Sample Journal Entries

Typification and prejudice

The word prejudice has certain connotations which are bad. Its true meaning, however, according to the dictionary is : "judgment formed before the facts are all known."

Typification, on the other hand, is usually based on past observations. One cannot call something typical the first time it is observed. For a classification to arise 2 things must have something in common.

A quick comparison here would show that prejudice and typification are separate and different. A sameness is present, however.

I will discuss racial prejudice since it is the most common usage of the term. Racial prejudice (RP) usually arises out of one of 2 causes, I think. Either it is learned from parents or a single experience during the life of a person begins his "prejudice." These could both be considered a previous observation just as a single burn on the stove makes a young person typify heat as a "pain maker."

Typification is necessary in the world, but its application to humans is sometimes undesirable.

Self Typification vs. Others Typification

I don’t think it is always who typifies you but how they do. A football player wants to be known as a super jock but not as a dumb jock.

Being typified is being classified. Being classified is being put into a group. It is probably not so important what the characteristics of the group or its members are as it is that you are a member. Other people are willing to call you one of them. You aren’t an outsider.

Question: why doesn’t man like to be an outsider?


Back to Prejudice: Schutz: "As I or others whom I trust have experienced and interpreted it." Parents for example?

Tastes and smells, typification of… coming soon

If one lives up to the expectations of his role, he typifies himself. No way out! } from Schutz.


People often need excuses to "socialize." By socialize I mean such things as sitting together and talking when they really don’t know each other. It is rare that a person will just stop somebody or sit with someone in the cafeteria openly admitting that they want someone to talk to. Very often a ridiculous statement or conversation takes place to give each party a chance to feel out the situation. TO BE CONTINUED.

Early 1980

When I’m hiding behind a wall, laying in wait, with the intention of scaring a friend, I’m in a precarious position. The longer it takes for the friend to get there, the more precarious my position. I know the situational definition and my friend will (once I jump out) but

  • others may think my actions are funny
  • s/he may not show up at all and I’m left standing there.

I’ve taken a risk but it fell through. Here is the time for me to try to avoid embarrassment, but why? And how?

Feb 80

What is a distraction? Things you can do on the side that are not necessarily considered distractions (* means questionable)

  • Picking at your nails (*)
  • occasional scratching
  • eating (at meal times)
  • listening to the stereo (but not a concert)
  • moving part of the body, but not squirming
  • smoking
  • doodling (* — within limits)
  • humming (but not during a conversation)
  • petting a cat on your lap but not looking at it constantly
5 Aug 87

I’ve just returned from Europe. We’re driving around Clinton, NY one afternoon. Dan Chambliss explained to me that "All Things Considered" was "National Public Radio’s news show." I was a bit offended and insulted and wanted to say that of course I know that and that I’ve been listening for years." Later that week I am listening and I laugh when I hear that the local station’s tag line is "The Intelligent Alternative." They knew exactly which of my insecurities to appeal to.
16.6.87 Project Idea: practicing and rehearsing. Swimming, running, boxing, football, baseball, theatre, film, grad school, military, music, debutantes, EMTs, What are the issues? Is entire performance practiced or just parts which are later put together? How do performers get called upon to do their stuff? Scheduled performance as in theatre? Offense/defense as in baseball or football? Tryin to determine such things (military). Technique vs. Mindset. "Don’t think, just shoot!" "Follow orders always." "No brain, no pain." What percentage of what is involved in performance are things that are available to anyone? Role of the coach? In music, are different types of work practiced differently? Flying an airplane. Simulators. Doing it first with someone experienced and taking over gradually. …

14 Oct 88

After Goffman. Perhaps what is interesting is not why some things are funny, but rather why so many things are not. Why is life full of things that are (or rather, why do people (want to) believe that most of life is) "no laughing matter"?

24 Dec 95

What are the structural conditions for the development of "elegant" standard operating practices (of the kind we admire in, say, German post offices or various trades)? Possible factors:

  • high volume
  • independence of activity area – or a zone of authority in which coordination is possible
  • hoops, training, access control over who gets to practice the trade
  • low turnover
  • practitioner identity (e.g., as craft or profession, etc.)
  • surveillance or oversight that can see how things are being done
14 Sept 97

Presumptuousness. Impudence. Think how upset people get about these. What is the source (of the upsetting quality)? Samples: Catholic school teachers outraged by pupil’s "impudence." A form of social blindness. Military member who crosses line, acts familiar. "Permission to speak freely, sir" — doing so without permission. Kissing someone you don’t know that well. "Taking liberties." Suggesting something that isn’t "next" in the progress of getting to know someone or something (as when a trainee wants to do something that is not appropriate for someone at his/her stage). It’s a form of intrusion or boundary crossing. Shows that the world is not just two sided boundaries. Stratifications of the life world. There is a difference between being on the wrong side of a two-sided boundary and strata hopping in which it is not just failing to recognize that there is a boundary, but also not seeing the distance and sequence (cf. Binary, nominal, ordinal and ratio scales in social research.)

19 Oct 97

One afternoon, I look longingly toward the pool. It was covered when I came by earlier and so I thought it might be closed. The cover had some kind of label on it that I couldn’t read. I wondered if there might be some sort of chemical or biological problem. Later I see people in the pool area, but they are all women. I actually wonder whether men are allowed. Is there a locker room? Would there be one for men? Where is the entrance anyway? Somewhere in that building past the bookstore?

Sitting in the Tea Shop I am convinced that my maleness shows. I’m just sitting and eating but I’m sure everyone wonders who I am (egoism plus self consciousness – not a good mix). They probably don’t even notice. I ordered a club sandwich and it came with fries. I bet myself that everyone notices that the guy is eating meat and greasy french fries. I’m a little relieved when I see a young woman at the next table eating the same thing. I didn’t even order them, they just came with. Earlier, as I was looking at the menu, I found myself feeling self-conscious about what I would order. I was starved and had definite cravings and anti-cravings, but I wondered what it would look like. I don’t like my desperation for food or need to eat showing. I have a brief moment of "empowerment" when I think that no one notices anything.. These folks are on a study break and are ordering all manner of junk food. I’ll blend right in.