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Microsociology: Individuals, Interactions, and Identities
Lynn Appleton

PROGRAM DESCRIPTION: This four-part lectures series invites the attendee into one of the major subfields of sociology: social psychology. Sociology and psychology share the discipline of social psychology, and the sociological perspective on this field examines how the behaviors, thoughts and emotions of individuals are shaped by their social environment and large-scale societal forces.  Some sociologists call this "microsociology," thereby distinguishing it from the "macrosociology" that looks at how social institutions like marriage, religion, or the economy affect one another or how societies affect one another or are affected by world systems.

Microsociology brings the study of social institutions, and social change into the analysis of identities, attitudes, temperaments, and tastes. It invites us to wake up and see the thousand small ways in which we have been shaped by the big but invisible social world structures while we believed that we were making choices and acting freely. It asks us to develop the skill of looking around and seeing the countless small ways in which that world is still reaching out to shape us. It requires that we see ourselves as an endless work in progress rather than completed entities in stasis. We will develop a better understanding of the sociological imagination and how it can be used to make sense of what sometimes seems senseless and make nonsense out of what is seemingly sensible 

1. To be human is to be weird: The many ways in which being human differs from what our culture tells us.
2. To be emotional is to be social: Far from being a connection to our animal nature, our emotions are a connection to our social biography.
3. To be is to have been and to become:  The life course, “stages of life,” cohorts, and how much of our life is shaped by the accident of when we were born.
4. To be true to one’s own self is impossible: The illusion of the self, as it is essential to the individual and sustained by the social.
BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION:  Dr. Lynn Appleton (Ph.D. University of Chicago) is Chair of the Department of Sociology  at Florida Atlantic University (FAU).  Her current research is on the therapeutic disciplines, with a particular focus on their connection to social, economic and political structures.

Time: 1:00 pm - 2:45 pm
Date: Mondays, October 26; November 2, 9, 16
Location: Barry and Florence Friedberg Auditorium, Boca Raton Campus
Fees: Member advance registration - $37
Door price member/non-member - $55

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