This is intended to be your first attempt to synthesize (put together) the readings in your sampler. In all likelihood, you will read again the excerpts you have already read AND you will read additional background material and even, perhaps, additional original texts. But as of now you should have taken a first stab at all (or nearly all) of the texts on your list. Next step is to organize them into a story.
The most simple story is "beginning, middle, end," but there are many ways to tell a story.
Assignment. Think about the excerpts you have read, the concepts, arguments, and perspectives they contain. Review the sampler description I provided. You task is to design a brief "lecture" on your material that would be interesting and informative for fellow students of social theory. You are the expert — what are the issues and ideas in your sampler? can you group them into a small number of "sub-categories"? Is there a chronological story to be told? Do they divide into two opposite approaches to the "topic"?
My suggestion is that you start out thinking about a three slide powerpoint presentation. Each slide has three bullet points on it. Of course, three may not be the right number for everyone, but it's a good place to start.
Step 1. Review excerpts and highlights
William James — multiple selves, social self,
Cooley — looking glass self, decide how to act based on imagined reaction others have
DuBois — double existence of the outsider, can never just be subject
Freud 1 — conflict between society/civilization and the individual it "tames"
Freud 2— structure of self as ego, id, superego
Saussure — linguistic sign
mead-self-i-me Mead — the I and the me
Parsons —actor, means and ends, rational self
Erikson — self, stages, identify with others, develop own ego
Goffman — self, in interaction, moral worth that can be recognized or not by others.
Step 2. Principles of organization
Inside the Self and Outside the Self
- Internal structure of the social self
- Freud 2
- Social self in interaction
- Freud 1
NOTE: I find myself not knowing what to do with Saussure so I set him aside for now.
- Period 1
- Period 2
- Period 3
- Freud > Parsons & Erikson
- James > Cooley > Mead > Goffman
- James > DuBois?
The Self When It Works and When It Does Not
- Freud 2
- "Pathological" — what can go wrong
- Freud 1
- Goffman (threat of lost face?)
Organize according the the "Index of the Interesting" (Davis)
- The individual, so obviously a unitary "object," is in fact a thing with an inside, with parts and components.
- The self, rather than just being what it is, follows a developmental trajectory.
- The components of the self rather than being in harmony, may, in fact, be in tension.
- Civilization, usually taken to be the measure of the good, could, in fact, be neurotic.
Step Three: Essayer an Overview
To test out your attempt at organization, sketch out an essay explaining the basic storyline. This will, basically, be the script you use to describe your approach to your classmates on Tuesday. I would suggest (1) try more than one, and (2) that you revise it a few times and that you practice reading it out loud to see what it sounds like (is it coherent? do you stick to what you DO understand as opposed to slipping into mumbo-jumbo talk?). At the most it should be two typed pages which takes 3-5 minutes to read.
On Tuesday, you should use the script and the outline or slides. DO NOT ad lib (or at least do not primarily talk off the top of your head).
For the Friday deadline, just send me your outline. On Tuesday, hand in hard copy of your outline and your script.