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SOC101Y1 Lecture Notes - Impression Management

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Sheldon Ungar

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Professor Robert Brym
DATE: September 23
LECTURE 3: Social Interaction
Why do we choose or choose not to express our emotions?
The way we interact with others is strongly influenced by our emotional state
Ex. Being disgusted, amused or frightened by someone would make us act differently towards
In a recent study, researchers studying 1000 dyad conversations (between two people)
found that a persons social status affected what they laughed at, how frequency they
laughed etc.
Ex. They found that women are more likely to laugh at mens jokes than vice versa, and this was
explained by the fact that in society, women have traditionally been given lower status than men
A status is a recognized position in a social interaction
Status hierarchies are composed of the subordinate and the superordinate
This research proved that laughter isnt a voluntary response- it reinforces social hierarchies
Similarly, we normally manage and control the rest of our emotions- below is the process by
which we do this:
If we dont achieve the culturally appropriate response, were likely to feel guilty
We have conventional expectations about how we should feel, who we share our emotions
with, etc.
Three examples of groups most likely to suppress their feelings are:
the middle class, (because they tend more to work in jobs in the growing service sector of the
women (because of the traditional suppression of women in society and studies show that
nearly half of womens jobs are in the service sector of the economy, and only about one-fifth
of mens jobs)
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