Are social circles real? Rather, are they a good abstraction which allows us to make useful models/predictions about people in society as large? What would it mean for them to be meaningful? Well, I suppose I think we can say that a group exists as a useful category if it encompasses a particular set of characteristics, and if there is a lot of 'room' between those data points and other areas of significant density in the criteria space. This isn't actually what I'm thinking about..
Environment, especially during childhood, shapes much of what we are. It accounts for the difference we see between different societies, modern and ancient. We may be little genetically different from the Aztecs or the ancient Greeks, but our outlook is vastly different. Societies create roles for people. One seperation that many societies have made is general bases for how women and men are to be. For those that can be reached by society during the formative years, very little control needs to be used to keep people within these categories -- most of our identity is in our memories and our habits. This isn't actually what I'm thinking about either.
What I'm thinking about is how social circles are affected by gender socialization. Are social circles strongly cohesive across genders? Would it be a bad guess to think that for every social group in one gender, there is a corrisponding group in the other gender? Or does the socialization destroy what otherwise likely would be a pattern, and create a new one?
Another thing I've noticed.. Punk society seems to be based on imagery from slavery. Could there be a historical connection? Perhaps it's based on sexual imagery. Is there a connection between repression (sexual repression?) in early childhood and punk culture? Similarly, goth culture seems to be based on imagery related to death, and in some cases also imagery from dated european aristocracy. I wonder if that's a subculture of gothic culture. Is death universal? If so, would that mean that that kind of goth culture, or at least the fascination with death, be something that we might expect aliens to have? Death is necessary, sexual repression is not. Perhaps in that way, Goth is more likely to be universal (double meaning there) than Punk.
Oh, a fun quote I came up with... "The invisible cannot band together". It's about opennness. People who will not admit their wills cannot find allies to advance a common cause.
Brief update on my life: Went to outland again(no work tomorrow), saw Elizabeth (I believe that's her name) again, chatted for quite a while. I don't know if anything could come of it, but she seems nice, occasionally writes for a paper, and seems intelligent. I don't know yet if our personalities would mesh very well. *shrug* Bedtime for me.