Our actions are always
engaged with the action of others, whose responses to what we do send us
signals as their approval or disapproval.”
As a foreshadow to our core discussion of the assumptions of Symbolic Interaction,
Mead argues that we have the ability to interpret a range of “significant gestures” of
others in the small group setting. From frowns , to someone “rolling their eyes,”
to nervous laughs, to body language [folded arms, or slumping on one’s seat], to
“googly eyes” [ you know…the lovey-dovey looks you give significant others], we
have the ability to read the moment. And based on our interpretations of those
“significant gestures” we can plan how we will act or respond. Mmm….SYMBOLic
Interaction…catching on?
Finally, Mead would argue that:
– the “self” cannot exist outside
its social context…even social
consciousness is a social
Remember that Sociology studies the patterns of group behavior in American
society. While Mead certainly supports that statement, he argues that sociology can
still occur even when one is alone. What? Alone? Yes, indeed. Think about it
for a moment. How much time in our daily lives do we spend preparing for
interaction with others? Preparing to meet friends; preparing to interact in the
classroom; preparing to meet family members; preparing ourselves to be on the
job—the list of preparations is almost endless. Mead suggests that even in these
moments of anticipating future interaction sociology is taking place. Don’t forget,
Mead is the sociologist who says that we think before we act!
We will return to a discussion of George Herbert Mead again later in lecture.
But at this point I would like to introduce all of you to the key assumptions of
Symbolic Interaction. These are the building blocks of the perspective, so learn
them well. I will be making references to them on many occasions as we investigate
the “micro” viewpoint in our discipline.
A. Assumptions of Symbolic
1. The “micro” perspective in sociology
This first assumption is “old hat” to all of you! You are already well versed in
the idea that S.I. is the “micro” viewpoint because you learned this on the very first
day of class. And what is the primary unit of analysis for S.I. thinkers? RIGHT!
The “small group” is the primary unit of analysis. I will take the opportunity to
remind you that S.I. thinkers do not place an exact number on what “small” might be.
It could be a classroom of 45 students, 75 members of a religious congregation, or the
loving couple of two. Regardless, the goal of S.I. is to study how meaning is created
in the small group setting.
2. The symbol is the key to
What is a symbol? Well, we could get caught up in several different jargon
definitions of what a symbol might be, but for our purposes in S-320 a symbol is
defined as:
“Something that represents something else.”
Profound, huh?  But seriously, don’t make this too difficult. The range of
examples of symbols in American culture is vast. Take for instance:

An octagonal red sign is symbolic for “STOP”
A moving of one’s hand back and forth, palm open, is a wave or a
When we curl the edges of our mouth upward, we create a “smile,”
which is universal for being happy
A red heart is symbolic of “love.”
When we clasp hands in a “handshake” we are greeting one another
Catching on? There are myriad symbols in our culture. As Mead would argue:
“For humans to interact, they must be able to
understand the meaning of the remarks
and actions of others and shape an
appropriate response”
This third assumption of S.I. I have placed in ALL CAPS, underlined, with an
exclamation point because I believe it to be the most important of the three. Before I
provide any examples of this concept at work let me first define it for you.
Situational reality means that:
“…the meaning of any given interaction can change from time to time and place
to place depending on two things; first, the symbols being used, and
second, the ‘actors’ who comprise the small group setting.”
Take a look again at the examples of symbols I provided earlier. The red heart may
be symbolic of “love.” But can it also stand for a “heart healthy” item on a
restaurant menu? Can it also stand for a “Give Blood” poster for the Red Cross?
Another example? Sure!  What about the handshake? Is there just one
type of handshake in the world? For those of you in business, you know that the
“business handshake” is firm, with a look directly into the other’s eye! What do we
think about individuals with whom we shake hands and they give us a “soft” almost
non-existent grip? Does it matter if they are male or female? Is the meaning
different? Women are taught that in the business context they need to give firm
handshakes as well. But when they meet new people at the opera they need to give
the “here are my four fingers to clasp, soft, ‘nurturing’” handshake. The
SITUATION calls for a different approach with an entirely different symbolic
meaning. While we are on the handshake issue, how many of the men and women
in this class play a lot of “pickup basketball?” When you go to different parks to
play full court the range of handshakes vary. Geez, when I was playing a lot of
“inner city” ball (ask my S-318 Sociology of Sport class students for all the details!)
there were about five different handshakes, knuckle-bumps, thumb locks, taps, etc.
that were used to “appropriately” greet others. Situational Reality? Oh yeah…
Another example? Sure!  What about the “smile” I referenced above? Is
there just one universal smile? Of course not; “situationally” there are many. I
would imagine that when you are smiling at your significant other, there are certain
nuances of “love” that only you two lovebirds know. There are also the smiles that
are forced, like when someone is trying to look like they are having a good time
when really they are not. There are also the smiles that we provide for individuals
when we really are quite perturbed with them, but we don’t want THEM to know it.
You know, the “I’m going to act like everything is OK you jerk, but I’m not going to
give you the pleasure of knowing that you are getting under my skin.” When babies
smile, are they really happy? Or was it just a good bout of gas?
Let’s change gears to the world of sports for just one moment. When you
watched your beloved Chargers last season you saw many young men pat each other
on the butt for a job well done. There were also many hugs. I have even seen
ecstatic players give each other a kiss on the cheek on the rare occasion (many
Dolphins players kissed linebacker Joey Porter after they upset my beloved Broncos
in 2008). But take these same individuals out of the sporting context and into
mainstream society and the meaning behind those symbols changes. “Aha…you
mean SITUATIONAL REALITY, Doc?” That I do. I would not recommend that if
you like a faculty member’s lecture on a given day that you give him or her a pat on
the butt on the way out of class…”Nice job! Loved lecture today! (pat, pat, pat)”.
Likewise, if you like this Sabbath’s sermon, I would not recommend that you give
your clergy a pat on the butt as you greet him or her on the way out…”Great sermon
today, [Father, Pastor, Reverend, Bishop, Elder] (pat, pat, pat).” The meaning
changes based on two things remember? The symbol(s) being used and the actors
who comprise the small group setting.
Another quick example? Sure!  It is widely know that if female servers
want to increase the amount of their tips, they should use a certain degree of “tactile
communication” when interacting with the males at their tables. And don’t deny it,
you female servers out there! I have had many friends over the years that waited
tables to make ends meet while in college, and the tricks of the trade are many! You
know…the gentle hand on the shoulder, or the quick slide of the hand down the back
as you leave the table. I am told that it seems to work. But to demonstrate
SITUATIONAL REALITY, how does the meaning change if you were to engage in
this behavior with females at the table (Mmm…either “normal” female bonding or a
“lesbian come-on”)? With elderly individuals at the table (“I like you…you remind
me of my grandparents”)? With children at the table (if the server is female, “OK.”
If the server is male, “must be a molester!”)?
B. The Concept of “Self”
Based on the earlier discussion of George Herbert Mead and the “self,” you
should be aware that the “self” is a key building block of the “micro” perspective.
The next section of lecture will be a bit abstract at times! But that is because we are
breaking down the dynamics of human interaction into its smallest components.
1. What is the “self?”
For our purposes in S-320, I want you to define the “self” as:
“That part of who we are that we can reflect upon and think about.”
In this definition, notice the emphasis on reflection. Each of us has the ability to be
self-analytical; we can judge our performances in the public realm. If you need
proof of this reality, think about the way that all of you behave when you finish
answering a question in the classroom or in your virtual classes this semester. Once
you have “said your piece,” are you immediately back paying attention to the faculty
member or colleague who is speaking? Most likely not! You are immediately
reviewing how your comment or insight was received. Did anyone laugh? Did
anyone make audible noises like “Hmph, what an idiot.”? Were other students
nodding in agreement with me? Disagreement? Were they nodding off?! Was my
voice quivering, or I did I sound confident? Am I making my case? The point here
obviously is that you are reflecting back on your “performance” with an eye for
acceptance and/or validation. Still don’t believe me?  Tell me, how many of you
proofread your posts, just to make sure that you are saying what you want to say?
That you are coming across like you hope to come across? See…you are being
self-reflective, even in cyber-space! I urge all of you to be aware of how often we
reflect upon our performances in the home, on the job, in the classroom, with our
woo-woo. “Reflection and reflexivity”..both Mead contributions. And here is yet
2. The concept of “role-taking”;
George Herbert Mead
First of all, Mead would argue that for meaningful interaction to take place in
the small group setting, each participant must have a well-developed sense of “self.”
In other words, each individual must have the capacity to be self-reflective and take
stock of their performances. He was certainly realistic enough to understand that
not all individuals will be equally self-reflective. There is always a continuum in
Sociology isn’t there? For example, how many of you have been told that you
“over-analyze EVERYTHING!”? Conversely, how many of you have been told that
“you really should think about others and not just yourself all the time!”? Where
you fall on the continuum between these two endpoints says a great deal about your
ability to be self-reflective.
For Mead, “role taking” means to:
“Take on the role of the other in interaction; to put ourselves in their position
and view ‘reality’ through their eyes.”
If it will help, the Native American version of this statement goes something like this
(as told to me by some of my Crow Native-American friends while growing up in
“Don’t judge another man until you have walked a mile in his moccasins.”
What Mead is arguing is that to facilitate meaningful interaction, we should put
ourselves in the place of the “other” in the small group setting and view the situation
at hand through the eyes of those present. We should “put ourselves in their shoes”
and try to understand the meaning of the moment. When I taught “live”, I was
always trying to practice role-taking with my students. You know…”It’s 3:00 p.m.
on a Tuesday; it’s a beautiful Spring day outside…are the examples making sense?
Is the pace of lecture workable? Would I want to be listening to this and observing
this?” I was constantly trying to put myself in their position, and view the reality of
the classroom that day through their eyes. And you know what?  Even teaching
all of you on-line I am still trying to “role take!” Hey, even though I’m in my 15th
year of fully on-line education I don’t mind telling you that it has been at times
un-nerving not to be able to monitor your immediate feedback to lecture and
examples posed. I am constantly trying to imagine how this information is being
received; whether it is making sense; if the approach is interesting and/or inspiring.
Well? 
A final important point that Mead makes here is that to be a good role taker an
individual must have a well-developed sense of self. Does this make sense to all of
you? The better our ability to be self-reflective, the easier it should be for us to
“step out of ourselves” and “step into the reality” of others. For those of you who
have been told that you are “good listeners” it is undoubtedly because you are able to
be sympathetic and/or empathetic with others. Friends or family seek you out with
their problems because you actually listen and try to understand what they are going
through. Compare this to those of you who have been told that you are “lousy
listeners!” You lousy listeners in the class often get comments from friends or
family like, “are you paying attention? Are you listening to a word I’m saying?”
You are either very easily distracted, or in a Mead sense could use some work on both
your sense of “self” and the corresponding skills of “role taking.”
3. Why then, is the self of importance
to interaction?
You tell me! Just put the pieces together. The goal of S.I. is to establish
meaningful interaction in the small group setting. It all begins with the “self.” The
better our ability to be self-reflective, the easier it should be to then put ourselves in
the “shoes” of another and view “reality” though their eyes; in other words,
successfully role-take. Finally, if everyone in the small group is role-taking with
everyone else, then the chances of getting everyone on the same page in terms of
meaning is definitely enhanced.
When is the importance of Mead’s concept magnified? How about the sport
context when a coach (or coaches) is trying to get their players to work together as a
unit? How about the business context when a boss (or manager) is trying to get
his/her workers to come together as a unit and improve client communication and
efficiency? How about the educational context when a professor or teacher is trying
to get his/her students to understand the meaning of a concept or of an assignment?
How about the parent-teenager context when there is a disagreement about curfew or
rules of discipline? How about the love relationship of two where each member of
the couple is trying to get the other to understand their viewpoint in the case of
confusion or conflict? Can you see how crucial the concept of “self” is when trying
to establish meaning in the small group setting?
C. The “Founding” S.I. Principles of
Herbert Blumer (1900-1987)
Before introducing you to the “founding principles” developed by Blumer, I
would like to provide you with some interesting tidbits about this most amazing
micro theorist. First of all, although Blumer did have some contact with Mead at the
University of Chicago– learning from the “master” really—Blumer completed his
studies there under the leadership of Ellsworth Faris (do the names Faris and
Dunham ring a bell, Deviance veterans?). And second, Blumer is the only
sociologist I know of who simultaneously wore the hats of “professor” and “pro
football player!” While an undergraduate at the University of Chicago, Blumer was
an All-American lineman. He went on to play for the Chicago Cardinals (yes, those
same Cardinals that went to play in St. Louis for many years before moving on yet
again to become the Arizona Cardinals of today) of the National Football League for
several years while still serving as a tenured faculty member in the Department of
Sociology at the University of Chicago. Amazing! He went on to become the first
Department Chair at the newly formed Department of Sociology at U.C. Berkeley in
1958. Quite a guy!
1. In the tradition of Mead, Blumer
believed that humans act on the
basis of meaning: language,
gestures, and “symbols” craft our
social reality
As you can see, from the very beginning Blumer was a proponent of the
micro-sociological viewpoint of S.I. If need be, please refer back to your definition
of a symbol—something that represents something else—and the many examples
provided to refresh your memory regarding the small group focus.
2. Blumer believed his major
contribution to S.I. was the
elaboration of its methodology
As budding theorists (and this being a class on Theory) this may come as a
surprise to many of you. Last week we had our one-class period module on “Theory
Construction.” One of the key arguments I made was that Theory and Methods
should (and do) go hand in hand in the discipline of Sociology. The
inductive-deductive loop of theorizing is heavily influenced by the methodology we
employ. As a micro-theorist, Blumer was concerned that in the attempt to put
sociology on the map in the United States, we had forgotten our roots—the study of
patterns of human behavior. As he stated:
“With depressing frequency, our
methodology in the discipline is
viewed as synonymous with the study
of advanced quantitative procedures…
such conceptions are a travesty on
Whether you agree with Blumer or not, he couldn’t be any clearer in his
message. Namely, in an attempt to legitimate our discipline as “science,” we have
become too reliant on quantitative methods. Beware the “quantoid” movement! 
3. Blumer believed that if one does not
get acquainted with social life first
hand, one will unavoidably import
some alien picture into one’s
“Alien picture?” What is this? E.T.? Or any of the “Alien” or
“Transformer” flicks? No… what Blumer was arguing was that if we didn’t utilize
the qualitative methods at our disposal we run an extreme risk of arriving at
conclusions which might be in error, or worse yet, completely false. If it will help,
how often have you wondered about the accuracy of the National surveys of
whatever type? From political attitudes to one’s stance on abortion, to the issue of
gay rights and gay marriage, does the large scale survey truly capture the richness of
opinion? He felt that research methods allowing for probe and/or in-depth
explanation of perspective were of more long-term value. And “firsthand study”
would be the key!
4. “Firsthand” study has two phases:
a. exploration– the use of any
ethically allowable procedure
that provides the best picture of
what is going on…
Please notice Blumer’s emphasis here on “ethically allowable” procedures.
All of you (and I, for that matter) have been trained in a sociological environment
where the American Sociological Association Code of Ethics in Research is firmly in
place. But these guidelines were not put into effect until about 1970. Only as
recently as 1997 did the American Sociological Association approve the new updated
code of ethics in research. In my opinion, that is rather appalling! But perhaps the
old adage, “better late than never” applies to this situation. I am happy to report,
however, that the American Sociological Association formed a committee to oversee a
thorough evaluation of where we stand “ethically” in 2022. Prior to that time,
research designs could take on most any form. Even projects that intended no harm
to research subjects ended prematurely because of damage to those who were
involved. I urge all of you to reference the “Mock Prison Studies” out of Stanford
University performed by Phillip Zimbardo. As well, the “Obedience” studies out of
Yale in the early 1960’s and/or the “Tearoom Trade” methodology of Laud
Humphries represent projects that would never pass a Human Subjects Committee at
this point in time.
So what might some “ethical” explorative activities be? Take a look:
– direct observation
For those of you who completed Paper Option #1 on Weber, this should look
– interviewing
– listening to conversations
This actually sound a lot like the “discourse” studies of Harriet Martineau!
Or perhaps also the observational component to your Cooley/Goffman Paper Option
– reading letters and diaries
– securing life histories
– examining public records
– arranging for group
“Group discussions? You must be kidding!” Actually, not at all. Which of
the theorists we studied this semester talked at length about the value of “taking a
personal problem and turning it into a forum of public discussion?” RIGHT! C.
Wright Mills and his “sociological imagination.”
So you see, there are many research methods that sociologists have at their
disposal that get more to the heart of the issue than “distant”, “impersonal/cold”
quantitative methods (“please mark the following box…”). Or so Blumer argued.
b. inspection- “an intensive focused
examination of the empirical
content of whatever analytical
elements are used for purposes
of analysis”
I must admit, I do chuckle just a bit at Blumer’s almost “backhanded” tribute
to the value of quantitative methods. When you first read his description of
inspection did it hit you the same way? He is admitting that quantitative methods
do have their place in the social sciences. He supported this without question.
Again, his primary concern was that in an attempt to legitimate ourselves as a science
we had perhaps become too reliant on “numerical” techniques to represent reality.
5. And make no mistake!…Blumer was
vehemently opposed to the “entity
theories of society”; or those that
proclaim to explain everything
under the sun (got that, Parsons?!)
Are you getting the strong impression that even though Talcott Parsons was
“in the catbird seat” at Harvard in the 1950’s that he had many detractors? Parsons
was definitely riding the crest of success and popularity of Functionalist thought in
the United States during this period of years. But through a Blumer lens, Parsons
represented just about everything that was wrong with the discipline in terms of its
direction. Not only was Parsons too macro from the get-go, his desire to craft a
“Grand Theory” that could account for every facet of human behavior was
misguided. Parsons represented the antithesis to Blumer’s thesis; namely,
qualitative methodology that would gather data on a person-to-person basis.
Symbolic Interaction has its roots within American sociology; more
specifically the work of George Herbert Mead and the “Chicago School.” As you will
discover in lecture this Thursday however, several of the concepts developed by S.I.
theorists have their roots within the psychology of William James. That’s OK!
We’ll give the psychologists their due . But regardless of theoretical etiology
(origin) S.I. brought a breath of fresh air to the discipline of sociology by challenging
the macro-sociological position of S.F. and C.T. and reacquainting the reader with the
richness of how meaning is constructed in the small group setting.
So this Thursday…the “looking-glass self’ of Charles Horton Cooley and the
“Dramaturgical Model” of Erving Goffman (not to mention a discussion of Paper
Option #3!). Stay tuned…

Calculate your order
Pages (275 words)
Standard price: $0.00
Client Reviews
Our Guarantees
100% Confidentiality
Information about customers is confidential and never disclosed to third parties.
Original Writing
We complete all papers from scratch. You can get a plagiarism report.
Timely Delivery
No missed deadlines – 97% of assignments are completed in time.
Money Back
If you're confident that a writer didn't follow your order details, ask for a refund.

Calculate the price of your order

You will get a personal manager and a discount.
We'll send you the first draft for approval by at
Total price:
Power up Your Academic Success with the
Team of Professionals. We’ve Got Your Back.
Power up Your Study Success with Experts We’ve Got Your Back.
WeCreativez WhatsApp Support
Our customer support team is here to answer your questions. Ask us anything!
👋 Hi, how can I help?