Midterm Examination, Part B – Essay Question
11:30 a.m. – 12:20 p.m., February 28, 2003
Select one (1) of the following topics and write an essay on this topic. If you use quotes from the readings, please provide the page number.
1. Weber and Mead. In the textbook, Cohen portrays the social action approach of Weber as differing greatly from the praxis approach of Mead. At the same time, there are similarities in how Weber and Mead approach social action and interaction. Explain similarities of the two approaches and, by indicating the limits of these similarities, briefly explain how the two approaches differ.
2. Garfinkel and Goffman. Context and situation are key aspects of the interaction perspectives of each of Garfinkel and Goffman. Explain how each author deals with context and situation and how these are central to their respective sociological approaches. Briefly contrast the differences in how they deal with context and situation.
3. Giddens and Simmel. Both Giddens and Simmel deal with modernity and the self by posing opposites – contradictory forces in the case of Simmel and dilemmas or tensions in the case of Giddens. Explain how a modern individual can construct a self in light of these opposing tendencies.