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The Stranger: An Essay in Social Psychology
American Journal of Sociology
Vol. 49, No. 6 (May, 1944), pp. 499-507
Published by: The University of Chicago Press
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2771547
Page Count: 9
You can always find the topics here!Topics: Stranger relations, Social psychology, Social groups, Contour lines, Cultural groups, Second language learning, Social adjustment, Nonnative languages, Language, Shelters
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The cultural pattern peculiar to a social group functions for its members as an unquestioned scheme of reference. It determines the strata of relevance for their "thinking as usual" in standardized situations and the degree of knowledge required for handling the tested "recipes" involved. The approaching stranger, however, does not share certain basic assumptions which alone guarante the functioning of these recipes. He has to place in question what seems unquestionable to the in-group and cannot even put his trust in a vague knowledge about the general style of the pattern but needs explicit knowledge of its elements. This entails a dislocation of the stranger's habitual system of relevance. A thorough modification of his schemes of orientation and interpretation and of his concepts of anonymity, typicality, and chance is the prerequisite of any possible adjustment.
American Journal of Sociology © 1944 The University of Chicago Press