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Soc-Psych-Semsyl - Sp 03


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									                               SEMINAR IN SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY
Sociology 6330          Spring Semester, 2003           450 PGH                     Section 11881
Russell L. Curtis, Jr.,     Office: 494 PGH      Phone: 743-3951           E-Mail:


Adler, Patricia A. and Peter Adler. 2002. Constructions of Deviance: Social Power, Context
 and Interaction. 4th Edition.

Kollock, Peter and Jodi O'Brien. The Production of Reality: Essays and Readings in Social
 Psychology. Pine Forge (Sage). 2001. (Third Edition; Paperback)


       This course focuses on the constructions of “meaning” as reality is conceptualized as a
construction process occurring within social contexts, shared by persons in these contexts, and
transmitted beyond their settings. Intellectually, we will apply a perspective to actions, motives,
and meanings. Kollock and O’Brien note that “reality is a collective hunch.” Personally, we will
examine how each of us makes re-makes our individual selves and biographies.


   Along with your oral presentation and final written paper, there are two exams (see below)
that cover the readings and lectures (which will also cover the readings). The last three
sessions– April 9, 16 and 23 - are reserved for oral presentations of formal papers and critiques
from class members on these materials and for a possible makeup period.


Section One: Perspectives of a “self” in “Interactive” Social Psychology

I.     Introduction: Definitions and Overview of the Perspectives;     January 15 & 22, 2003
       Special Emphases on Sociological Social Psychology:

               Lectures and Discussions
                Holistic review of how reality is constructed for individuals, groups & societies.
               Kollock and O'Brien
                Part I, Introduction, including What is Real,” Miner, “Body Ritual Among the
                Nacirema,” 15-18; Charon, “The Nature of ‘Perspective’,” 19-24. Babbie, “Truth,
                Objectivity, and Agreement,” 25-28. Wagner, “The Search for Signs of
                Intelligent Life in the Universe; “A Perspective for Understanding Self and
                Social Interaction,” 35-34.
               Adler and Adler: “General Introduction” and “Defining Deviance,” 1-10. Erikson,
                “On The Sociology of Deviance, 11-18. Tittle and Paternostger, “A Typology of
                Deviance Based on Middle Class Norms,” 19-29; Hackert, ”Positive
                Deviance,” 30-42. General Discussion of “Theories of Deviance,” 43-54.
                Durkheim, “The Normal and the Pathological,” 55-59. Merton, “Social Structure
                and Anomie,” 60-66. Sutherland and Cressey, “Differential Association,” 67-69
                Becker, “Labeling Theory, 70-74. Hirschi, “Control Theory of Delinquency,” 75-
                83. Quinney, “Conflict Theory and Crime,” 84—89. Best, “The Constructionist

                Stance,” 90-94. General discussion of “Studying Deviance,” 95-98., Besharov
               and Laumann, “Child Abuse Reporting,” 99-105. Laumann, Gagnon, Michael,
               and Michaels, “Survey of Sexual Behavior of Americans,” 106-115. Adler,
               ”Researching dealers and Smugglers,” 116-132

II.    Nature and Characteristics of the “Social” Self:                  January 29, 2003

              Lectures and Discussion::
               Conceptions of the social self and the "reflective self;" the impacts of
               “internalized" social influence on self-image and subsequent "motive-from-
               within" perspectives; the conception of the "internal self" and its linkages
               with language and potential linkage with self-shaped conditioning -- both a
               synthesis and a contradiction.
              Kollock & O’Brien:
               Introduction to Part III, “Realizing Symbolic Order through Interaction including
               the essay, “Meaning is Negotiated through Interaction.” 187-205. Goffman,
               “The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life..,” 226-243.Mead, "The Self, The I,
               and the Me," 288-292. Cooley, "Looking-Glass Self," 293-295. Blumstein, “The
               Production of Selves in Personal Relationships,” 296-308. Orwell, “Shooting an
               Elephant,” 309-313.

Section Two: theoretical concepts: actions, motives, and relationships

III.   Theoretical Concepts: Action, Emotions and Language

       A.     Emotions:                                                  January 29. 2003

              Lectures and Discussions:
               The language of emotion; "emotions" as social constructions or "verbal
               manipulation,” discussions of absence of research on "basic" referenced
               referenced emotions for social frameworks. Kemper, "How Many Emotions Are
               There?" Am. J. Soc., September, 1987. Discussions of the meanings of
               emotions and the shifts of attentions to different types of emotions over time
               such as “love” in the 1940’s, “fear” in the 1950’s, “anger” in the 1970’s and
               “shame in the 1980’s and ‘90’s.
       B.     Language:                                                  February 5, 2003

              Kollock and O'Brien:
               “Humans as Symbolic Creatures,” (important essay) 61-62; “Shared Meanings
               as the Basis of Humanness,” 63-85 (important)”; Cassirer, “A Clue to the Nature
               of Man: The Symbol, 87-88; Charon, “The Importance of the Symbol,” 89-96;
               Sacks, “Yes, Father-Sister,” 97-98. Davis, “Final Note on a Case of Extreme
               Isolation,” 99-105. Lindesmith, Strauss, and Denzin, “Language and
               Neurological disorders,” 106-114. Sacks, “The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a
               Hat,” 115-123. Lakoff and Johnson, “Metaphors W Live By,” 124-134.
               Zerubavel, “The Social Lens,” 135-152. Langer, “Mindfulness and
               Mindlessness,” 153-157. Hofstadter, “Changes in Default Words and Images
               Engendered by Rising Consciousness,” 158-164. Hofstadter, “A Person Paper
               on Purity in Language,” (Satire(Hofstadter), 165-170.

IV. Theoretical Concepts: Self-Image and Its Correlates:

       A.     Contextualized Selves: Self Image & Self-Concept                 February 12, 2003

              Lectures and Discussions: Identity is a construction obtained from contexts and
               definitions from others. French Social Psychologists contend that identity cannot
               be postulated outside of groups or relational settings. These shift over the life-
               cycle. Some identities are more central than others and the issues of “primacy”
               vs. recency” present intriguing conceptual and research opportunities.
               Kollock and O’Brien:
                Reidy, “The Virgin Martyrs,” 179-186.

       B.     Person-Evaluated Selves: Self-Esteem and Self-Confidence          Feb. 12, 2003

              Lectures and Discussions:
               Why did “self esteem” become so integral a part of U.S. sociology and what are
               the societal correlates of the emergence of this concept? We will review the
               origins and empirically designated correlates of the measures of self-esteem..
               Could something so basic as “confidence” be an outer “construction”?
               When makes us believe that we can control our environments? Is “control”
               more important for western, industrial cultures than elsewhere? If so, is
               “self-confidence” a frame outcome and, as such, a U.S. variable of personal
               motivation that is far less important in, say, Asian nations?
              Adler and Adler:
               Degher and Hughes, “The Adoption and Management of a ‘Fat’ Identity,“ 211-
               222. Weinberg, Williams and Pryor, “Becoming Bisexual,” 222-232. McLorg
               and Taub, “Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia..” 233-244.

Section Three: structures and contexts shaping actions and attitudes

V.     Societal-Wide Agents of Influence on Actions, Attitudes, Emotions and Persons: Class,
       Race, Gender, and Age
           Here, and In Section VI, below, we look at the contexts and settings by which the
       actions, attitudes, and emotions elaborated under Section III acquired and scripted
       definitions of persons, whether self or other, as articulated in Section IV, are acquired.
       How do persons achieve their views of race and gender, of class groups? Is
       aggression" passed on from one generation to another? Is "alcoholism" an outcome of
       heredity or modeling and the socialization process? How do class and racial groups
       construct differing realities pertaining to such behaviors as physical punishment of
       children and such attitudes and the approval/disapproval of capital punishment?

       A.     Socioeconomic Factor:                                         February 12, 2003

              Lectures and Discussions:
               Compliance, conformity and class (research of Elder, Kohn, Parenting styles by
               SES; child perceptions of parents by SES. How does the “sense of
               entitlement” become justified in the constructions of behavior and attitudes?
              Kollock and O’Brien:
               Romero, “Maid in the U.S.A.,” 542-543.

      B.     Racial Factors:                                     February 12, 2003

             Lectures and Discussions:
              The external and internal constructions of black identity: from non-human to
              invisible to entertainment/athletic stardom. Instructor’s theory on the early
              childhood factor and racism as manifested by the formative years of many
              famous Black Americans.
             Kollock & O’Brien:
              Hughes, “That Powerful Drop,” 86; Moore, “Racism in the English Language,”
              171-178. Staples, “Black Men and Public Space,” 244-246. W.E.DuBois,
              "Double-Consciousness and the Veil," 510-514. Terkel, "Stephen Cruz," 515-
              518. Russell, “Growing Ups with Privilege and Prejudice,” 519-523. Hooks,
              “Talking Back,” 554-557.

      C.     Gender Factors:                                     February 12, 2003

      Lectures and Discussions:
              The constructions of femininity and the “reconstructions of female athletes
              in sports identified as masculine. Have there been change in the notions of the
              “ideal” female and “ideal” male? Which family contexts are more traditional?
             Kollock & O'Brien:
              Stoll, “A Player,” 524-526. Avicolli, “He Defies You Still: Memoirs of A Sissy,
              527-531. Weeks, “Sexual Identification Is A Strange Thing,” 532-536.
              Crawford, “Identity, ‘Passing,’ and Subversion,” 537-539. Bernstein, “Her
              Son/Daughter,” 540-541.

      D.     Age Factors:                                        February 12, 2003

             Lectures and Discussions:
              The “reconstructions” of “old” and of stages as persons in advanced industrial
              nations live into their 80’s; “age” as a constructed socio-political outcome.

VI.   Group and Organizational Agents of Influence on Actions, Attitudes, Emotions, and
      Identity: Groups and Other Sub-Societal Processes

      A.     Families:                                           February 19, 2003

             Lectures and Discussions:
              Families construct our primary realities. The family unit defines things and
              attitudes and, above all, the roles of various family members in the system.
              These realities are produced by a variety of mechanisms ranging from
              autocratic sanctions on the one hand to secrecy and silence on the other.
             Kollock and O'Brien:
              Polaner and McDonald-Winkler, with Commentary by David Reiss, “…Case
              Study of a Family’s Attribution of Competence to a Severely Retarded Child,”
              408-420 (Excellent articles! Tremendous example of the power of “family
              systems” to transpose meanings of persons and events among family

      B.     Groups: Peers and Friends; Gangs:                   February 19, 2003

     Lectures and Discussions:
      What are the differing spheres of constructed roles and realities in the worlds of
      peers, colleagues and family members. Do we, as suggested by some
      Symbolic Interactionists, have a “cell of self”’ for each of our worlds and, then,
      some type of whole – a comprehensive self - that is a construct of these parts?
     Adler and Adler:
      Jankowski, “Joining a Gang,” 445-466.

C.   Subcultural Systems and Lifestyle Networks:                 February 19, 2003

     Lectures and Discussions:
      Continuation of the above: the “cells” of meanings, here expanded to units
      that incorporate small, primary and peer groups and local associations..
     Adler and Adler:
      Lowery and Wetli, “Sexual Asphyxia..,” 327-336. Fox, “Real Punks and
      Pretenders..,” 337-352. Miller, “Gender and Victimization Risk Among Women
      Gangs,” 353-366.

D.   Collective Behavior and Social Movements:                   February 19, 2003

     Lectures and Discussions:
      Here, we examine the types and concepts of “moral panics” and the related
      components of rumors, milling, definitions of the situation and all of the
      components that go into the early, perceptual and interactive stages of the
      formations of social movements. Why did MADD evolve when drunk driving
      was already declining? What led to the “serpent handlers” in Appalachia? Why
      is there a panic over drugs in America when there is evidence of greater drug
      use during earlier periods and the failed programs of government intervention
      during the prohibition era?? What does it mean to “just say no”???
     Adler and Adler:
      General Discussion on “Constructing Deviance,” 133-136. Reinerman, “The
      Social Construction of Drug Scares,” 137- 148. Tuggle and Holmes, “Blowing
      Smoke: Status Politics and the Smoking Ban,” 149-159. deYoung, “Moral
      Panics: The Case of Satanic Day Care Centers,” 160-168.

               FEBRUARY 19, 2003: FIRST EXAMINATION

E.   Organizations:                                              February 26, 2003

     Lectures and Discussions:
      Lectures on the processing of persons; my law student survey and the
      results of studies of medical students. We look at another half: the profession
      as forcing meanings in the larger society: medical diagnostics, the discovery" of
      psychological ailments and psychological and pharmacological cures. The
      appearances and public interpretations of Thorazine, Ritalin, and Prosaic will
      receive attention. Discussion of classic, Szasz, "The Sane Slave ..Medical
      Diagnosis as Justificatory Rhetoric."
     Kollock and O’Brien:
      Rosenthal, “Pygmalion in the Classroom..,” 429-433.
     Adler and Adler:

               Godson and Olson, “International Organized Crime,” 367-379. Matthews and
               Kauzlarich, “The Crash of Value Jet Flight 292: A Case Study of State-
               Corporate Crime,” 380-392.

       G.     Publics and the Media:                                       February 26, 2003

              Lectures and Discussion:
               Public Opinion and propaganda: the self-constructions deriving from
               commitments – e.g. persons becoming more radicalized as an outcome of
               their protest actions; the uses of rumor and the creations of reality in agencies
               the components of “moral panic” that are created by governments; the
               uses of issue construction in agencies such as universities.
              Kollock and O’Brien::
               Conrad, "The Discovery of Hyperkinesias..," 443-451. Weinberg, “The Nudist
               Management of Respectability, 452-460. Ridgeway, “The Persistence of
               Gender Inequality in Public Settings,” 461-469. Scheppele, “Practices of Truth-
               Finding in a Court of Law: The Case of Revised Stories, 470-482.
              Adler and Adler:
               “Stigma Management,” – intro statement, quite good, 273-176. Nack, “Identity
               and Stigma of Women with STD’s,” 277-285. Anderson, Snow and Cress,
               “Stigma Management and Collective Action Among the Homeless,” 286-304.
               Martin, “Collective Stigma Management and Shame: Avowal, Management and
               Contestation,” 305-324.
                                                           Note: March 3-8, 2003 is Spring Break


VII.   Personal Changes in Attitudes, Values, and Behaviors:

       A.     Affiliation, Attraction, and Trust: Common Expressions       March 12, 2003

              Lectures and Discussions:
               Reality formations and interpretations are shaped by trusted others. Whom do
               we trust? Who is a credible source for our understanding about, say, the
               the Branch Dividians in Waco or the crisis in the Middle East? What occurs
               when our earliest perspectives in are marred by the behaviors of abusive and/or
               ineffectual others? What realities are sustained by the professional thief, the
               wife batterer, and/or the child abuser?
              Kollock and O’Brien:
               Garfinkel, "A Conception of and Experiments with 'Trust' as a Condition of
               Concerted Stable Actions," 396-407 (a fun piece!). Snyder, "When Belief
               Creates Reality: The Self-Fulfilling Impact of First Impressions ..," 438-442.

       B.     Justifications, Attributions and Disclaimers: The Constructed
              Expressions of Personal Reason and Personal Fault             March 12, 2003

              Lectures and Discussions:
               Discussions of attributions, rationalizations and neutralizations from Scott and
               Lyman, "Accounts"; Hewitt and Stokes, "Disclaimers"; and Goffman, "Cooling
               the Mark Out."

              Kollock and O'Brien:
               Snyder, “When Belief Becomes Reality: The Self-Fulfilling Impact of First
               Impressions on Social Interaction,” 424-428.
              Adler and Adler:
               Part VI introduction to “Accounts,” pp 245-246. Scully and Marolla, Convicted
               Rapists’ … Excuses and Justifications,” 247-262. McCabe, “The Influence of
               Situational Ethics on Cheating, 263-272. Yip, “Gay Male Christian Couples and
               Situational Exclusivity,” 467-480.

        C.    Conflict and Cooperation: Constructed
              Postures of “Aggression” and of “Intimacy”                  March 19, 2003

              Lectures and Discussions:
               Interpersonal relationships can be viewed as micro-political dynamics that
               are conveniently and more comfortably conceived in other terms. Aggression
               can be manifested in other, constructed ways. Some power arrangements are
               formalized presentations that differ between “on stage” and “off stage,”
               especially in marriages among various ethnic groups (e.g. Mexican-Americans
               and Italian-Americans). A political-economy conception of “aggression.”
              Kollock and O’Brien:
               Leuven, “What Does the Service Include?,” 254-264.Emerson, "..Gynecological
               Examinations," 265-278. Lerum, “ ‘Precarious Situations’ in a Strip Club:
               Exotic Dancers and the Problem of Reality Maintenance,” 279-287. Gomez,
               “Because Silence is Costly,” 558-565. Anzaldua, “La Conciencia de la
               Mestiza/Towards a New Consciousness,” 566-572. Sjilko, “Ceremony,” 573
               (wonderful poetic statement on the power of oral history)
              Adler and Adler:
               Chambliss, “The Saints and the Roughnecks," 169-182. Anderson, “The Police
               and the Black Male,” 183-194. Blinde and Taub, “Homophobia and Women’s
               Sport,” 195-296. Tewksbury, “Cruising for Sex in Public Places,” 395-407.
               Flowers, “The Manufacture of Fantasy,” 408-415. Martin and Hummer,
               “Fraternities and Rape on Campus,” 416-430. Liederbach, “Opportunity and
               Crime in the Medical Profession,” 431-440.

        D.    Achievement: Constructed Meanings of “Production”:          March 19, 2003

              Lectures and Discussions:
               Historical social treatments (Weber, others): constructs of situational motivation
               inner, outer, etc. -- materials from Gerth and Mills, David Riesman, Lasch;
               studies linguistic and symbolic depictions (children's readers as concluded from
               Moeller and DeCharms, others.) Constructions of “achievement.”

VIII.   Personal Changes in Self-Concepts and Self-Image

        A.    Successful Personal Changes:
              Constructions of “Recovery”                                 March 26, 2003

              Lectures and Discussions:
               What are the recently constructed forms of “personal change” that are
               advocated? How has “positive personal change” been conceived in the 1950’s,

              1970’s and 1990’s? Why? What is the goal of a “legitimate” personal change
              that is being advocated today? When did the notion of “recovery” come into
              vogue, especially as applied to personal and socio-psychiatric lifestyles? The
              notion of "careers"; role exiting by positive and negative changes; what are the
              impacts on self-image that have occurred from extended longevity? Lectures
              on: Denzin, The Recovering Alcoholic; Strauss, "Turning Points in Identity."
             Kollock and O'Brien:
              Njeri, "The Power of Names," (conceptualizes names and varieties of "African-
              American" identity), 319-322. Ebaugh, “Creating the Ex-Role,” 330-346.
              Essay, Building and Breaching Reality," 347-364 (really good synthesis).
              Mehan and Wood, "Five Features of Reality," (definition of "constructed reality")
              365-380. Watzlawick, "Self-Fulfilling Prophecies," 417-423 (an excellent
              synthesis of the "power of belief"; included here for its description of the
              sequence: new beliefs, new identities, "recovery roles."
             Adler and Adler:
              Adler and Adler, “Shifts and Oscillations in Deviant Careers: The Case of
              Upper-Level Drug Dealers and Smugglers,” 481-493. Brown, “The Professional
              Ex-: An Alternative for Exiting the Deviant Career,” 494-596.

      B.     Stigmatized or "Deviant" Changes: Constructions of “Failure”: March 26, 2003

             Lectures and Discussions:
              Time to bury the "labeling" approach to crime and delinquency??? Is self-image
              an intervening process, operating independently and within a sequential
              boundary, between structural arrangements and behavioral outcomes??
             Kollock and O’Brien:
              Becker, "Becoming a Marijuana User," 206-214(a classic). Maeda, “Looks,”
              215-217. Orenstein, “Fear of Falling: Sluts,” 218-225. Heyl, “The Madam as
              Teacher: The Training of House Prostitutes,” 247-253. Rosenhan, “On Being
              Sane in Insane Places,” 434-442.

IX.   Directions and Debates of the Field:                              April 2, 2003

                    SECOND EXAM: SECOND ONE-HALF: APRIL 2, 2003


1.    Exams
      A.     Two short one-hour (or less) essay exams: February 19, 2003 and April 2, 2003.
      B.     These exams will be a mix of lectures and readings. .
2.    Term Paper:
      A.     Due date: Friday, 4/23/ 2003; 10 to 20 pp. narrative; ASA style; course content.
      B.     I strongly encourage you to focus on a topic relevant for your thesis. Examples:
             (1) immigration and the cycles of “panics” and changing legal definitions
             (2) criminal justice: the cycles of support of capital punishment
3.    Oral Presentation of Papers:
      A.     During last section four periods: April 9, 16, and 23.
      B.     Please present an outline of your remarks, hopefully before the class
      C.     Be prepared to challenge if you are the listener and to be sharply critiqued
             if you are the presenter.

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