CHAPTER 5: SOCIAL INTERACTION
Feminist theory, emotions, and the Building Blocks of Social Interaction:
o Women are more likely than men to laugh in everyday conversation, and
men are more likely to engage in long monologues and interrupt when
others are talking and less likely to ask for help or directions (it would
imply a reduction in their authority). Much male-female conflict results
from these differences.
o 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.
Ex. If status refers to a recognized social position an individual can
occupy, higher status people (men in this case) will get more
laughs than lower status people (women) who will laugh more.
o Status, roles and norms all influence social interaction. Roles are sets of
expected behaviours and norms are generally accepted ways of doing
Emotion Management: some scholars think that thinks like laughter and other
emotions are involuntarily—an external disturbance causes a reaction.
Feminists said this was flawed because often women, who are status
subordinates, must control their emotions. They said emotions don’t just
happen, they are argued. When people manage emotions they follow certain
cultural scripts—individuals usually know the commonly designated emotional
response to an external stimulus and try to respond appropriately. Emotion
management (Hochschild) involves people obeying “feeling rules” and
responding appropriately to the situations in which they find themselves. You
feel guilt or disappointment if you don’t succeed in achieving the culturally
appropriate emotional response (ex. “I should have mourned my relative’s death
Emotion labour (Hochschild) is emotion management that many people do as a
part of their job for which they are paid. For example, clerks, nurses and flight
attendants much deal with the misbehavior, anger and rudeness of people as
part of their workday. They manage their emotions while trying to render
people happy and orderly. As the economy shifts to more service oriented jobs,
the market for emotional labour grows.
Emotions in Historical Perspective: our feelings take different forms under
different social conditions, which vary historically. They are neither universal nor
o Grief: the crude death rate helps determine our experience of grief. In
the 1600s with a very high infant and child death rate, people invested
less emotionally in their children so the grief response to their death was
shorter and less intense than ours is now. Now, with much lower infant
death rates and people having fewer children, the experience of grief in a
child’s death is very long and intense. th
o Anger: Industrialization and market growth in the