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SOC101Y1 Lecture Notes - Mortality Rate, Social Status, Common Cold

Course Code
Robert Brym

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SOC101 (Lecture #3)
Sept. 29th, 2010
Social Interaction
Social interaction strongly influenced by our emotional state act
differently depending on the way in which we feel
Speakers laugh 50% more then the listener, women tend to laugh twice
as often as men do (gender distribution of laughter fits a general
pattern; a status)
Status: is a recognized position in a social interaction
In every interaction we have status hierarchies; in social situations,
laughter is typically unevenly distributed
Social structure underlying laughter, often a symbol of dominance or
subservience in a relationship
People in privileged positions often direct their laughter towards those
who are lower in hierarchy (socially marginal, powerless groups;
reinforce social hierarchy)
Many jokes enable us to reinforce social hierarchies, they influence
who laughs, who gets laughed at, & what the consequences are
In the case of laughter and common cold often believe that these
external disturbances that cause a reaction are experienced
involuntarily (they just happen to us)
We can, and often do, control our emotions
External stimulus > physiological response & initial emotion >
cultural script (what were supposed to do) > modified emotional
response (not just an involuntarily reaction, modified by what is
Emotion management how people manage their emotions, involves
people obeying certain behaviour rules; the way that they should
respond (we share conventional expectations about what we should
feel, how we should feel it, how long, who we should feel with)
Different categories of the population have different feeling rules
Women, middle-class, Protestants cultivate their feelings, men more
likely to express emotion
Emotional Management: Involves people obeying feeling rules &
responding appropriately to the situations in which they find
Emotion Labour: is emotion management that one does as part of
ones job & for which one is paid.
All jobs require some amount of emotional labour; those that require
much -allow the employee through training to exercise control over
their emotions
Emotional labour is increasingly important on the job, more and more
people have been selected and hired for their skill in emotion labour
Emotion labour becomes a commodity, the way workers express their
feelings are governed by the places in which they work
Emotion labour decreases peoples ability to express emotion
involuntarily and genuinely
Peoples emotions have changed over the course of history, the way we
experience certain things is not the way in which our ancestors did
Crude death rate: annual # of deaths per 1000 people in a
Rate: the frequency with which an event occurs in a given time span
per population unit.
For ex. People invested less emotionally in their children during the
Middle ages, people were less distraught over the loss of a child; as
health conditions improved and the rate of death amongst infants
declined, emotional investment in children increased & the period of
mourning increased (due to the fact that the crude death rate & infant
morality rates have decreased)
Calculating a rate: (TEST)
Population A Population B
N= number of people in a population at a
given time. M = number of marriages in
the population over a given period. The
marriage rate = (N/M) * 1,000. That is,
you divide the frequency of an event (how
often it occurs in a given time span, such
as a year) by the size of the population
and multiply by 1,000 to find the rate of
the event per 1,000 people. Multiply by
100 to find the rate per 10,000 people.
N- # of people in the population (4782)
M - # of marriages that take place in a year (12)
How to compare populations? The # of marriages in population A are
put over the population size
Pop. A: (12/4782 = .0025094) .0025094 x 1000 = 2.5
Pop. B: (3/613 = .0048939) .0048939 x 1000 = 4.8
*Higher Education, Top 12 Countries (How would you calculate the rate
of top universities in each country?)
What was acceptable in the Middle Ages amongst higher societies, is
no longer acceptable in today’s society (we say its unacceptable)
17th cent. Europe: Modern political state emerged, centralized
governments took over large areas of land, loyalty had to flow to the
central authority in society, increased discipline in life people began to
develop a standard of behaviour
People became more disciplined, polite, & regimented in their
Good behaviour defined who had power, & who didnt
Signified power that was distributed in a certain way
Parties involved in the interaction have to get something out of it, if
they dont, then they will lose interest
Patterned social interaction persists when the parties of interaction
both get something out of it, when pleasure, etc are exchanged OR
social interaction will not go on for long
A lot of social interaction involves giving and receiving valuable
resources; try to compete for attention, give less to receive more from
the conversation try to re-focus attention on yourself, someone
eventually concedes)
People often want to gain the most from social interactions, while
paying the least
Why does social interaction take place? What is the glue that holds
society together? -We bother interacting with other people because we
get something out of it, however; we have to give something too
People sometimes act in ways that they consider fair, or just, even if it
doesnt maximize their personal gain
For ex. Leaving tips people do things because they are considered fair
or just
People doing altruistic acts: heroes typically report that when they
decide to commit an act of altruism they do so in a split second; they do
not think about what they may gain, they act instantly