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MODULE-2-4.docx - SOCIOLOGICAL PERSPECTIVE Sociology is a...

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SOCIOLOGICAL PERSPECTIVESociology is a social science which involves studying the social lives of people, groups, andsocieties; studying our behavior or social beings; scientifically investigating social aggregations;and is "an overarching unification of all studies of humankind, including history, psychology andeconomics." Human beings, by their very nature, are prone to focus on the self and to engage inbehavior to protect it. From classical sociological perspective, the self is a relatively stable set ofperceptions of who we are in relation to ourselves, others, and to social system. The self issocially constructed in the sense that it is shaped through interaction with other people.LESSON 1: SELF AS PRODUCT OF SOCIETY AND CULTUREAccording to Emile Durkheim, society should be analyzed and described interms of functions. Society is a system of interrelated parts where no one partcan function without the other. These parts make up the whole of society. Ifone-part changes, it has an impact on society as a whole. Durkheim wasprimarily interested in what holds society together when it is made up of peoplewith specialized roles and responsibilities. Durkheim argues that societies movefrom mechanical to organic solidarity through the division of labor.How we see ourselves shapes our lives, and is shaped by our cultural context. Self-perceptions influence, among other things, how we think about the world, our socialrelationships, health and lifestyle choices, community engagement, political actions, andultimately our own and other people's well-being.For several decades, psychological scientist has commonly assumed that Western culturesfoster seeing oneself as independent from others, whereas the rest of the world's culturesfoster seeing oneself as interdependent with others. It shows that Western cultures tend toemphasize certain ways of being independent (e.g., being different from others, self-directed,and self-expressive), but not others (e.g., being self-interested, self-reliant, and consistentacross contexts).Viewed in global context, Western cultures view oneself as both independent andinterdependent were emphasized in different parts of the world, and this was partly explainedby socio-economic development and religious heritage of the cultural groups.LESSON 2: MEAD AND SOCIAL SELFGeorge Herbert Mead focuses on the way in which the self is developed.Mead's theory of the social self is based on the perspective that the selfemerges from social interactions, such as observing and interacting with otherresponding to others' opinions about oneself, and internalizing externalopinions and internal feelings about oneself. The social aspect of self is animportant distinction because other sociologists and psychologists of Mead'stime felt that the self was based on biological factors and inherited traits.

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Term
Winter
Professor
N/A
Tags
Sociology, Cultural Contruction of Self and Identity, Anthropology of Self

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