Externalization, Objectivation, and Internalization – Berger & Luckmann

July 13th, 2010

Berger, Peter L., Thomas Luckmann, and Texas Tech University. Institute for Studies in Pragmaticism. The Social Construction of Reality: A Treatise in the Sociology of Knowledge. Anchor Book. New York: Doubleday, 1967.

“Society is a human product. Society is an objective reality. Man is a social product” (61).

Berger and Luckman argue that one must understand both the objective and subjective aspects of reality. To do so, one should view society in terms of an “ongoing dialectical process composed of the three moments of externalization, objectivation, and internalization” (129).

The authors present the idea that there is an institutional world. “Institutionalization occurs whenever there is a reciprocal typification of habitualized actions by types of actors. Put differently, any such typification is an institution” (54). Therefore, the institution is formed by the society. For example, Read the rest of this entry »

The Social Construction of Reality – Berger & Luckmann

July 12th, 2010

Berger, Peter L., Thomas Luckmann, and Texas Tech University. Institute for Studies in Pragmaticism. The Social Construction of Reality: A Treatise in the Sociology of Knowledge. Anchor Book. New York: Doubleday, 1967.

“Man’s consciousness is determined by his social being.” – Marx

I open this post with the Marx quote because of its direct relevance to this topic, but also to address the debates that have occurred over what he was actually saying in this line. Early Marxism tended to identify this thought with economic structure and the reflection of it. However, Marx intended a more human analysis. “What concerned Marx was that human thought is founded in human activity… and in the social relations brought about by this activity. ‘Substructure’ and ‘superstructure’ are best understood if one views them as, respectively, human activity and the world produced by that activity” (6).

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Equilibrium Theory – Argyle & Dean

July 8th, 2010

Argyle, M., & Dean, J. (1965). Eye contact, distance, and affiliation. Sociometry, 28, 289- 304.

Argyle, M., & Cook, M. (1976). Gaze and mutual gaze. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Uni- versity Press.

Another example of the discussion on whether there is a certain level of interchangeability of verbal and non-verbal cues of immediacy in the realm of online (or CMC) communication is Argyle and Dean’s 1965 affiliative conflict (or equilibrium) theory. As Joseph Walther explains, “Equilibrium theory posits that communicators dynamically adapt levels of gaze, physical proximity, and other behaviors indicative of intimacy to normative levels based on culture and need for affiliation (Argyle & Cook, 1976).” (41).

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Interchangeability of Verbal and Nonverbal Cues – Walther

July 7th, 2010

Walther, J. B., Loh, T., & Granka, L. (2005). Let me count the ways – The interchange of verbal and nonverbal cues in computer-mediated and face-to-face affinity. [Article]. Journal of Language and Social Psychology, 24(1), 36-65.

That CMC does not offer nonverbal cues in communication has been discussed by most early research on online communication and CMC. I addressed this point in my last three posts. While published almost ten years later than the last Walther article I reviewed, even in this article I am now reviewing, he still considers CMC refer to text-based communication, that which does not include non-verbal cues. I find that in our current stage of multimedia and multimodal online communication, any definition of CMC should really include online synchronous audio communication and also audio-video communication conducted online through either synchronous or asynchronous means. This point is highly relevant, since this article takes this lack of social cues as a given of CMC and considers how social interaction meaning is affected by this lack and whether users make up for it by other means. Read the rest of this entry »

Computer-Mediated Communication: Hyperpersonal – Walther

July 6th, 2010

Walther, J. B. (1996). Computer-mediated communication: Impersonal, interpersonal, and hyperpersonal interaction. Communication Research, 23(1), 3-43.

In the last few posts, I discussed this Walther article and the ways in which computer-mediated communication (CMC) can be more impersonal than face-to-face (FtF) communication and the ways in which it can been as interpersonal as FtF. In this third (and final) post on this Walther article, I look at his consideration of the hyperpersonal perspective of CMC. This idea refers to the way in which CMC is even more personal than (surpassing the affection and emotion level of) FtF communication. He states that these situations in which we find CMC more desirable than FtF is generally in a recreational setting and relate to four different elements of the communication process: receivers, senders, characteristics of the channel, and feedback processes. Read the rest of this entry »