MT2 Readings Guide - Soc150A MT 2 Study Guide Readings...

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Soc150A MT 2 Study Guide Readings Reading Main Points/Summary Milgram’s Shocking Experiment 1974 Behavior unthinkable in an indiv acting on his own may be executed w/o hesitation when carried out under orders. Essence of obed = person comes to view himself as the instrument for carrying out another person’s wishes => no longer regards himself as responsible for his actions. His study = obedience is assumed w/o any threat Expmt: “teacher” and “learner”; concerned with punishment of learning. No one left the lab after being told they’d shock people. Over 2/3 participants = “obedient” subjects. “counteranthropomorphism” – tendency among men to attribute to inanimate objects and forces the qualities of the human species. “The experiment” had acquired an impersonal momentum of its own! Subjects saw their actions useful to society – persuit of scientific truth. Lab evokes trust and confidence in those who come to perform there. Evil actions have different meanings in lab setting. Interesting: subjects devalued the victim as a consequence of acting against him (stupid and stubborn, deserved shock!) Some subjects convinvced of the wrongness but couldn’t break with authority. (can’t translate their values into action) Another part of the expmt: subjects just asked the questions and didn’t administer the shocks. They said it was ok to continue to shock at highest level – psychologically easy to ignore responsibility if in a link in a chain of evil action, far from final consequences. (person who has full responsibility for the act has evaporated) A person does not get to see the whole situation but only a small part of ut; unable to act without some kind of overall direction. Yields to authority and is alienated from his own actions. Lovaglia Ch 2 To succeed in social situations – need to see situations from another person’s POV as well as your own. Failure to do so = many problems. Not easy – emotional rxns make it difficult to think clearly. (think: driving and getting cut off) Symbolic interactionism = way of looking at society, a perspective – ppl are social actors who create society using symbols to communicate (lang/gestures). b/c symbols are ambiguous, when we use them, we create and describe reality. Misinterpretation of symbols : ex- winking (realizing it’s a facial tic vs implied meaning); misconstrued based on gender – usu men can ignore subtle meanings w/o fear of attack – men and women experience different social realities Labeling: categorize an indiv as belonging to a certain role/class of people. Indiv’s behavior will conform to the label given, b/c of other’s actions towards the person. Self fulfilling process by which a label encourages deviant behavior = “secondary deviance” (ex = paranoid personality leads to paranoia) Self-fufilling process an be beneficial – careful labeling can effectively change a perosn’s behavior than attempts at persuasion (ex = making kids clean up). Also - Social construction
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MT2 Readings Guide - Soc150A MT 2 Study Guide Readings...

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