SOC 101 Lecture 3
- Social interaction-> involves communication among people acting and reacting to one another,
either face to face or via a computer.
- Status- recognized social position. The higher the status of a person, the more laughs they get
(found through a sociological experiment to see what kind of people get more laughs)
- Three building blocks that structure all social interaction
o Status- recognized social position. People occupy a status.
o Role- a set of expected behaviours. People perform a role.
o Norm- a generally accepted way of doing things.
- Feminists- among the first sociologists to note the flaw in the view that emotional responses are
typically involuntary. Feminists argue:
Emotions don’t just happen to us; they can be controlled.
Eg- you run when a bear attacks you. You temper your fear with hope.
o How we get emotional
External Physiological Cultural script Modified
stimulus ( Eg. A response and (you have emotional
bear attacks) initial emotion learned that response (still
(your pulse rate lying still and afraid, you act
rises, you feel playing dead according to
afraid) will increase the cultural
your chances of script, which
survival) gives you hope)
o When people manage their emotions, they usually follow certain cultural scripts that
they have learned or heard before. If they don’t succeed, they feel guilty or
disappointed (or dead).
o Emotion management- involves people obeying feeling rules and responding
appropriately to the situations in which they find themselves.
People have conventional expectations about how they should feel at a funeral.
If they don’t feel sad, they feel guilty.
o Norms and rules govern our emotional life
o Emotion labour- what people do as part of their job and/or are paid for. Not to be
confused with emotional management, which people do anyway.
Eg- a teacher having to deal with unruly children, a sales clerk having to deal
with a rude customer. People carefully manage their emotions while trying to
keep their clients or whoever happy.
o Economy turns emotional labour into a commodity - Conflict theories for social interaction
o Conversations are basically about gaining attention. Derber analyzed this.
o North Americans usually try to turn the conversation toward themselves.
o Conflict theory- social interaction involves competition over resources
- Variants of conflict theories for social interaction
o Exchange theory- Social interaction involves trade in attention and other valued
o Rational choice theory- focuses less on the resources exchanged than on the way
interaction people weigh the benefits and costs of interaction. Interacting people try to
maximize benefits and minimize costs.
- Power and social interaction
o When people interact, their statuses are often arranged in a hierarchy – acc to conflict
People on top enjoy more power; they can carry out their own will despite
Domination Competition Cooperation
Level of High Medium Low
Characteristic Fear Envy Trust
Efficiency Low Medium High
- Domination- represents one extreme type of social interaction. Subordinates live in fear. Eg-
gaolers vs inmates.
- Cooperation- other extreme. Power is more or less eq