SOC344 2018 Tut11 – Batemans Bay

For this week, you need to watch the video/photo montage compilation and post a comment or tweet. Let’s see what you’ve learned, and what you think others have learned and expressed, about how emotions and bodies are experienced, constructed, and managed in society.

#S344UOW18 #Tut11 #Bbay

Posted in SOC327 - Emotions Bodies and Society, UOW.

11 Comments on SOC344 2018 Tut11 – Batemans Bay

Jacqueline Wilson said : Guest Report 9 months ago

I guess I should be more open to the fact that individual's have the right to be left alone and maintain personal or social space or the 'right to privacy' (Wouters2004) and internalise my disgust and anger when I witness this event. Execution of my third nature and self-regulation would also be useful, however hard that may be for this example.

Ali Minogue said : Guest Report 9 months ago

The collection of short films has expressed and captured the various sociological concepts of emotions and bodies in varying ways. Each group explored emotions through a range of topics such as; • Rationality and emotions. The groups explore how emotions can influence their bodies and rational thought, and how social factors can shape their responses. This is reflective of theorist Barbalet (1998) who analyses the duality between bodily emotions and rational thinking and the connection between the two. • Manners and emotions. The second video connects with Ekman’s (2007) theories around basic emotions and emotions that are more complex and socially driven. The group interviewed people and asked them to reflect on their feelings, asking them if it was a simple or complex emotion. Also, if they thought it was individual or socially driven emotion. I learnt from this week to identify core emotions as well as how those emotions that overlap to create more complex emotions, that can be influenced by societal rules and culture. This group could have gone one step further and asked why they thought the more complex emotions emerged out of the social situation. • Love and intimacy. The groups demonstrated an understanding of emotions across different generations, for example love and jealousy, and across various social movements such as online dating and same-sex relationships. Giddens theory provides a greater understanding on love and intimacy. But, Bauman’s theory is useful to understand the first video. Bauman argues that love and intimacy in a modern society has been liquefied by extensive individualisation and technological change. The video explains how the couple met via an online dating app. This highlights the transformation of digital intimacy and illustrates how has times have changed. • Deviance. My favourite by far was the first video who explored the Katz reading. This outlines the structure of sneaky crimes by hiding donuts in the fridge. Overall, they did a great job but could have reflected more on all the metaphors that make up the sneaky crimes structure. • Modern Angst. The groups discussed the overall pharmaceutical culture and the increased prevalence of loneliness in modern society. However, some of the groups could have narrowed this down to why they thought medicalisation is currently a common and accepted treatment for mental health problems in society i.e. structural perspective vs individualised issue. • Happiness and reflexivity. The groups discussed happiness and at times I was even smiling watching the videos. For me, the only area that could have possibly be improved on was a little more discussion about the solutions to the problem of ‘unhappiness’ and the broader social changes. For example, Illouz (2008), who examines the self-help culture and argues that the rising interest in happiness is coupled with the rise in a ‘therapy culture’. Overall the videos demonstrated an individualised understanding of emotions and feelings, and a little more reflection on the broader sociological concepts could have been used #S344UOW18 #Tut11 #Bbay

fiona whitelaw said : Guest Report 9 months ago

Hi Jacqueline, Your comment has picked up on some fruitful ideas in the area of social norms and 'politeness' - wondering if you might like to connect your reflection into the literature you've dealt with through the course on this topic. Perhaps you might want to comment on ideas of comportment? Or the role of class and manners?

fiona whitelaw said : Guest Report 9 months ago

Michelle; perhaps you might like to include one or two insights from the literature you are familiar with, into your blog post. It seems like you begin to talk a little about how modernity has changed people's actions but perhaps you could reflect a little more deeply on these changes from a sociological perspective?

Rebecca Reisima said : Guest Report 9 months ago

Over the course of the semester I’ve learnt about the complexity of emotions and how strongly emotions are influenced by the society around us. Barbalet work on emotion and rationality in the body and mind split, I learnt how strong an influence our emotions have on the choices we make. The students in this week emphasised the ideas of logic and emotions, and how we may consider ourselves level-headed but our emotions cloud our judgement. From civilised bodies, complex emotions the first montage shows the behavioural reactions of the shame and judgement of society but doesn’t really show how we get to this point of needing to monitor our own behaviours to match that of society. Looking at the way love and intimacy has changed over the years (i.e. a courting Victorian era to online dating) it isn’t hard to understand why there is an increase in commitment phobias. The students focusing on this topic also highlight the change in social acceptance for same sex relationships. Status, competition and body modification is a serious topic and it affects everyone. For me this really hit when reading Heyes’ article on television makeovers and the emotions of envy, admiration and jealousy. The first set of students to discuss this mixed up the concepts of envy, admiration and jealousy during their video, confusing the topic a little. Of deviance, stigma, and sneaky thrills we discussed the fear and shame associated with stigma, and people are more likely to commit a crime when labelled as deviant. One of the presentations shows the ‘sneaky thrill’ found in deviant behaviour but doesn’t really touch on why it’s such a ‘seductive crime’. Video’s on modern angst, loneliness and medicalisation emphasises the facts about anxiety and depression, as well as how overmedicalization this is, while others mentioned the support that could help instead. In the topic of happiness and reflexivity we see how much influence society has on our happiness and wellbeing. The second video covers this, and how we look at the society around us as a comparison for our own happiness. #S344UOW18 #Tut11 #Bbay

Michelle Claude said : Guest Report 9 months ago

Love and Intimacy in late modernity. It is interesting that the first subject in her search for love in late modernity chose Tinder to do so. One hundred years ago there was organised events (Balls, Barn dances, etc) to choose a perspective partner. The subjects use of Tinder, allows us to sociologically understand today society as an integrated class structure. One that is not reliant on focused events that ensured only people of similar classes met as perspective mates. The subject then advised that she appreciated Tinder because she did not have to make a physical effort when choosing a perspective partner. This highlights the fact that life in late modernity leaves people too tired to pursue a perspective partner, if it required effort. The second couple showed a new sociological understanding of freedom in late modernity. Freedom for romance over many locations, as well as freedom to express their love. This freedom was not allowed 100 years ago. People were restricted to geographical locations when expressing love, there were also limited to the people they were allowed to love. This was demonstrated by the lack of tolerance with difference. Whether it be class, race or gender, difference was not tolerated 100 years ago. In late modernity there is freedom to celebrate difference. Intimacy is knowing a high level of personal details about someone. In today’s social structure of late modernity, people are less inclined to share personal details for fear of complex emotions such as anxiety. #S344UOW18 #Tut11 #Bbay

Jacqueline Wilson said : Guest Report 9 months ago

Short film final blog Soc 344-Civilised bodies, complex emotions The film highlighted not only the idea of manners and emotions evolving over time, but also how manners broadly differ from country to country and culture to culture. Especially the part on spitting in public. There really is no need to travel too far these days to be subjected to a wide range of people who present their customs, manners and etiquette in distinctive ways. What may be perfectly respectable in one place may be hideous and offensive in another and vice-versa. Through multiculturalism however, it now means we some how must be subjected to, and tolerant of what some might regard as bad behaviour. Should we have manners books as we did in the Middle Ages? Should they be tailored for individual countries? For example, behaviour that once may have been seen as acceptable in European countries and therefore in Australia, such as farting, burping and spitting have now become embarrassing if not vile and distasteful. What does this mean for our Asian communities living in Australia? Are we racist if we cringe or become nauseated at the gut wrenching sound and ferocity of somebody clearing their throat from way deep down and then horking out the product on the sidewalk, or in a mall? I realize if I was to go to China or any other horking compatible country, I must amend my ways, but this type of behaviour is one cultural gap I must say is a big ask. Am I of a better class because I don’t spit, fart or burp and slurp in public? Or am I simply intolerant and incapable of moving with the times. I have recently noticed signage in many public toilets offering toilet etiquette to immigrants and tourists, along the lines of sitting on toilet seats rather than standing. This bringing back memories of being in America only a couple of years ago in a department store whereby I asked a staff member for directions to the toilet and was subsequently directed to the plumbing section in the middle of the store, only to realise what I was looking for was the ‘bathroom’ and not the toilet. Are manners just one more gap in our multicultural societies that need a bridge or maybe an etiquette manual on planes and in airports would suffice?#S344UOW18#TUT11#Bbay

Katrina Manning said : Guest Report 9 months ago

The short films created for Topic 4: Love and Intimacy in late modernity provide valuable insights not only on the diversity of relationships in society today, but also the methods now available to pursue these relationships, including social media and dating apps. The relationship in the first film corroborates with Giddens’ “pure relationship” and seems to depict a heterosexual partnership that is equal (Jamieson 2012). However, this film could also highlight the appearance of “deep acting” in relationships, and the desire to maintain an appearance of the pure relationship. It is very hard to gain a true understanding of this relationship solely based on this short film, and it only offers an individualised example, not a broad critique of relationships in society. Because the relationship developed from the dating app Tinder, it could be viewed as a criticism of Illouz’s literature on “commitment phobia” (1999), as the first date led into a committed relationship rather than a one-night stand. The third film in the compilation focuses on interviews with participants across generations, and while most of the questions where quite general, two engaged directly with themes raised in the literature. The first question asked: “do relationships need to be equal” and all participates answered yes, a validation of Giddens’ “pure relationship”. The second question engaged with Illouz’s literature and the question of sexual freedom as it is experienced in society today. The participants were asked: “Is it Okay to have sex before marriage” and while there was a mixed response across ages, there was consensus that society has changed and sex before marriage is acceptable today. The final film shown in the compilation on Love and Intimacy highlights the experience of being transgender and provided a personal narrative that demonstrates a greater freedom from previous constraints of traditional sexuality and gender roles. While all the short films provide an understanding of relationships, most provide an individualised perspective, and lack broader discussion. #S344UOW18 #Tut11 #Bbay

Dane Fisher said : Guest Report 9 months ago

Week 12 Blog: Critiquing 'Modern Angst, Loneliness and Medicalisation' Film The film effectively exhibited the extent of mental illness in late modernity. The experience of this sociological phenomena was made salient through highlighting: increase of anxiety across large parts of the population; isolation as a consequence of deteriorated familial/community bonds since the 1970s; and, pharmaceutical responses to perceived mental illness in the medical profession. However, the film lacked structural analysis of the underlying causes of psychological distress and the social/historical context of the shift towards drug-based responses. For example, suggesting that the rapid expansion of 'medical technology' and 'biological observations' was the cause of pharmaceutical responses to mental illness grossly neglects the political economy of drug provision. That is, drugs are not being deployed necessarily because they are "proven" to be the best solutions to depression but rather because powerful interest groups benefit from the production, distribution, and purchasing of pharmaceuticals. It is no accident that the pharmaceutical industry in the US and UK expanded dramatically at the same time as the largest cuts to social welfare provisions and publicly funded egalitarian programs (the 1980s/1990s). As Bendelow's research shows, governments were seemingly addressing mental illness through endorsing pharmaceuticals, but really they were pursuing the cheapest (even if ineffective) alternative while generating massive financial revenue from the drug companies producing and selling the drugs. A powerful nexus thus emerged between private industry and government in promoting pharmaceutical solutions to psychological distress. This response was quite contrary to evidence which demonstrated psychological distress as a social problem, which required social solutions more than drugs— as the 1967 World Health Organisation study testifies. This is not to say that mental illness is overly diagnosed— though evidence points this direction— but rather that the social cost of neoliberal policies in causing psychological distress was never addressed. By decoupling mental illness from social restructuring—which has increased poverty, decreased leisure time, and intensified work— the response to people feeling alienated and sad has become individualised. Thus, in the neoliberal social order the person has two options: purchase the drugs or suffer. The scientific research— led by pharmaceutical companies —reinforces and justifies these assumptions. Such is the case that sadness is conceived of as merely "serotonin imbalance" which leads one to viewing the solution as essentially a technical scientific problem. Namely: how do we manufacture a drug that corrects this chemical imbalance? Problems of a social nature are thus de facto excluded. It is these issues of political economy of pharmaceuticals, neoliberal (anti)social policies, and the biological based discourse of mental illness that the student film compilation fundamentally fails to address. The lack of structural analysis results in the film being unable to ask crucial sociological questions as to why modern angst and loneliness is now so chronic. This results in it being little more than surface level description of how people feel. Feelings are important, but they are no substitute for institutional analysis of the social context in which peoples emotional experiences are embedded.

Dane Fisher said : Guest Report 11 months ago

The dualism, or mind/body problem, around which discussion centres this week is interesting in examining our own peculiar intuitions about how the mind works. Additionally, it is indicative of a philosophical problem encountered by sociological researchers in establishing an epistemological basis for emotional expression. As Noam Chomsky points out, its curious this remains a matter of contention given how other non-phenomenological research in the natural sciences has progressed. For example, it is taken for granted that a "physical" process such as puberty is a genetically encoded process which does not require a specific social context. In other words, puberty is considered innate. Even though, as Chomsky points out, there is no scientific explanation for why this takes place. But on the other hand, language, which is taken to be part of the "mind" component, is often referred to as "learned". Despite the fact that evidence suggests the shallow experience is too minimal to construct a sophisticated system of language it still remains commonly conceived that language forms under certain social conditions. That is, it is not a physical process. The 'innate theory of language' proposed by Chomsky goes someway to identifying the problematic framing of the 'mind/body' problem. Furthermore, if Chomsky's argument holds that the evidence suggests no categorical distinction between the analytic categories- "mind" and "body" -we might consider interrogating our own intuitions and the intellectual currents underpinning our present study of emotions. For example, why do we often think of depression as an emotion which influences how we experience our daily lives, instead of the reverse? Or, why is it that expressions of happiness manifest as a smile? Or what is anger? These are seemingly simple questions, but a simple explanation is difficult to find. In light of this, I believe we must be questioning not just the empirical evidence of our emotions, but the epistemological frame in which we posit the facts to reach our conclusions. Rethinking 'dualism' is a good start.

Michelle Claude said : Guest Report 12 months ago

What makes a good and bad research question? The more knowledge that a researcher has about a topic allows a more sociological specific constructed question. The more knowledge that a researcher has about a topic prior to conducting analysis, allows a greater sociological understanding about the topic itself. Being able to think about the topic sociologically is important before formulating a question within a sociological field. The greater the scope of understanding that the research has, determines the scope of accuracy that the researcher has to formulate a more specific question. Lack of prior knowledge can lead to making generalisation when formulating questions. This is an example of bad research questions. Generalisations can lead to receiving incorrect information from your subject/s. Generalisations within your question can relate to mistrust from your subjects, which may affect the quality of information that you receive from them, as they may not feel comfortable providing you with accurate information. Clarity of the sociological question is important in order to receive accuracy of true information from the subject/s. Knowing when to use qualitative and quantitative questions in relation to the type of data that you are gathering is also very important when gathering information about the topic and formulating the question. Attached is a short clip from Dr Vermette about an 8 step sociological research process. She explains why it is important for the researcher to understand this process when constructing questions for their subject/s in order to gather accurate data.

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