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Invitations to sociology: constructing classroom introductions

  • Author / Creator
    Wagner, Alecia Lynn
  • This thesis focuses on a temporally-limited “slice” of the Introductory Sociology course as one way into thinking about how the discipline of sociology is constituted by the same kind of social relations it studies. Invitations to sociology are conceptualized using Goffman’s interactionist theory insofar as these events initiate social relationships between students and instructors that come to discursively constitute the discipline itself. I observed the first two lectures of the course, conducted semi-structured interviews and analyzed syllabi from a convenience sample of five instructors located at two different universities in a mid-sized Western Canadian city. Using a constructivist epistemological frame I offer four interpretations of discursive subject positions that capture participants’ understandings: Client, Engaged Learner, Service Provider, and Sherpa. These subject positions and social relationships highlight the constructed nature of an invitation to sociology while exploring the ideological elements of a social event that normally reside beyond discursive boundaries.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    2011-06
  • Type of Item
    Thesis
  • Degree
    Master of Arts
  • DOI
    https://doi.org/10.7939/R39H63
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
  • Language
    English
  • Institution
    University of Alberta
  • Degree level
    Master's
  • Department
    • Department of Sociology
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
    • Gotell, Lise (Women's Studies/Sociology)
    • Golec, Judith (Sociology)
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • Golec, Judith (Sociology)
    • Carson, Terrance (Secondary Education)