SOC 1100 Lecture Notes - Lecture 6: Ascribed Status, Thomas Theorem, Role Conflict

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SOC1100 Katy Lemaire
October 6th, 2015.
CHAPTER 6: SOCIAL INTERACTION IN EVERYDAY LIFE
Social interaction: the process by which people act and react in relation to others
STATUS: a social status that a person holds
Status changes over the life course as people’s roles in society change
Ascribed status is a social position that someone receives at birth or assumes
involuntarily later in life, matters at which people have little to no choice about
Achieved status is a social position that someone assumes voluntarily and that reflects
personal ability and effort in which some choice exists
Master status is a status that has exceptional importance for social identity often
shaping a person’s entire life
ROLE: behaviours expected of someone who holds a particular status. A person holds a status
and performs a role.
Robert Merton introduced the concept of role set which identifies a number of roles
attached to a single status
A global perspective shows that roles people use to define their lives differ from society
to society
Role conflict can be defined as conflict among the roles connected to 2 or more
statuses, experience role conflict when we find ourselves being pulled in different
directions
Role tension refers to tension among the roles connected to a single status, sometimes
performing roles attached to even just one status can be strenuous
Even as people move throughout their lives, past roles continue to influence them
CONSTRUCTION OF SOCIAL REALITY: identifies the process by which people creatively shape
reality through social interaction, foundation of symbolic-interaction
The Thomas Theorem: situations we define as real become real in their consequences,
applied to social interaction, his insight means that although reality is soft and socially
constructed, it can become “hard” in its effects.
Ethnomethodology: the study of the way people make sense of their everyday
surroundings. Begin by pointing out how everyday behaviour rests on a number of
assumptions, to uncover reality, one must purposely break the rules.
It is important to note that people construct reality in the context of their cultures
Dramaturgical Analysis: Presentation of the self
The study of social interaction in terms of theatrical performance
Erving Goffman described each individual’s performance as the presentation of self
which is a person’s efforts to create specific impressions in the minds of others
Sometimes this process is called impression managements beginning with the idea of
personal performance
Non-Verbal Communication
Communications using body movements, gestures and facial expressions rather than
speech (body language)
Eye contact is a critical part of inviting social interaction
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