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Full text of "Tsukasa Kuwabara on SI from 1992/04/01 to 2012/03/31"




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Introduction to a Sociological Perspective of 
Symbolic Interactionism: Corrected Edition 



Tsukasa Kuwabara 
Maki Aburada 



Abstract 

The main purpose of this study is to examine the theory of Symbolic Interactionism formulated 
by Herbert Blumer, from the following viewpoints: 

a) How does Symbolic Interactionism explain the concept of socialization, i.e., the process 
in which hominids become human beings? 

b) How does Symbolic Interactionism explain the concept of Vergesellschaftung (Simmel, G.), 
i.e., the process or mechanism through which people construct human society? 

c) Why is human society to be considered to be a changeable process? 
After careful examination, the following findings were made: 

i) Blumer regards socialization as the process in which the two frameworks or perspectives 
(schemes of definition and generalized roles) that have been acquired by an actor through 
interactions with groups of others guide his/her interpretations/definitions. 

ii) In Blumer's theory, society is seen to be possible only when each of the actors in 
interactions can properly grasp the two standpoints (that of the other and one's own 
standpoint in the eyes of the other) by doing a kind of self-interaction (i.e., taking into 
account of taking into account; the concept taking into account of taking into account is 
the famous terminology used by N. Luhmann, but it was originally formulated by Blumer 
himself in 1953). 

iii) Because of the nature of others (black boxness), all the actors interacting with others are 

seen to be necessarily forced to revise their interpretations/definitions continually. For 

this reason, society must be regarded as a changeable process. 

Finally, we have tried to review critically the research method of Symbolic Interactionism (i.e., 

the approach from the standpoint of the actor) on the basis of the conception of man and society 

that has been clarified in the earlier chapters of this paper. Our review provides evidence for the 

two additional points listed below: 

iv) in doing the approach from the standpoint of the actor, only an individual can be included 
into the category of the acting unit. 

v) the standpoint of the actor perceived by researchers must never be seen as the standpoint 
in the raw but has to be seen as a kind of reconstruction of constructions created by 
researchers. 



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We finally have confirmed that testing this conception of man and society (i, ii, and iii noted 
above) empirically, based on the points iv and v, would (and must) be one of our important tasks in 
future. 

In addition, this paper is the 'corrected* edition of the next article: Tsukasa Kuwabara, 2001, 
Introduction to a sociological perspective of Symbolic Interactionism (3)(The Summary of a doctoral 
dissertation, Tohoku University) KEIZAIGAKU-RONSHU~ OF KAGOSHIMA UNIVERSITY, 
54 1 . 

o. mmo)m& 

V*=bv9>£, V#^- P^^y^<D—U : &^&tZ>, /w/*- h • ^;l/-V- (Blumer, Herbert 
George, 1900-1987) Oy>^ ] J ^fflSftffii (Symbolic Interactionism) &, T./*- V >X£* 

wtt^j m^<f¥ffi$*iT££ 1- &*>*>, tt^*, r±ft»AHj «&» m wot, ?fm- 

1 http://web.archive.Org/web/20101U2000357/http://ecowwvdeh.kagoshima-u.ac.jp/staff/kuwabara/20100918/phdl9.pdf 

2 1960^ft~70^{tX;HtTCD, ^h^A^f- (1960^-75^), V )V • i/ a y ? {^- ? V > - z/ a y ? ) , ~f 

btiix&MLx%fztt^(Dmmm±, ~&k [mM^m tmstix^&tf, ^(D^^oi^tLxitn 

IKftffltWr^^V^ (gH 1981: 22-9)o 

ra^j a*, ra^tj t ra^«uj tv^2oo^ffl«:ABtwa^*r-fc^, Ammt^Km^^^nm 

J*9->%SW}tftK$L2> I l\^W}-thfcl£tUz-hKX^Z>o ffit (1976: 3-4, 21, 24-5, 32, 34-5, 37-8; 
1983: 37-45) &tf Wallace and Wolf (1980=1986) ^#M^>-^o 
4 http://web. archive. org/web/*/http://ecowww. leh.kagoshima-u.ac.jp/staff/kuwabara/doctor. htm 



1. mxkm&t<DM& 



socialization 



society 



self-interaction 



interaction with oneself 



19773 



600 



1931=1969a: 169-1991: 220 



Blumer 



1922: 36-7 



Cf. 2001:81-5; 2003a: 12 



p rocess of interpretation 



indication 



socialization 



internalize 



interpretation 



s ocializations 



chemes of definition 



roles 



generalized 
groups of others 



object 



perspective 



perception) 
conferring of meaning 



world of reality 



p hysical object 



social object 



abstract object 



world 



back 



talking 



action 
individual act 
fit, adjust 



impulse perception manipulation 

consumation 



2. fflSttffltLTOtt 



.^ 



social interaction 

non-symbolic interaction 
symbolic interaction 

conversation of gestures 
use of significant symbols 



human society 
r eal form 
j oint action transaction 



gesture 



meaning 



significant symbol 



common definition 



taking into account of taking into account 



A. 



T. 



2010: 



247 



(1967a; 1970) 



Glaser and Strauss 1 964; 1965-1988; Scheff 



2003c http://jairo.nii.ac.jp/0016/000051553 



6 



3. mxtm^tomm 



w orld 



object 



7 



4. Wft#£W&tt*#£<DH« 



standpoint of the actor 



society as symbolic interaction 



human society 



black box'ness 
2007: 6-7 N. Luhmann 1984-1993; 1995 

A. 
2008: 25-6 
Glaser and Strauss 1 964: 670-1 Scheff 1 967a 

Scheff 1 967b 



8 



ensitizing concept 



naturalistic inquiry 



continuing interaction between guiding ideas and empirical observation 



empirical world 
resisting talking back negative 

case 



r oot images) 



standpoint of the actor 



9 



acting unit 



position of the actor 



10 



acting unit 



reconstruction of constructions 



11