Individuals are placed, generally at birth, in a status – sex, race, ethnicity, age,
and so on – that they cannot escape.
Some statuses are achieved by individuals.
Achieved statuses in modern Western society might include being a spouse, a
sociology major, a college graduate, a chamber of commerce mem ber, a
lawyer, or a convicted mass murder.
These are all positions in the social structure that individuals achieve for
themselves (through, as in case of the convicted mass murderer, not always
Formal organizations come into being when groups of people band together
to achieve a specific goal (for example, to make money for stockholders or to
provide a specific service to the community) and formalize their
relationships with one another.
One of the most prevalent types of formal organizations is the bureaucracy.
The bureaucracy, according to Weber, is one of the more important
manifestations of the trend toward the rationalization of life.
One or more individuals with whom we share some sense of identity or
common goals and with whom we interact within a specific social structure.
Cooley was particularly interested in how humans become socialized – that
is, how they are taught to be functioning members of social groups.
Cooley believed that the most important kinds of socialization took place in
primary groups like the family and friendship groups.
In such primary groups, people learn the rules of social life and cooperation.
Sociology class is a secondary group
Secondary relationships tend to be means-to-an-end relationships.
What is important is your status, not your personal characteristics.
Gender can be a master status. Ex. Students viewing a female professor
rather than just a professor, they are treating the gender as a master status.
In their minds, gender affects expectations about how she oughts to and will
play her role and how they ought to and will respond.
An individual’s race or ethnicity can also be a filter through which other
statuses are perceived. Example: “an African- American doctor”. You can
assume that racial and ethnic statuses influence people’s perceptions of
The sum total of expectations about the behavior attached to a particular
social status. Role Conflict
Not only are some combinations of statuses perceived as inconsistent, but
the actual demands of their roles can clash.
A social status is simply a position that a person occupies in a social
In modern Western societies, there is a wide variety of social statuses.
These include family statuses, occupational statuses, social class statuses.
The habitualization would come as no surprise to a sociological observer.
In their analysis of human interaction, sociologists Peter Berger and Thomas
Luckmann explained the transformation of behavior into routine.
An institution is an accepted and persistent constellation of statuses, roles,
values, and norms that respond to important societal needs.
Attributes of Institutions
Agents of Socialization
Socialization is the process by which people acquire cultural competency and
through which society perpetuates the fundamental nature of existing social
The self evolves continually as it interacts with a variety of agents of
socialization, including the family, schools, peers, and the workplace.
Anna and Isabelle Compared
Cooley-Looking Glass selves
Cooley emphasized that the social self arises through interaction with others.
According to Cooley, based on our perception of how others see u s, we
develop our reflected or looking-glass selves. (A looking glass is a mirror)
The Social Self
Cooley’s idea of the so