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Lecture 14

SOC 1101 Lecture Notes - Lecture 14: Urban Renewal, Proletariat, Bourgeoisie


Department
Sociology
Course Code
SOC 1101
Professor
Liam Kilmurray
Lecture
14

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Social Structure, Social Interaction and Collective Behaviour
Macro-level Analysis: an approach in sociology which emphasizes the analysis of social
systems and populations on a large scale, at the level of social structure
Social Structure: the stable pattern of social relationships (social interaction) that exists within
a particular group or society
- Provides the framework within which we interact with others
- Is essential because it creates order and predictability
- Essential components: social institutions, groups, statuses, roles and norms
- Functional Theory
oSocial structure is necessary because it creates order and predictability in
society
oResponsible for the creation of self-concept
oGives us the ability to interpret the social situations we encounter
- Conflict Theory
oSocial structure may limit our options and place us in arbitrary categories not
of our own choosing
oThe primary social structure in society is economic production – social
structure thus reflects a system of domination among categories of people
like owner – employee (in Marx’s language: bourgeoisie and proletariat)
oCreates boundaries that define which persons or groups will be insiders or
outsiders
-Social Marginality: the state of being part insider and outsider in the social structure
-Stigma: is any physical or social attribute or sign that so devalues a person’s social
identity that it disqualifies that person from full social experience
-Homelessness: is a production both of social interaction and social structure
oAbsolute Homelessness: the condition of people sleep without physical
shelter who sleep outdoors, in vehicles, abandoned buildings or other places
not intended for human in habitation
oRelative Homelessness: the condition of those who have a physical shelter,
but on that does not meet basic standards of health and safety
oMany women and children, adolescents, aboriginal people,
oRelative homelessness is part of the Aboriginal experience, they come from
all walks of life, the live in cities, suburbs and rural areas
-Status Roles: is a socially defined position in a group or society characterized by
certain expectations, rights and duties
oIt exists independently of the specific people occupying it
oStatus does not mean “high” position. It refers to all levels and ranks of
people
oAchieved Status: is a social position a person assumes voluntarily as a result
of personal choice, merit or direct effort (ex. Being married, being a parent,
graduate school, etc…)
oAscribed Status: is a social position conferred at birth or received involuntarily
later in life (ex. Sex and race)
oMaster Status: is the most important status a person occupies. It dominates
all of the other statuses. (ex. Brad Pitt’s status may be his celebrity status)
Is the overriding ingredient in determining a person’s general social
position
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