Course:SOCI 1110/Emile Durkheim

From Kumu Wiki - TRU
Revision as of 13:53, 23 October 2016 by Daisy (talk | contribs) (added example of baseball)
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Historical World Events during His Lifetime


  • Lincoln is assassinated
  • End of the Civil was in the US


  • Slavery is abolished in the US


  • Canadian Confederation


  • Suez Canal opens - reduces travel time for trade between Europe and Asia


  • Civil Rights Act is passed in the US


  • Alexander Graham Bell invents the telephone


  • US supreme court rules that “separate but equal” public facilities for whites and blacks are legal


  • World population is 1.7 billion, up from 1 billion in 1800
  • Theodore Roosevelt is elected President of the US


  • Albert Einstein submits his paper that will develop his argument for E=mc2


  • New Zealand and Newfoundland join the British Commonwealth


  • The Titanic sinks


  • World War I begins


  • World War I ends


  • The Treaty of Versailles is signed


  • The Stock Market crashes
  • The Great Depression begins


  • The worst of the Great Depression - almost 25% are unemployed in the US

Theory of I and Me

Mead’s largest contribution to the socological world was his theory of “I” and “Me”. This theory encompasses the development of our social self (“Me”) and how we personally and individually react (“I”) to our social selves. When we are children we don't have the capability or wherewithal to understand how others around us are influencing “Me.” As we grow up we begin to understand the social influences around us and ultimately develop both “Me” and “I.” When we are only engaged in the “me” we are not engaging ourselves “at a non-reflective level” (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)

The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy uses the example of baseball to describe this theory. Their outline of this example is as follows:

" "If I am playing second base, I may reflect on my position as a second baseman, but to do so I have to be able to think of “myself” in relationship to the whole game, namely, the other actors and the rules of the game. We might refer to this cognitive object as my (second baseman) baseball self or “Me.”... One may have a self, a “Me,” that corresponds to a particular position that one plays, which is nested within the game as an organized totality. This self, however, doesn't tell us how any particular play may be made. When a ball is grounded to a second baseman, how he or she reacts is not predetermined. He reacts, and how he reacts is always to some degree different from how he has reacted in the past. These reactions or actions of the individual, whether in response to others or self-initiated, fall within the “sphere” of the “I.” Every response that the “I” makes is somewhat novel. Its responses may differ only in small ways from previous responses, making them functionally equivalent, but they will never be exactly the same. No catch in a ball game is ever identical to a previous catch. Mead declares that, “The ‘I’ gives the sense of freedom, of initiative. " 1

Mead was also a driving force in Symbolic Interactionism. Symbolic Interactionism “focuses on interaction in micro level social settings and emphasizes that an adequate explanation of social behaviour requires understanding the subjective meanings people attach to their social circumstances. ” (textbook*)