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Chapter 1

SOC 107 Chapter Notes - Chapter 1: Kinesics, Proxemics, Mental Disorder

Course Code
SOC 107
Melanie Knight

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Culture and the Organization of Everyday Life
Chapter 1 (Page 5 – 31)
*Culture: The complex whole which includes knowledge, beliefs, art, customs, morals, and any
other capabilities and habits acquired and shared in common by the members of a society. A
group’s culture provides a blueprint for living which transmitted to future generations
Cultural Expectations: Broad and widely shared cultural rules that reflect mutually help
assumptions about proper and conventional behaviours in different social context
*Kinesics: A field inquiry in the social sciences in which people’s communication through body
gesture and posture is studied
Micro sociological investigation: Social science research that centers attention on the ways in
which people’s daily, face-to-face communications are organized
Nonverbal Communication: Any of the modes of communication (such as gesture or facial
expression) other than verbal language
Personal Distance: The space maintained between a person and others during most routine
interactions (such as conversations with friends). In American society personal distance is
between 1.5 and 4 feet
Process of interpretation: The internal dialogues people have with themselves about the
meanings of their own or others’ behaviours in various acting situations.
NOTE: The ones with a *are probably the most important ones to understand.
The terms are also listed in alphabecal order
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*Proxemics: A field of inquiry in the social sciences in which the rules that govern people’s use
of space in their everyday relations are studied
Social Bonds: the connections of individuals to their societies that create feelings of loyalty,
belonging, and integration
Social Distance: The space maintained between a person and others during such casual
gatherings as cocktail parties. In American society social distance is between 4 and 12 feet.
Social Structure: The totality of social institutions such as government, the family, and religions
which influence how individuals behave in a society.
Symbolic Interactionist Perspective: A theoretical perspective in Sociology that focuses
attention on the processes through which people interpret and give meanings to the objects,
events, and situations that make up their social world
Territoriality: The space which individuals or groups feel they “own.” Groups will take
measures to protect their territory from “invaders.” Studies of animal groups show that they too
operate within territories which they protect from outsiders
Mental illness is a social construction
oWhat does it even mean to be sane or insane
oHow is that we can factor the information and split them into categories like being
sane or insane
oHow do you even prove your sanity?
“Definitions of mental disorder are culture-bound; what is labeled crazy in one society or
social context may be seen as a perfectly normal in another – or possessed, extraordinary,
saintly, inspired by the holy spirit.”
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