COGN 20 - COGN 20 Midterm Practice Essays 1 How is the self...

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COGN 20 Midterm Practice Essays 1. How is the self made, communicated, and transformed thru social interaction? What is the relationship between self and society and what is the role of social interaction in forming that relationship? Consider characterizing the COHI/HIP approach to communication through readings from sessions 2-8. According to Mead, the self is a product of social interaction in society. He argues that there is no essential self because people ultimately create themselves through interacting with the people around them. The self is manifested through social interaction because people communicate everyday through recognizable symbols and conduct. These symbols are also a product of social interaction and what society constructs on a larger level. Mead also focuses on the difference between “me” and “I.” “Me” is an identity that others assign one to be based on the impressions he/she gives off, and “I” is an identity that one gives him/herself, and he/she will try his/her best to show that desired identity off to others, hoping that others will interpret him/her the way he/she wants. To do this, he/she will perform appropriate actions set out by the social order of society. For example, one always wants to make a good impression when at an interview. He will act professional and dress nicely because the social order set by society tells him that he should do this in order to gain the respect of the interviewer. By doing this, he has formed his “I” identity. The interviewer will assign a “me” identity to him after the interview based on her interpretation/impression of his actions. The COHI/HIP approach suggests that communications is an everyday activity and is perpetuated in society “as-it-happens.” This is important because it involves the ways in which the self engages with his/her environment on a daily basis. Harvey Sacks, Eric Laurier, and Erving Goffman provide great examples that depict the relationship between self and society and the connection between social interaction and communication. Harvey Sacks studied ethnomethodology, which embodies the meaningful, patterned, and ordered characteristic of everyday life. In other words, he focused on the ways in which people produced recognizable social orders. People work on these meaningful and patterned characteristics of everyday life on a daily basis to establish a social order that people in society must sustain in order to be part of the “norm.” Eric Laurier’s study of conversational analysis is a great example of ethnomethodology in practice. He suggests that the coffee shop is a common place for social interaction to occur. At the coffee shop, people deliver certain signals to show others when to start or end a conversation. For example, seeing somebody just sitting down with someone else on a table may communicate the idea that they might start a conversation because a social order has been formed in society that this kind of activity happens everyday. If someone is seen packing his things away and
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