Symbolic Interactionism and Social Identity
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Symbolic Interactionism and Social Identity The Self Perception of one’s identity: Who Am I? Formed through interaction with others. Stages of development. The Generalized Other. Constantly changing. Socialization. Anticipatory socialization. Socialization and Internalization

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Symbolic Interactionism and Social Identity

  • The Self

    • Perception of one’s identity: Who Am I?

    • Formed through interaction with others.

    • Stages of development.

    • The Generalized Other.

    • Constantly changing.

      • Socialization.

      • Anticipatory socialization.

    • Socialization and Internalization

      • We are to some extent who others tell us we are!

      • Positive self image and position within the social structure.


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Social Identity and Sexuality

  • Social Identity Theory: Who Am I?

    • Categorization: Status in social structure.

    • Identification: Self.

    • Comparison: Referent others.

    • Social: Normative expectations for behavior.

  • Ideology: Who Should I Be?

    • Gender role expectations.

    • Age effects.

    • Cohort effects.

    • Period effects.


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Social Identity and Sexuality

  • Gender Role Theory: What is a Man, a Woman?

    • Shared expectations about behavior.

      • Men: Agentic (Task Oriented).

      • Women: Communal (Social Oriented).

    • When men and women interact, they reinforce these shared expectations.


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Social Identity and Sexuality

  • Expectations States Theory: Who rules?

  • In American society, men are defined as leaders and men are expected to behave as leaders.

  • Apart from leadership skills, men take on the role of leaders to conform to expectations that they do so.

  • Example: Social trumps self.


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Cultural Lag and Masculinity

Aaron Lipman, 1962

  • Socialization

    • We learn the common value system of society. We “learn” to be male and female.

    • In an information age, the functioning of society depends mainly upon intellectual skills.

    • Intellectual skills are the most highly rewarded monetarily.

    • Men are socialized to be leaders.

    • Therefore, men should place high value on intellectual skills.


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Cultural Lag and Masculinity

Aaron Lipman, 1962

  • Socialization

    • High school boys do not place high value on intellectual skills, preferring instead to be thought of as athletic or popular.

    • Functionally, our normative expectations for masculinity lag behind the needs of society.

    • Young men in urban societies, not having as much opportunity to exhibit traits of traditional masculinity as their rural counterparts, substitute new ways of exhibiting physical traits.


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Cultural Lag and Masculinity

Aaron Lipman, 1962

  • Socialization

    • Urban men exhibit “toughness,” “courage,” “mechanical skills,” and so forth as a way of linking masculinity with physical attributes.

    • Contemporary society demands that masculinity be redefined from the physical to the intellectual.

    • We need new, positive, urban-oriented values that articulate the needs of both the culture and the young man.


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