Stacey's Web Page
The Social Construction of Reality & Stigma & Social Identity
About Me
Fall 2005
Claim of Fact
A Fist in the eye of God
Concept Formation: Attributes Dynamically Inhabited From Conscious Awareness
Women, Sex And Darwin
Pedagogy Of The Oppressed
Neurology Summary
Emotional Intelligence
The Intellegent Eye
The Allegory of the Cave
Psychology From A Culturec Perspective
Thinking Styles
Who I Am, How I Learn
Winter 2006
Claim of Fact
The Sane Society
Rethinking Primate Aggression
Domination & Subbordination
Blaming The Victim
The Social Construction of Reality & Stigma & Social Identity
Economic Justice: The American Class System
Deconstructing the Underclass & Constructing Race, Creating White Privilege
Citizenship as a Source of Obligation
Better Together: Restoring the American Community
Imperial, the Highest Stage
Imperialism 101, Shooting an Elephant & The Gentleman of the Jungle
Spring 2006

Schiefelbein, Stacey

Winter 2006

182 F


Article Reflection


The Social Construction of Reality

Peter Berger


When we conform to society to be “the right human being” are we losing a sence of human-ism?


Is behavior contagious?


            I really had a hard time connection with this article so I’m really not sure where to start this reflection. I guess I could start with the first thing that caught my eye on this article. As the article states: “process by which anybody of ‘knowledge’ comes to be socially accepted as ‘reality’.” The article states that there are three areas they can be divided into: externalization, objectivation, and internailization. . So basically this article talks about how we as human being change our behavior in different situations.

            Our worlds are constructed socially and if there is a break in that it causes chaos. For example different languages, if one does not understand another it makes things difficult for both parties. This face-to-face interaction is crucial to our world.

            Externalization is where we as humans create our social worlds. It goes on to say that human beings can re-create social institutions by the ongoing externalization of them. Instead of demanding something, you ask for something. The outcome is obvious; the way you ask will significantly increase what is done in return. When you demand, less will get done, and on that note it will be done on a negative key. The truth is people don’t like to be bossed around, and if you ask they are more willing to comply with your needs. It’s a win-win situation, everyone goes home happy.

            Objectivation is where individuals apprehend everyday life as an order. Everyday is managed by linguistic. In a study the studies the contagiousness of senile-ism in a retirement home, and found indeed it was contagious. I think all behavior is contagious. The best example of this is a smile. One person smiles and then another person smiles and from that we have this wicked awesome chain reaction of smiles that can spread to brighten the darkest day of the loneliest person.

            Internalization is the kind of socialization by which the legitimation of the institutional order is assured. If you are different from the norm (the norm being in that very specific social setting, characteristics that most of them have) you are told so and right away are alienated because of this/these missing characteristics. If someone sees this characteristic that is missing from the alienated man, they will take that into their memory, and recreated that incident in their minds so that it may never happen to them. Its sort of a pre-rejection button.

Schiefelbein, Stacey

Winter 2006

182 F


Stigma and Social Identity

Erving Goffman


Why is it even though after the handicap so removed we still aren’t considered normal?


Every person on this earth has some sort of handicap, are we hypocritical for judging others?


            Alright, another article on modifying our personalities to be “right” and fit into the social scene and why we as humans go to extremes to meet those standards that are set up before us.  Let me summarize quickly, we as humans need interaction to develop mentally and socially. It is done subconsciously for the most part, but the action of fitting in and the decisions made to fit in are very much so conscious decisions.

            I admit I’m not perfect at everything. Actually I’m not perfect anything. I am very talented in some areas and in other areas you could say I have a handicap. For example I have never been very good at waterskiing, and for the society (group of friends) that have lived on the water see it as a handicap because it comes so natural to them. But one summer I thought I got pretty good, but to them I still was handicapped in the world of waterskiing, only because they had seen me when I wasn’t good. Let me generalize this now. Lets say an individual comes in to a new society and the vast majority of the society is really really good at cooking, you happen to be a terrible cook and they witness this one afternoon while you try to make dinner for a group of friends. Over the next several months you take some cooking classes and do a complete three-sixty, and can cook so complicated recipes. You once again cook dinner for that same group of friends and they are wowed by the food, but you still have the label as the guy “that couldn’t cook and now he sort of can”. I honestly think there is only one way to get out of this situation, find another society (group of friends) that their emphasis isn’t cooking and suddenly the “handicap” is gone.

            Who the hell are we to judge others? Seriously. We are no better or any worse than any other.  We all are unique and different. And is that a bad thing? No, because if we were all the same, can you imagine how lame that would be.  I don’t care if some man on the street is blind, know what? He can probably hear better and feel things with his hands a lot better than the healthy forty-something year old. We all have handicaps so we can focus on something else and be better at that. Why do people associate handicaps with a negative perspective? They are not! They simply allow us to concentrate our talents else where.

            So I think we all are hypocrites, if you once judge someone or give someone special attention because of their “handicap” you need to shut up, because you’re simply calling the kettle black. I wish everyone could have enough self-confidence to take pride at what they are good at, work at what their not, and praise those who are better than us at a specific task. 

Stacey Schiefelbein