Week 5: Reading Sociology Part 3

Estimated Reading Time 00:05:30

Reading Sociology

Part 3: Socialization

Chapter 10: Online Interactions among Men Who Have Sex with Men: Situated Performances and Sexual Education
by Anthony P. Lombardo

This article draws upon Erving Goffman’s notion of “presentation of self“. Researched 23 MSM in the GTA. In the article it also mentioned lots of online-sex websites for anyone interested in this stuff.

Research on men who have sex with men (MSM):

  • Quantitative: risk behaviours among MSM who do and do not seek sex online
  • Qualitative: how men use the Internet in their sexual lives for learning about gay culture and social networking, and their experiences seeking sex online.

Lombardo’s Findings:

  1. Men learn to give “legitimate performances” of self – “presentation of self” appropriate to a given online setting.
  2. Online sex gives possibilities for men to portray numerous and diverse “selves”, each on appropriate to a particular setting.
  3. Goffman’s concepts of “given” and “given off”: just like the heterosexual dating game, you need to present yourself carefully and read the signs of your potential partners carefully.
  4. Online interactions come to be a conduit for sexual education. (Well, schools only teach about heterosexual sex).

Notable Quotes:

Men’s online presentations of selves and interactions were thus “situated” within certain online norms, which the men came to learn as a function of their experiences online.

Anthony P. Lombardo

Chapter 11: The Ecology of College Drinking: Revisiting the Role of the Campus Environment on Students’ Drinking Patterns
by Nancy Beauregard, Andrée Demers, and Louis Gliksman

This article’s technical material is difficult to understand without at least two years of background in statistics. Do they really expect froshies to know what an “estimation of multilevel logistic regressions model parameters relying iterative generalized least squares using a predictive quasi-likelihood method with second order Taylor expansion (PQL02)” is?
Unrelated note: Beauregard == “good looks” in French.


  • Anchored in social practice theory. (More specifically, social norms theory).
  • Subjective perception: your own perception
  • Collective perception: present when social norms are shared by a given group of students exposed to the same normative environment.
  • Drinking is a life choice, made available by life chance.
  • Anthony Gidden’s work: drinking — or any human activity — is comprised of three specific modalities: 1) normative (peer pressure), 2) political (alcohol policies control), and 3) semantic (assumptions about drinking; e.g. 19 shots for my 19th birthday? it’s no biggie).
  • Risk factor: a variable associated with an increased risk of disease (in this case, drinking).


  • Normative: collective but not subjective measures (ie. social acceptance based on drinking) emerged as risk factors.
  • Political: greater risk of drinking when regulations were more strictly enforced.
  • Semantic: no collective effects were found. Individual perceptions that drinking is a meaningful practice and a necessary part of campus life lead students to drink.

Notable quotes:

Research question 1: What is the nature of the pathways characterizing the association between alcohol-related practices on campus and students’ drinking patterns?

Research question 2: Do alcohol-related practices on campus shape students’ drinking patterns from a subjective or a collective level of analysis?

Nancy Beauregard, Andrée Demers, and Louis Gliksman

Chapter 12: Duality and Diversity in the Lives of Immigrant Children: Rethinking the “problem of the Second Generation” in Light of Immigrant Autobiographies
by Nedim Karakayali

Social statistician Richmond Mayo-Smith:

  • Three categories of “whites” in America (in 1894):
    • Native-born of native parentage
    • Foreign immigrants
    • Native-born of foreign immigrants (second-generation)
  • Second-gen immigrants represent “assimilation in the act”


  • Examines two-worlds thesis, focusing on duality, by studying autobiographies
  • People commonly believe that immigrant children are split between two worlds (two-world thesis), but this is not true. In fact second-gens live in many more worlds, with often shifting family dynamics, and dreams to escape this terrible duality that society has been forcing onto them.

Notable Quotes:

The real problem with the two-worlds thesis is not its argument that immigrant children feel caught between two worlds, but its failure to note that this experience follows from the condition of living in a world where most people believe that there are only two worlds. Moreover, to state […] that all the “woes” of immigrant children can be located in the “duality into which they were born” is to miss the point that there is also a desire to escape this duality–a desire for a new identity. The actualization of this desire is no less a “problem” than the experience of being caught up between two worlds.

Nedim Karakayali

Chapter 13: “Even If I Don’t Know What I’m Doing, I Can Make It Look Like I Know What I’m Doing”: Becoming a Doctor in the 1990s
by Brenda L. Beagan

What processes of socialization goes into the making of a doctor?

  • You get used to being treated as a doctor, simply through repetition.
  • They ingrain into you the habit of dressing neatly and professionally.
  • You learn the language of medicine, which “constructs a new social reality”.
  • You are now part of the medical hierarchy and do not question your boss (as long as there’s no direct harm done to a patient).
  • You exercise power over your patients, and you try to avoid overidentifying with them, so that you can make sound, rational judgments.
  • Even though you learn a lot in med school, the real world is still more complicated. Sometimes you just don’t know if a patient is going to make it out OK. But you learn to exude a sense of confidence and know-it-all, and you learn to handle uncertainties of the real world.
  • You receive confirmation of your own identity from your patients, who respect you and listen to everything you have to say.


  • Being a doctor is time- and energy-consuming. After a long day of work, when you go home, do you still have enough energy to play with your kids? Can you still comfort your best friend going through a tough time if you have 16-hour shifts? If you have to cancel a date due to emergency call, does that really make you a good spouse?

Can you resist this socialization?

  • Those most able to resist socialization minimized contact with those in medicine and maintained outside relationships. Also tend to have a strong sense of identity prior to med school.

Notable quotes:

The basic processes of socializing new members into the profession of medicine remain remarkably similar, as students encounter new social norms, a new language, new thought processes, and a new world view that will eventually enable them to become full-fledged members of “the team”, taking the expected role in the medical hierarchy.

Brenda L. Beagan

Creative Commons License
SOC103 Notes by digitalhardhat is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.


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