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Lecture 2

SOCL 2001 Lecture Notes - Lecture 2: Anomie, Dalit

Course Code
SOCL 2001
Luke Castle

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Social Interaction and Social Structure 09/22/2014
Social Interaction – process by which we act toward and react to people around us (people influence
other peoples’ behaviors)
Influenced by elements of our social structure – cell phones, social media, our schools, culture, etc.
Social Structure – the patter of behavior that governs peoples relationships (what makes life orderly
and predictable)
Statuses, roles, groups, organizations, institutions, etc.
Status – position that a person occupies in society and could be ranked in social hierarchy that comes
with a set of expectations
Example: college professor, governor, etc.
Ascribed status – inborn status (race, age, gender) – based on attributes the individual has little or no
control over
Achieved statuses – position that we earn (athlete, certain occupation, etc.)
Example: fatness and obesity are body characteristics which are both ascribed and achieved for adults
Not all achieved statuses are what we want to obtain (homeless person, drug addict, etc.)
Status Set – a collection of social statuses that a person occupies
Example: Woman – mother, sister, spouse, school board member, banker, girl scout troop leader, baton
rouge resident, etc.
All of these positions constitute her status set
Master Status – overrides all others in our identities (most highly visible)
Shapes a person’s entire life
Example: A CEO; someone in a wheelchair may be labeled as imperfect rather than getting to know him –
his master status is disability
He could be anything in life but he will always be disabled
Status Inconsistency – occupying social positions that create conflict because of their ranking
Example: a graduate student and a professor at the same time (he wants to be friends with his peers but
they are also his students so he has to be careful)
A skilled welder who stocks shelves at Walmart because he can’t find a better job in the weak economy

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Example Exam Question:
Andrea is an aspiring associate editor or a major publisher. She is single but feels “married to her work.
Last year she received a $50,000 bonus for the excellent work she did in promoting new textbooks
published by her employer. Based on this information, Andrea’s ascribed status is ____ and her achieved
status is ___. (female; associate editor)
Role – behaviors expected of person in a particular status
Role Set – different roles attached to a single status
Role Conflict – two or more roles that conflict
Example: student – worker, student, and daughter  come in for emergency, study for exam, and visit Mom
in hospital
Role Strain – demands among roles within a single status
Example: Student – do well and not make others look bad
Self-Fulfilling Prophecy – Thomas Theorem
“If men define situations as real, they are real in their consequences.
Example: if he or she is told they are a bad student, they then believe it to be true and will not study for
Social Exchange Theory
Maximizing rewards and minimizing costs
Most satisfying when there is balance
Example: wanting a gift of the same value as someone else’s
Online Communication:
80% of adult Americans use the internet
The biggest digital divide is among social classes
The more education you have, the wealthier you are, the more likely you are to use the internet

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Social Groups 09/22/2014
Social group – people who share some attribute, identify with one another, and interact
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