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Self and Society
Mid Term Exam
1. How does a football game reflect a symbolic reality? How this reality communicated and
what are some of the symbols?
Football engages Americans of all ages. It is a game that reflects the American character, history.
In most American lives, football is linked to country and family. It is the game of high-school
reunions and homecoming, often the game shared with one’s earliest friends. It is also the most
intense of college sports creating a habit and a culture of competition and loyalty to place. This
culture does not exclude non-players. Through the media, particularly television and the Internet,
it permeates living rooms and language, and even the holidays of every fan. Cultural
representations are present everywhere in the traditional NFL. Football is a particular kind of
national entertainment that plays an essential role in the consolidation of national American
consciousness and provides ideological elements by which the state apparatus is mobilized.
When football manages to consolidate national attention, it no longer is simply a benign athletic
event but fulfills a key cultural role that contributes to the re-ordering of national identity and
state formation.
2. What is socialization? How does this concept relate to the nature/nurture debate?
The act of adapting behavior to the norms of a culture or society is called socialization. The
nature vs. nurture debate explores the relative importance of cultural (social environment) and
biological (heredity) factors in the developmental process of human beings. Is our biology most
important in determining who we are or is our social environment? Do we learn our character or
is it determined at birth genetically? Biology provides us with large brains that allow us to think
abstractly (e.g., we can create things in our minds and build them in reality). Biology also
provides us with opposable thumbs that allows us to grasp tools. Learning is also very important
in determining who we are. Human nature refers to nearly permanent qualities which humans'
possess. They are also biologically based. One should be able to see these characteristics in every
culture. Human nature should not be used to refer to characteristics that come about because of
the environment or our society. Biology certainly determines part of what we are, but we start
learning as soon as we are conceived. Sense what we learn is so important to who we are and
what we do, how can we separate biologically determined behavior from learned
behavior. Human nature is often used as an excuse to close off discussion on social topics.
Human nature is used to justify inequality rather than search for reasons for inequality. Physical
contact with others is essential to meet our social and emotional needs. The very survival of the
individual and the group depends on its members being properly socialized.

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3. Define “rules of denial” and give an empirical example of this concept from your own
interactions.
The social organization of denial. Focus shifts as social attitudes change. Noticing and ignoring
are always performed by members of particular social communities with particular social
conventions of attention and communication. In fact, the way one focuses his attention is often
grounded in highly impersonal social traditions of paying attention. t is noted that one acts
tactfully when one “passes over something…and leaves it unsaid.” The distinction between tact
and taboo is not as clear-cut as it may seem. It becomes fairly fuzzy when one considers, for
example, the kind of silence produced by “political correctness,” as when people refrain from
using race labels to avoid the risk of being considered racist.
4. What is emotion work or management?
The idea of “emotion work” recognizes that our feelings are shaped by society. Our culture
determines how we understand, discuss and act out our emotions. For example, flight attendants
are expected to remain calm while irate passengers are rude and make excessive demands. Flight
attendants are not paid for this emotion work. They are expressly paid to provide customer
service. The additional emotion work is taxing on their personal health and psychological
wellbeing.
5. What is the difference between surface and deep acting?
When engaging in deep acting, an actor attempts to modify feelings to match the required
displays. The intent, then, is to seem authentic to the audience, thus deep acting has been called
“faking in good faith.” For example, a hotel clerk may imagine herself in a difficult customer’s
shoes to try to feel empathy and look concerned. In surface acting, the alternative strategy,
employees modify their displays without shaping inner feelings. Doing this entails experiencing
emotional dissonance, or the tension felt when expressions and feelings diverge. For example,
the same hotel clerk may put on a sympathetic face, but actually be irritated. Surface acting is
“faking in bad faith.”
6. Select one of the articles that address feeling rules. What is the emotion and what is the
feeling norm? How is the feeling rule learned?
Feeling rules govern what we’re supposed to feel in a given situation. For example, when you get
married or graduate from college, you’re supposed to be happy, and people will be concerned if
you’re otherwise. What if your wedding pictures all show you wide-eyed in terror? Other rules,
called display rules, regard what emotions you present to others. With these rules, it doesn’t
matter what you’re really feeling, you just have to show the right emotions. For example, when I
do after school tutoring at my church, I don’t mind knowing that some of the students are bored
out of their minds, but I don’t want them showing it with loud yawns and constant eye-
rolling. Most jobs, for example, pay you not just to do the official work, but they also pay you to
do it with the right emotions. A classic example is being a physician. Part of being a doctor is
poking, prodding, cutting, and doing all sorts of things to people that is very uncomfortable. In
doing it, doctors have to maintain an emotionally-neutral, professional demeanor. What if the

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Self and Society Mid Term Exam 1. How does a football game reflect a symbolic reality? How this reality communicated and what are some of the symbols? Football engages Americans of all ages. It is a game that reflects the American character, history. In most American lives, football is linked to country and family. It is the game of high-school reunions and homecoming, often the game shared with one’s earliest friends. It is also the most intense of college sports creating a habit and a culture of competition and loyalty to place. This culture does not exclude non-players. Through the media, particularly television and the Internet, it permeates living rooms and language, and even the holidays of every fan. Cultural representations are present everywhere in the traditional NFL. Football is a particular kind of national entertainment that plays an essential role in the consolidation of national American consciousness and provides ideological elements by which the state apparatus is mobilized. When football manages to consolidate national attention, it no longer is simply a benign athletic event but fulfills a key cultural role that contributes to the re-ordering of national identity and state formation. 2. What is socialization? How does this concept relate to the nature/nurture debate? The act of adapting behavior to the norms of a culture or society is called socialization. The nature vs. nurture debate explores the relative importance of cultural (social environment) an ...
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