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Lecture 4

SOCL 2001 Lecture Notes - Lecture 4: Erving Goffman, Thomas Theorem, Eye Contact

Course Code
SOCL 2001

of 5
I. Levels of sociological analysis
a. Macrosociology
a.i. Focuses on broad features of society such as social class and the relationships of
groups to one another; usually used by functionalists and conflict theorists
a.ii. Used to place people in their social class
a.iii. Social structure
a.i.1. The framework of society that surrounds us, consist of the ways that
people and groups are related to one another; this framework gives direction to
and sets limits on our behavior
a.i.2. Refers to the typical patterns of a group
a.i.1.a. Example: relationships between men and women, students and
teachers, etc..
a.i.2. People learn behaviors and attitudes because of their location in the
social structure
a.i.3. What holds society together?
a.i.1.a. Social integration
a.i.1.a.i. The degree to which members of a group or society are
united by shared values and other social bonds; social cohesion
a.i.1.b. Solidarity
a.i.1.a.i. Mechanical
Durkheim's term for the unity that people feel
as a result of performing the same or similar tasks
a.i.1.a.ii. Organic
Durkheim's term for interdependence that
results from the division of labor, as part of the same unit we
all depend on others to fulfill their jobs
a.i.1.b. Division of labor
a.i.1.a.i. The splitting of a group's or a society's tasks into
a.i.1.b. Ferdinand Tonnies
a.i.1.a.i. Gemeinschaft
Type of society in which life is intimate; sense of
togetherness within communities
a.i.1.a.ii. Gesellschaft
Type of society that is dominated by impersonal
a.i.2. Major components of social structure
a.i.1.a. Culture
a.i.1.a.i. Broadest framework to determine what kind of people
we become
a.i.1.b. Social class
a.i.1.a.i. A group of people that rank close to one another in
property, power, and prestige
a.i.1.a.ii. Influences our behaviors, ideas, and attitudes
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a.i.1.b. Social status
a.i.1.a.i. Status
Position someone occupies in a social group
Part of the basic framework of living in society
Provides guidelines for how we act and feel
a.i.1.a.ii. Status sets
All statuses and positions that you occupy
a.i.1.a.iii. Ascribed & achieved statuses
Involuntary position one receives at
birth or later in life
Examples: race, ethnicity, sex, social
voluntary position one earned ,
Example: student, friend, lawyer,
spouse, etc..
a.i.1.a.iv. Status symbols
Signs that identify status
Examples: fancy jewelry, cars, homes,
a.i.1.a.v. Master statuses
Cuts across other statuses that an individual
Ascribed example: sex (gender), race,
Achieved example: :having a successful
invention, winning the lottery, etc… Status inconsistency
Ranking high on some dimensions of social
status and low on others
Examples: 14 year old college student,
40 year old dating a 19 year old, etc..
a.i.1.a.vii. Roles
Behaviors, obligations, and privileges attached
to status
Difference between role and status is you
occupy status but you play a role
Example: your status is being a
daughter or son but your expectation of receiving food
and shelter from your parents as well as their
expectation that you respect them is part of your role
a.i.1.a.viii. Group
People who interact with one another and who
believe that what they have in common is significant
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We belong to a group we yield to others the
right to judge our behavior
a.i.1.a.ix. Social institutions
Standard ways by which society meets its basic
Functionalists perspective
First priority is to survive
No society is without social institutions
Example: cults
5 basic needs
Replacing members
Socializing new members
Producing and distributing
goods and services
Preserving order
Providing a sense of purpose
Conflict perspective
Social institutions do not work together
for the common good
Powerful groups control our social
institutions manipulating them
a. Microsociology
i. Focuses on social interactions
i.1. Social interactions
i.1.a. One person's actions influencing someone else; usually refers to
what people do when they are in one another's presence but also includes
communications at a distance
i.1.b. Primary focus of symbolic interactionalists
i.1.c. Used to understand how those in their social class feel
i.2. Symbolic interactions
i.1.a. Interested in how people view things and how it affects their
behavior and attitudes
i.1.b. Stereotypes
i.1.a.i. Assumptions about the characteristics of a certain group of
i.1.b. Personal space
i.1.a.i. Varies in different cultures
i.1.a.ii. North Americans distance zones
18 inches from our body
Intimate touching
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