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6. Social Interaction --Nov 5.docx

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Sociology 1021E
Secil Erdogan

1 SOCIAL INTERACTIONS IN EVERYDAY LIFE SOCIAL STRUCTURE of SOCIAL INTERACTION Social structure guides our interaction. Social Structure is a guide to everyday living. We rely on social structure to make sense of our everyday lives.  Involves people communicating face to face or via computer and acting and reacting in relation to other people  Is structured around social institutions, statuses, roles, and norms  Complex sets of ideas, arrangements, beliefs, statuses, and roles  Each performs a crucial social function that another cannot  Can be found in all human societies in one form or another. (ie. Macrostructure—Religion; but not all societies have the same religion)  social institutions provide the hard landscape for social interaction WHAT IS SOCIAL STRUCTURE? Social structure is a pattern of predictable relationships among individuals or groups in society that changes only slowly- all of which give direction to and set limits on behaviour. It is the way in which society is organized into predictable relationships or patterns of social interaction (the way in which people respond to each other). These patterns are to some extent independent of the particular individual, they exert a force, which shapes behaviour and identity. Unlike psychology; which is the study of individual behaviour, sociology is the study of groups. But, it is more than that- it is the study of the RELATIONSHIP among different individuals and groups in our society. AND, it is the study of THOSE RELATIONSHIPS between groups or individuals in society that are PATTERNED- or repeat themselves.  The social institutions and other social organizations that guide and/or force human behaviour  EG. The legal justice system provides a great deal of structure to what you can do day to day 2) What are the COMPONENTS OF SOCIAL STRUCTURE? FOUR COMPONENTS 1) Status 2) Roles 3) Groups 4) Social Institutions  STATUS: ‘Status’ is any position occupied by an individual in a social system. 2 --refers to a recognized social position an individual can occupy (each person occupies many statuses) ie. Mother, daughter, sister, professor, student, etc. Every individual can and does hold many statuses simultaneously. A person who is female, thirty years old, married, a university graduate and a real estate agent holds several statuses. These traits are respectively that individual’s sex status, age status, marital status, educational status and occupational status. The combination of all such statuses is a person’s status set. Ascribed status- inherited or receives involuntarily. Such factors as race, gender, and social class are examples of ascribed statuses. Achieved status- earned or accomplished voluntary. It is based on effort made through individual choices. Positions in society such as friend, spouse, or president are earned. Achieved statuses can be either positive or negative. For example, a positive achieved status would be a high school graduate; a negative achieved status would be a high school dropout. Each status provides guidelines for how people are to act and feel Status symbols (cues) are signs that identify a status. Status symbols can be either positive or negative. Examples of status symbols are wedding rings, military uniforms, badges, and gang attire. Master status: a status that cuts across and is more dominant than other statuses. Examples of master statuses are race, gender, extreme wealth, and physical disability. Statuses come with built in norms or expected behavior. Sometimes there is a contradiction between statuses. This is called status inconsistency. For example, a fourteen year old college student. The status this teenager has while at class is different from the status he/she would receive from parents and friends.  A person’s overriding public status  How a person is described publically (Obama –president)  b) ROLES  “expected behaviours” based on a status you have  We have multiple status (status set) and therefore multiple roles (referred to as a role set)  Entire cluster of roles attached to a single status is called a role set  Ie. Status –Subway employee. Role –make sandwiches Roles are another component of social structure. Roles refer to socially prescribed behaviours, obligations, and privileges attached to a status. We play a different role for each status we occupy. A ROLE is a cluster of behavioural expectations associated with some particular social position within a group or society. 3 Status- is any position occupied by an individual in a social system. AND every STATUS has a “role” attached. You occupy a status position as a student, and you also have a ‘ROLE’ to play in the classroom. Your role includes: sitting quietly and listening to me lecture; raising your hand to speak…. All of these things are regular, patterned ways of behaving in the classroom. Thus, your status and social role is an important component to the social structure of this classroom- or the routine, patterned relationships that occur. The purpose of roles is to make us do what society wants us to do. For example, you may not normally wear suits, but you might wear one to a wedding or funeral. Imagine the looks you would get if you didn't. Role set: Each status usually has several roles attached to it-- Doctor as medical professional; Doctor as nurse supervisor; Doctor as instructor to other Doctors; Doctor as medical researcher; Doctor as hospital administrator; Doctor as surgeon. Role model: A person who occupies a status and plays the roles associated with that status in the way that we would like to play them. (Sort of an ideal). Be able to hit the ball like Ted Williams or Mickey Mantle. Role expectations: social norms that define how a role should be played. (What is an English Professor supposed to teach? How are children expected to behave in front of company?) Role performance: actual role behaviour--- how well we actually play the roles we have. Role conflict: Difficulties that occur when incompatible expectations arise from two or more social positions (statuses) held by the same individual. For example; a priest hearing confession--- a man comes in and confesses to killing the President of the U.S. Here, two different roles, associated with two different statuses-- (priest's confidentiality vs his role as a responsible citizen to report a crime to the police) have two roles, which are in conflict. Role Strain: occurs when incompatible role demands are places on a person in a single status. Role conflict is when expectations (roles) of TWO statuses conflict, whereas role strain is when TWO roles within ONE status are conflicting. SOCIAL STRUCTURAL EXPLANATIONS: Social structure is a pattern of predictable relationships among individuals or groups in society that changes only slowly- all of which give direction to and set limits on behaviour. Each individual occupies several status’s or positions in the social system; roles or socially prescribed behaviours, obligations, and privileges are attached to each status; the roles we play are partially defined by our groups; or the people with whom we interact together in an orderly way on the basis of 4 shared expectations about each other's behaviour; the ongoing and or
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