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Chapter 7

SOC260 Chapter Notes - Chapter 7: Biopsychosocial Model, A Generation, Erving Goffman

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stephen speake

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Some theoretical assumptions:
1) The social structure of Western societies is made up of connected sets of social relations that privilege
some groups and disadvantage others. Some social relations are: class, gender, age, race, and ethnicity
2) Individuals are constrained to an extent by social structure but still try to exert control over their lives
and have agency
3) Social life is made up of interactions
4) Society is based on conflicting interests and there is an essential conflict between individuals and
constraints put on them by social structure and their desire to act as agents. Conflict is a patterned
feature of relationships
People progress through life by playing diff. roles @ diff. ages
Indivs start aging at birth
Historical time, period, and cohort influence aging
Aging is a biopsychosocial process affected by social contexts, cultural meanings, and social-structural
Age-related life transitions are heterogeneous and marked by social transitions and events
o Two of the central principles of the life-course perspective:
Timing of lives
A concept that involves issues related to social time, the timing of significant
transitions, historical time, and the duration of life events
Historical time
Social timing of transitions across the life course
Synchrony of indiv careers
Life stage at the point of social change
Start, duration, and order of roles and their related age expectations
Lives in time and place
Effect of contextual change caused by a particular historical event on individual
life trajectories
How change affects individual life trajectories
o Substantive birth cohort
Lives in time and place
Geographic location/plcae, generation, gender, ethnicity, race, and class positions that
people are born into
Takes social time into account
Generation: similar to ‘lives in time and place’; used in various ways in the literature.
o Argues previous assessments of generations relied too much on chronological age or biology
o Although generations are based on bio. Birth & death, it’s also based on social interaction.
o A generation = a unique type of social location based on being born in a specific year + and place
+ the socio-political events that happen when a birth cohort comes of age.
o All individuals belong to a particular generation
o Entitlement generation
Generations are important b/c of the sociological relevance of being born @ a particular
historical time in a society. Belonging to a certain generation involves:
Common location in social and historical processes
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