Action Theories

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  • Action Theories
    • Origins
      • Weber
        • challenged trad struct theories
        • considered role of indivs in soc
      • BB
        • qual data - PEOPLE in soc - micro
        • people have free will & choice - not cont by inst - possess agency
        • we can create & shape soc through our actions
    • Social Action Theory
      • Weber
        • Types of action
          • 4 diff mean people give to actions
            • 1) instrumentally rat actions
              • calc most efficient way of reaching goal
            • 2) trad actions
              • routine, habitual actions - like a reflex
      • EVAL
        • prob of verstehen - can't be other person so don't und their motives
        • hard to app typology - hard to disting bet diff mean for actions
          • trad or rat?
        • too indiv - don't exp shared nature of shared mean i.e. raise hand in auction
    • Symbolic interactionism
      • BB
        • give mean to sits & convey these mean using symb e.g. lang
        • emph how create world through act & interaction
      • Mead
        • symb vs instinct
          • beh isn't fixed by instincts
            • resp to world using mean i.e. red = danger
          • don't respond to stimulus in pre-det way - have interpretive phase before we act
        • Taking role of others
          • inter mean of others
            • verstehen - devel this as child ==> 'imitative play' e.g. parents
          • through shared symb
            • become consc of how we act & what others expect of us
              • this creates pred & soc order
      • Labelling
        • this is application of symb int ideas
          • inc:
            • def of sit (how we def a sit = label)
              • something is real if bel - "dev beh... " (Becker)
            • looking glass self (Cooley) - our self concept ==> f/ ab to take role of others ==> SFP
        • EVAL
          • too determ & seeing people being shaped by way others lab them
      • EVAL
        • not all actions are meaningful
          • some unconsc
          • most actions improv & un-reh
    • Phemonology
      • BB
        • focus on phenomenom
          • refers to things as they appear to our senses
        • no definate knowl of world outside our minds
      • Husserl
        • world makes sense because we impose mean & order to it
        • can only gain knowl about world through categ & giving mean to our exp
      • Schutz
        • app these ideas to social world
          • cat & concepts we use aren't unique to ourselves - share w/ others
        • shared cats = typifications
          • help us org our experiences into shared world of mean
            • mean of given exp varies accord top its context e.g. raise arm in auction = diff to in class
            • way of stab & clarif mean - vital for soc order
    • Ethnomethodology
      • BB
        • Garfinkel - soc isn't real objective structure 'out there'
          • conc w/ soc order & why this happens
      • Indexicality & reflexivity
        • mean = unclear (indexicality)
          • nothing has fixed mean - threat to soc order
          • sugg we can't take mean for granted - but we beh in way that treats mean as obvious (reflexivity)
            • how we use common sense knowl in everyday interact to construct a sense of mean e.g. lang
      • EVAL
        • find = trivial - focus too much on uncovering taken-for-granted rules which we all know anyway
        • ig power & ineq - mean in Cap soc = linked to power or r/c

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