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SOCA01 Final Notes.docx

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Neda Maghbouleh

Chapter 5 Social Interaction Feminist Theory, Emotions, and the Building Blocks of Social Interaction • Research found that women laugh more than men  When woman speaks and man listens, women laugh more than twice as often as men  Even when man speaks and woman listens, women more likely to laugh • Men more likely than women to engage in long monologues and interrupt others talking • Men less likely to ask for help/directions; doing so would imply authority reduction • Many male-female conflicts result from these differences, resulting in arguments • Social interaction: Involves people communicating face to face or via computer and acting and reacting in relation to other people. It is structured around norms, roles, and statuses • Status: Refers to a recognized social position an individual can occupy • Laughter = signal of who has higher or lower status; gets more laughs = high, laugh more = low • Role:Aset of expected behaviours • Norm: Generally accepted way of doing things • Social statuses, roles, and norms all come together as building blocks that structure all social interactions Emotion Management • Emotions don't just us; we manage them • When managing emotions, people usually follow certain cultural "scripts" e.g. culturally transmitted knowledge that playing dead during bear attack gives higher chance of survival • If don't receive culturally appropriate emotional response, feel guilt, disappointment • Emotion management: Involves people obeying "feeling rules" and responding appropriately to the situations in which they find themselves • How we get emotional 1. External stimulus: Bear attack 2. Physiological response and initial emotion: Pulse rate increase, experience fear 3. Cultural script: Learned lying still and playing dead increases chance that bear will lose interest in you 4. Modified emotional response: Still scared, act according to script, which gives hope Emotion Labour • Emotion labour: Emotion management that many people do as part of their job and for which they are paid • Hochschild estimates in US, ~1/2 jobs women do and ~1/5 men do require e.l • More women than men do emotion labour b/c typically better socialized to take caring and nurturing roles Emotions in Historical Perspective • Growth of economy requires more emotion labour, turning into commodity; decreases ability to experience emotions spontaneously and authentically • Feeling rules taken different forms under different social conditions: Grief: During 1600s in Europe, infant mortality rate high, parents became less emotionally invested in children. Grief and mourning response became less intense and shorter. As time passed, life expectancy increased, parents became more emotionally invested in children. Anger: 19 century, growth of competitive markets led to "heartless" world. Anger control became important for harmonious household; became an important labour relations goal. Child- rearing advice manuals stressed importance of teaching children how to control anger. Disgust: Manners in Middle Ages seen as disgusting by current standards. Feelings changed; required more self-control as years passed, introduction of forks, nightdress, handkerchief. Good manners usually defined who had power and who lacked it • Emotions are not universal nor constant; have histories and deep sociological underpinnings Conflict Theories of Social Interaction Competing forAttention • Maintaining interaction and a relationship requires that both sides' need for attention is met • Turn-taking is one of basic norms that govern conversations • Large part of all convos involve competition for attention e.g. talking about what ate • Conflict theory suggests that social interaction involves competition over valued resources e.g. attention, approval, information, money • Competitive interaction involves people seeking to gain most socially, emotionally, and economically while paying the least Variants of the Conflict Theory of Interaction • Exchange theory: Holds that social interaction involves trade in attention and other valued resources  Argues that all social relationships involve literal give and take  When people interact, exchange valued resources (pleasure, approval) or punishments • With payoffs, relationships endure and can give rise to various organizational forms; without payoffs, relationships end  Also endure when punishments are exchanged • Rational choice theory: Focuses on the way interacting people weigh the benefits and costs of interaction. Interacting people always try to maximize benefits and minimize costs.  Chance of relationship enduring increases if provides interacting parties with payoffs  Payoffs make social order possible, but unequal payoffs mean trouble  The greater the inequality of payoffs, the greater the chance of conflict and lead to breakdown in the interaction Power and Social Interaction • Many emphasize that when people interact, their statuses often arranged in hierarchy • People on top enjoy more power: capacity to carry out one's own will despite resistance than those on the bottom • Domination vs. cooperation  Domination: Mode of interaction in which nearly all power is concentrated in the hands of people of high status. Fear is the dominant emotion.  Cooperation: Basis for social interaction in which power is more or less equally distributed between people of different statuses. Dominant emotion is trust.  Between the two is competition: Power is unequally distributed but degree of inequality is less than in systems of domination. Envy is important emotion. • Mode of interaction in organization strongly influences its efficiency or productivity  e.g. punishment is a far less effective motivator than is reward • In competitive mode, subordinates receive more benefits incl. prestige and money  Both are strong motivators than threat of coercion is; if boss pays workers reasonably, will work more efficiently than slaves  Most efficient workers are those who enjoy their work and identify with employer Symbolic Interaction • Selfishness and conflict not only bases of social interaction • When people behave fairly, they are interacting with others based on norms they have learned  Norms say that should act justly and help people in need, even if cost is high • People learn norms by first "taking the role of the other"; seeing self from other point of view • According to Mead, we interpret other people's words and signals to understand how they see us and we adjust behaviour to fit their expectations about how we should behave  During this, we learn norms and adopt roles and statuses Goffman's DramaturgicalAnalysis • Dramaturgical analysis: Views social interaction as a sort of play in which people present themselves so they appear in the best possible light  "All the world's a stage, and all the men and women are merely players" • From Goffman's pov, people constantly engage in role-playing  Use props, set gestures, and memorized lines e.g. server in restaurant • Everyone plays on many front stages in everyday life; several different roles • Role-distancing: Involves giving the impression that we are just "going through the motions" but actually lack serious commitment to a role  Due to embarrassment, not "true" self e.g. only working at McDs to make extra money • Onstage, people engage in "impression management"; try to differentiate self from others Ethnomethodology • The study of how people make sense of what others do and say by adhering to pre-existing norms  Social interactions could not take place w/o pre-existing shared norms and understandings Facial Expressions, Gestures, and Body Language • Most researchers believed facial expressions of six emotions are similar across culture: happiness, sadness, anger, disgust, fear, and surprise • Critics argue that facial expressions not readouts of emotion, but serve as social motives and determined by presence of an audience e.g. smiling to conceal anxiety • Distinguish 4 zones that surround us 1. Intimate zone: 5 meters from body; for people with whom want intimate physical contact 2. Personal zone: 0.5 to 1.5 meters from body; reserved for friends/acquaintances 3. Social zone: 1.5 to 3.5 meters away from body; other than handshake, no physical contact 4. Public zone: 3.5 meters or more away from body; distinguish a performer or speaker Status Cues • Status cues: Visual indicators of a person's social position • Can degenerate into stereotypes: Rigid views of how members of various groups act, regardless of whether individual group members really behave that way • Stereotypes create social barriers that impair/prevent interaction Chapter 8 The Mass Media The Significance of the Mass Media WhatAre the Mass Media? • Print, radio, television, and other communication technologies. The world mass implies the media reach many people. Media signifies that communication does not take place directly through face-to-face interaction. • Communication via mass media usually one-way, one-sided; few senders, many receivers • Members of the audience cannot exert much influence on mass media, can only choose to tune in or tune out • Tuning out = difficult b/c excludes us from styles, news, gossip, entertainment most people depend on for social interaction; few want to be cultural misfits • We filter, interpret, and resist what we see and hear if it contradicts our experiences and beliefs Causes of Media Growth 1. The Protestant Reformation • 16 century, Catholics relied on priests to tell what was in Bible • 1517, Martin Luther protested certain practices in Church; wanted people to develop more personal relationship with the Bible • Within 40 years, Luther's new form of Christianity, Protestantism, estab. in half of Europe; millions of people were encouraged to read • Bible became first mass media product in West and best-selling book • Technological improvements in papermaking made diffusion of Bible and other books possible; printed book enabled widespread diffusion and exchange of ideas • Books are durable; many electronic storage media became obsolete after few years (e.g. floppy disk), but books still published today 2. Democratic movements • 18 century on, countries demanded and achieved representation in government • Citizens wanted to become literate and gain access to previously restricted centres of learning • Democratic governments depended on informed citizenry; encouraged popular literacy and growth of free press • TV becomes political influence (e.g. presidential debates); redefined very nature of politics by being able to judge candidates by how well they look on TV • Politicians began hiring "image consultants"; use of "negative advertising" even though voters did not approve, it is effective 3. Capitalist industrialization • Modern industries required literate and numerate workforce; also needed rapid means of communication to do business efficiently, mass media turned out to be major source of profit Theories of Media Effects Functionalism • Daily ritual of reading newspaper unites secular world like prayer united Christian world • Four functions: 1. Coordinating the operation of industrial and post- industrial societies 2. Important agents of socialization; families relinquished right to transmit norms, values, and culture  Mass media reinforced shared ideals of democracy, competition, justice, etc. 3. Social control; mass media help ensure conformity via TV; reinforces idea about who deserves punishment and who deserves reward; reproduce moral order 4. Provides entertainment; give us pleasure, relaxation, and momentary escape from tension Conflict Theory • Functionalism exaggerates the degree to which mass media serve the interests of the entire society • Maintains that there are two ways in which dominant classes and political groups benefit from mass media 1. Mass media broadcast beliefs, values, and ideas that create widespread acceptance of structure of society including its injustices and inequalities 2. Ownership of mass media is highly concentrated in hands of few and is highly profitable • Thus, mass media are source of economic inequality • Five multimedia giants in country: CTV, Rogers, Shaw, CBC/Radio Canada, Quebecor Inc. Media Bias 1. Advertising: Revenue from many TV stations comes from ads by large corporations; advertisers try to influence news reports 2. Sourcing: News agencies rely heavily for info on press releases, news conferences, etc. organized by large corporations and govt. agencies; usually slant info to reflect favourably on policies and preferences 3. Flak: Govt. and big companies attack journalists who stray from official/corporate points of view InterpretiveApproaches • Two-step flow of communication: Between mass media and audience members involves a) respected people of high status and independent judgement evaluating media messages b) other members of the community being influenced to varying degrees by these opinion leaders  Because of two-step system, opinion leaders filter media messages • People are not empty vessels into which the mass media pour a defined assortment of beliefs, values, values, and ideas • Instead, audience takes active role in consuming products of mass media; they filter and interpret messages in the context of their own interests, experiences, and values Feminist Approaches • Mass media portray women in stereotypical fashion; audience recognizes and accepts stereotypes as normal and natural • It reinforces existing gender inequalities • Many women/people of racial minorities have challenged misrepresentations e.g. music artists Domination and Resistance on the Internet Access • Access is not open to everyone; in Canada, households that are richer, better educated, urban, and younger are most likely to enjoy internet access • Not distributed globally; many underdeveloped regions have connection rates in single digits Content • Top search engine = Google, YT, Fb, Yahoo most visited sites • Media imperialism: Is the domination of a mass medium by a single national culture and the undermining of other national cultures • US is the world's biggest exporter and smallest importer of mass media products • Internet not only restricts access and promotes American content, but also increases power of media conglomerates • Media convergence: The blending of the World Wide Web, television, and other communications media as new, hybrid media forms e.g. TV shows available online • On cell phones, can surf the web, send email, watch videos, etc. Culture Why Nobody Knows Anything • Example: Fishing, casting line out; catch fish = hit, no fish = miss  Random chance  Similar to media market strategies; singers, films, etc. = like fishing • Categories: supposed to be hit but wasn’t, supposed to be hit and was, wasn’t supposed to be hit and wasn’t, wasn’t supposed to be hit but was  Able to predict which categories movie/song will fall into? • Popular songs aren’t good; songs that are believed to be good are popular • Because success is unpredictable; something in the background; quality is unrelated Why Things Become Popular • Connoisseurship (Adler): addiction goods/acquired tastes; the more people know about it, the more they like it • Information Cascades: bandwagon effect/herd behaviour; rely on other people’s tastes, want to assume that taste can be standardized
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