In Mead 1934 this already finds its expression with the idea that people not

In mead 1934 this already finds its expression with

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each specific interaction. In Mead (1934) this already finds its expression with the idea that people not only “take the role of the other” in trying to understand each other for successful interaction. They also take the “generalized other“ for their action planning into account, i. e. the social representations which pre-structure the field (Flick, 1995b). Just like in the social information processing approach, cognitions and their affective meaning are immediate deter- minants of plans and actions. Yet, at the same time, social circumstances are taken into ac- count as well that cause the cognitions to a considerable degree and determine their meaning. Cognitions are thought in categories of language, an idea that is central for Mead (1934) and SI: On the one hand, language reflects societal insights, opinions, moral concepts, and norms and, on the other hand, it is the material upon which individual information processing is based. In following Blumer (1969), SI subscribes to the following premises: (1) Humans act towards things on the basis of the meanings which these things as ob- jects of consideration hold for them. Everything which is thought and named becomes an ob- ject, ranging from physical things to persons, actions, situations, and ideas. (2) The meaning of such things stems from social interactions in history and society, and it is determined through the communicated pattern of valued consequences. (3) The societally given meanings are situationally interpreted by the specific interaction partners and may be modified in a mu- tual interpretative process. The role of these meanings for the interaction and, what follows, for exchange theories can well be demonstrated by a survey of 100 young couples (Kelley, 1979, p. 24-29). On a scale of -10 to +10 the partners separately assessed how they feel about the cleaning the com- mon apartment (a) together, (b) by the man only, (c) by the woman only, or (d) not at all. While the cleaning is necessary, other important tasks have to be performed as well. Figure 1 shows the results: In the upper right triangles, the average evaluations of women for each of the combinations of action are shown, while the ones of men are in the lower left triangles. In the sense of the second SI-premise, gender-specific role stereotypes can clearly be perceived: it appears that it is more important for women to clean than for men and, in particular, that women negatively evaluate if the man cleans alone but not if they themselves clean alone. However, a surprise reveals itself: if one breaks down the matrix into its three control aspects, calculated analogously to a two-factorial analysis of variance 8 , women clearly have a much higher self- or actor’s control as compared to men; the also have a higher behavioral joint control, i.e. they can gain more by mutual coordination while men are more strongly subject-
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Pleading for a more social Social Psychology 15 ed to their partner’s control than women. Does this not turn the real dependencies upside down because cleaning is an unpleasant activity, as emphasized in the instruction? A short re-
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