Chapter 5 – Social Roles, Interaction and Organization
o Presentation of Self in Everyday Life (1959) is Albertaborn Goffman’s landmark
study, which put forward the following:
• The dramaturgical approach: sociological research that utilizes the
methodology of life taking place on a stage with a front stage for public
display and a back stage for personal encounters.
• Impression Management: the term Goffman used to describe the tactics
people employ when presenting themselves publicly.
o A status is a recognized social position that a person occupies.
• It imposes responsibilities and expectations that establish the individual’s
relationship to others.
o Status set is a number of statuses people have
Achieved Status versus Ascribed Status
o An achieved status is a status you were not born into but entered at some stage in
o An ascribed status is a status you were born into such as ‘female’, ‘male’,
o Everett C. Hughes introduced this concept of a master status
o Signifies he status that dominates all other statuses and plays the greatest role in
the formation of social identity
o Statuses ranked from high to low based on prestige and power
o For categories such as gender, race, ethnicity, age, class, sexual orientation, and
physical ability, one category tends to be more highly ranked than others.
Status Consistency and Status Inconsistency
o Status Consistency: when all the status hierarchies line up
o Status Inconsistency: when one status is highly ranked in one status category but
Social Roles o A role is a set of behaviors and attitudes that are associated with a particular
• A status may be associated with more than one role
• Roles attached to a status may differ across cultures
o Role Set developed by Robert Merton (1949), refers to all the roles that are
attached to a particular status
o For example, professors play many roles such as teachers, colleagues, employees,
o Role Strain occurs when there is a conflict between roles within the role set of a
o Role Conflict occurs when people are forced to reconcile incompatible
expectations generated from two or more statuses they hold.
o Role Exit is the process of disengaging from a role that has been central
Introduction to Social Organization
o Social Organization involves the social and cultural principles around which
things are structured, ordered, and categorized.
o Social institutions, such as family, law, religion, economy, are organized in
particular ways that evolved historically.
o Organizational structure is comprised of the organizing principles that are upheld
by shared cultural beliefs and maintained through a network of social relations.
o Organizations are based on understanding and knowledge of the world.
The Study of Organizations
o Increased interest in the study of organizations came about after Weber’s work on
o In the 1980s, the study shifted from the examination of social institutions to that
of business corporations in order to uncover more effective and efficient
o This led to an explosion in the fields of organizational theory and
o During the last 20 years, the study of organizations has expanded by integrating
other approaches such as anthropology and the analysis of crosscultural
organizations. o Critiques of traditional theories of management h