After "how is anthropology different from sociology?" the most common question a sociology professor hears is "how is sociology different from psychology?" In this sampler you read a number of basically psychological thinkers who are routinely identified as fundamental to the enterprise of sociological theorizing. In some cases it's because they contribute to the micro-foundation sociology needs, in some cases because the authors themselves thematize the distinction between what is social and what is individual and psychological.
At first glance, it is difficult to access the difference between what Sociology covers as opposed to what Psychology covers. Most understand that Sociology pertains to understanding the individual through the orientation of societal analysis, while Psychology tries to understand the individual through a much more interpersonal orientation often relying on analysis of an person's relationship with his parents. Although these distinctions are widely known, when the differences must be truly assessed it becomes increasingly more difficult to articulate where one science stops and the other begins. I would argue that while the sciences have valid differences, they overlap in some areas which is what contributes to that initial confusion in atriculation. Scholars find that while it is still important to atriculate the difference between the respective sciences, it is of upmost benefit to our intellectual understanding of the individual and his circumstance to use both Psychology and Sociology for assessment. Going further, that Psychology could even be more beneficial if it aimed to supplement Sociology since Sociology provides a more effective and hollistic understanding of the situation.
"Psychoanalysis, which interprets the human being as a socialized being, and psychic apparatus as essentially develped and determined through the relationship of the individual to society, must consider it as duty to participate in the investigation of sociological problems to the extent the human being or his/her psyche plays any part at all," (Fromm, Social Theory 223).
This article by Erich Fromm was the first article assigned for my sampler and after digesting all the readings, it is his essay entitled "Psycholanalysis and Sociology" written in 1929 that spells out clear definitions and illuminates the boundaries between the two sciences best. Conceptually, this article begins to lay out an arguement that there has been a progression in understanding about how and when to apply the different perspectives of the sciences to our assements of the individual. Fromm attempts to create an understanding in scholars that psychology as an imperfect and lesser science that can provide some insight, but without the larger picture will always be lacking. On the other hand, it is the duty of psychology to remember the importance of the individual,
"The application of psychoanalysis to sociology must definately quard against the mistake of wanting to give psychoanalytic answers where economic, technical, or political facts provide the real and sufficient explanation of sociological questions," Going further, "On the other hand, the psychoanalyst must emphasize that the subject of sociology, society, in reality consists of individuals, and that it is these human beings, rather than an abrastract society as such, whose actions, thoughts and feelings are the object of sociological research,"1 (Fromm, Social Theory 222).
Here we see the intensity of intention in this passage to establish Sociology as a dominate science to Psychology but that both are still important. In my analysis of this topic I found there to be an importance placed in establishing one as dominate over the other while still attempting to say that the most fruitful reasearch happens when the two are used in conjunction.
The territorial atmosphere surrounding the boundary of the sciences was immediately highlighted to me by this article and sustained throughout the coming readings. There seems to be an effort to draw attention to the differences or for one to point to the other the shortcomings. Even as certain writers that will be discussed changed their emphasis in their career from psycholoy to sociology or vice versa, there seemed to be an overemphasis to convey the degradation that occurs to the sciences when they are put together in this incenstous way. Consider the experiences of Nancy Chodorow who first studied anthropology and sociology, then later went into Psychoanalysis,
"Her melding of these disciplines is unique and controversial within the social sciences […] Chodorow's keen sense that generalizations and theory building as well as clinical treatment depend upon close observation of the inidivuals who have distinctive, rich inner worlds and who live in a particular place at a particular point in time…" (Ritzer, Encyclopedia of Social Theory 92).
Through this passage we see the territorial nature of the sciences as they compete to claim which scientists belong to them. From an outside perspective, the very fact that the distinction is so hard to articulate proves how similar these disciplines are in many ways. Still, there is territorial componet involved in this topic that attempts to preserve these two sciences as distinct and rejects the notion of merging them competely. This is because while the sciences are validy different, they are not seperte. The sciences can gradually give way to one another. In other words, imagine the sciences existing on a spectrum on which one side there is psychology and on the other sociology. At one extreme, some studies contain language that clearly pertains to the individual, where parent/child relationships are the sole source of material analyzed. On the other end of the spectrum are purely sociological arguments which leave out all reflection on individuality. When only these two extremes exist it is easy to articulate the difference. However, there is a large in between area where people are discussed both for their individuality and for the effects that society has on their outcome. In other words, where both sciences are applied in order to acertain an understanding.
Here is an annotated bibliography of the assigned readings.
James, Williams. 1890. "The Self and It's Selves." Pp. 161-166 in Social Theory: The Multicultural Readings (2010) edited by C. Lemert. Philardephia: Westview Press.
We have a social self and a private self. Our social self acts differently around different people.
Freud, Sigmund. 1900. "Oedipus, the Child." Pp. 137-141 in Social Theory: The Multicultural Readings (2010) edited by C. Lemert. Philardephia: Westview Press.
Children want to have sex with their mother and out of envy want to kill their father. These deeply repressed desires might show up in dreams but will often be censored to prevent creating anxiety for ourselves.
Freud, Sigmund. 1919. "Remembering, Repeating, and Working Through." Pp. 141-145 in Social Theory: The Multicultural Readings (2010) edited by C. Lemert. Philardephia: Westview Press.
Even the things from our childhood that we don't remember deeply affect our decisions. Repressed memories might be acted out rather than remembered . We may get diagnosed as crazy, we may fulfill our diagnoses by acting out false symptoms.
Fromm, Erich. 1929. "Psychoanalysis and Sociology." Pp. 222-223 in Social Theory: The Multicultural Readings (2010) edited by C. Lemert. Philardephia: Westview Press.
-"among those who contributed to the Germal crticial tradition of wedding Marxism and psychoanalysis"
-this selection: outlines the need for a unified social theory of the individual as a socialized being in a complex society
Psychoanalysis and Sociology should try harder to understand each other, although psychoanalysis should probably try harder because the individual's relationship to the bigger picture needs to be understood.
"Psychoanalysis and Sociology (1929)" pg. 222.
-psychoanalysis and sociology will be compared and contrasted.
-psychoanalysis studies the individual, sociology studies the masses; Both are studying the development/organization of society.
-psychoanalysis- individual instinctual unconscious, ind. social facts. Sociology- growing ego-org. thus rational ability to cope.
-Psychoanalysis/psychology- basis a lot of its analysis of the family structure, though it claims to acknowledge people are socialized, closest relationships determine behavior.
-But this (psych) fails to acknowledge that the family is also part of a social system. Ppl psyche also affected by technology (gratification).
-This is a crude but necessary job to compare and contrast. These two practices are reciprocal and sometimes both must be applied to understand development. Like the problems that become worse as mankind developes: ex- Religion.
-(Freud) Man responds with Religion to helplessness. Greatest socio/psych question: to what extent has man's (society's) psyche evolved with the evolution of technology.
-These studies must understand each other (but psyche should try harder) because to understand psyche you need to see the relationship to the bigger picture.
Mead, George Herbert. 1929. "The Self, the I, the Me." Pp. 224-229 in Social Theory: The Multicultural Readings (2010) edited by C. Lemert. Philardephia: Westview Press.
The self is the separate entity with it's own characteristics that inhabits our body but it is not always necessary to function. The Me is the immediate experience of a socialized world and, since we are socialized, the space our actual reaction takes place in is seperate and that is the "I".
Freud, Sigmund. 1930. "Civilization and the Individual." Pp. 149-151 in Social Theory: The Multicultural Readings (2010) edited by C. Lemert. Philardephia: Westview Press.
Freud, Sigmund. 1937-1939. "The Return of the Repressed in Social Life." Pp. 145-149 in Social Theory: The Multicultural Readings (2010) edited by C. Lemert. Philardephia: Westview Press.
Freud, Sigmund. 1900-1939. "Dream-Work and Interpretation." Pp. 133-137 in Social Theory: The Multicultural Readings (2010) edited by C. Lemert. Philardephia: Westview Press.
"Dream-Work and Interpretation (1900-1939)" Pg. 133.
-The only way to prove our theories about the ego and the super ego we must left the Id conflict with the two. The best way to observe this is in dreams where the id comes into our ego and conscious.
Freud, Sigmund. 1900-1939. "The Physical Apparatus and the Theory of Instincts." Pp. 130-133 in Social Theory: The Multicultural Readings (2010) edited by C. Lemert. Philardephia: Westview Press.
Sigmund Freud (1856-1939)
-leader of psycho anaylytic movement
-three part division of the psyche, mature theory of the instincts, view of dreams
> "The Physical Apparatus and the Theory of Instincts (1900-1939)" Pg. 130.
-We know the brain is an organ (part of the nervous system) and acts of consciousness but know nothing in between.
-We had an ID, its what we start with when we're born. Our basic instincts in other words.
-Then we have this thing called an ego, thats the connection to our id and the social world we live in. Its interested in self-preservation. It's job is so story memories and react with stimuli in a way that increases our pleasure but decreasing our unpleasure. Ego control voluntary action and decides what instincts get satisfied.
-When our ego retracts from the world to make far reaching changes in our organization this is called sleep.
-There is also a super-ego derived from our parents that the ego and id must listen to.
-The super ego is what our parents, teachers and role models taught us.
-"It will be observed that, for all their fundamental differences, the id and the super ego have one thing in common: they both represent the influences of the past- the id the influence of heredity, the super-ego the influence, essentially, of what is taken over from other people- whereas the ego is principally determined by the individual's own experience, that is by accidental and contemporary events."
-Id needs things to live. Ego takes world into account: satisfy self with/getting in least trouble. Super-ego's job is to impose limitations.
-the forces behind the tensions are our two basic needs: Eros (libido) and the desrtuctive instinct. If we assume instincts mean getting us back to our former state them death would be our former state and thats the destructive instinct. Eating is destructive, making love is eros- to bring closer.
-When someone is angry they store their anger in their body and hurt themselves just to hurt something but would probably rather hurt what hurt them. People hold back aggressiveness, thats part of society, but its bad for them. As long as they can cope with it than society can continue to progress. (Individual dies of internal conflicts- the libido gets worn out for object of anger gets killed, whichever comes first.
-The libido in the super ego or idwe don't know.. All libido stored in ego. When we like people we send out libido but we pull it back and rest it with us until we are in love and place our libido on that object that replaces our ego.
-The libido can manifest itself is sexual excitation and can draw from our erotogenic zones.
Lacan, Jacques. 1949. "The Mirror Stage." Pp. 343-344 in Social Theory: The Multicultural Readings (2010) edited by C. Lemert. Philardephia: Westview Press.
Original Source: Pp. 1-3 and 172-175 in Ecrits: A Selection (New York: Taylor and Francis, 1977).
Jacques Lacan (1901-1981)
-specialized in psychiatry and psychoanalysis
-sought to wrest psychoanalysis away from traditionalist towards his own independent understanding of desire, language, and literature in Paris circa 1960.
-“The Mirror Stage” is (his most famous concept) when a child sees self in a mirror for first time and imagines self as more than any individual “I” (or ego) could possibly be.
-stood among numerous other poststructuralist theories.
“The Mirror Stage” (Weber 1949, 343-344)
*published many times. We read later version.
- (343.4) The concept of the mirror stage was introduced 13 years ago and contributed greatly to the formation of “I”.
- (343.5) Humans have an ability to recognize themselves in mirrors which is a sign of their intelligence, although they are dumber than chimps in other respects.
- (343.6) The child grapples with understanding how a mirror reflects his own movements and the room he is standing in.
- (343.7) Even though he can’t even walk, he already leaning into the mirror in awe of this mirror discovery.
- (343.9) This paragraph outlines the brain places that processing of images come from in scientific terms.
- (344.1) This is known as identification when the subject looking into the mirror assumes an image.
- (344.2) I is a primordial understanding that happens before a child even learns the language to describe “I”.
- (344.4) The I the child sees is the ideal I that he/she will spend the rest of his/her life trying to be because it is as external understanding.
- (344.5) The gestalt is the permanence of the I and the alienating nature of it.
- (344.7) The body is where the reality of our physical body is manifested.
The Mirror Stage is the moment when you show a baby a mirror and they begin to identify that they are seeing themselves. Their vision of their reflection is a particularly special image for them to see and the meaning transcends the image (also known as Gestalt which means more meaningful than the sum of its parts). A face is more special than just a nose and mouth and lips, especially when we see our own faces in a mirror. It’s a definition of ourselves that we strive for but can never actually be because it is external to our own bodies. Babies do not have the brain capacity to fully identify with the reflection, it becomes the ideal-I that they will spend their whole lives trying to feel connected to.
Reisman, David. 1950. "Character and Society: The Other-Directed Personality." Pp. 329-334 in Social Theory: The Multicultural Readings (2010) edited by C. Lemert. Philardephia: Westview Press.
Erikson, Erik H. 1950. "Youth and American Identity." Pp. 334-337 in Social Theory: The Multicultural Readings (2010) edited by C. Lemert. Philardephia: Westview Press.
Herbert, Marcuse. 1964. "Repressive Desublimination." Pp. 436-439 in Social Theory: The Multicultural Readings (2010) edited by C. Lemert. Philardephia: Westview Press.
Chodorow, Nancy. 1978. "Gender Personality and the Reproduction and Mothering." Pp. 409-412 in Social Theory: The Multicultural Readings (2010) edited by C. Lemert. Philardephia: Westview Press.
Fromm, Erich. 1929. "Psychoanalysis and Sociology" (222-223)
Lacan, Jacques. 1949. "The Mirror Stage" (343-344)
Freud, Sigmund. 1900-39. "The Psychical Apparatus and the Theory of Instincts" (130-133)
Freud, Sigmund. 1900-39. "Dream-Work and Interpretation" (133-137)
Freud, Sigmund. 1900. "Oedipus, the Child" (137-141)
Freud, Sigmund. 1919. "Remembering, Repeating, and Working-Through" (141-145)
Freud, Sigmund. 1937-9. "The Return of the Repressed in Social Life" (145-149)
Freud, Sigmund. 1930. "Civilization and the Individual" (149-151)
James, William. 1890. The Self and Its Selves" (161-166)
Mead, George Herbert. ca.1929. "The Self, the I, and the Me" (224-229)
Riesman, David 1950. "Character and Society: The Other-Directed Personality" (329-334)
Erikson, Erik H. 1950. "Youth and American Identity" (334-337)
Chodorow, Nancy. 1978. "Gender Personality and the Reproduction of Mothering" (409-12)
Marcuse, Herbert. 1964. "Repressive Desublimation" (436-439)