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Chapter 6

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University of Guelph
SOC 1100

thChapter 6 Sept 27 2012Central concept of this chapter is social interactionSeveral important sociological conceptsSocial Structure StatusIn every society status is one of the building blocks of everyday lifeStatus is part of the social identity and helps define our relationships to othersStatus SetEach of us holds many status at one this being defined by the term status setStatus set changes over the course of lifeOver a lifetime people gain and lose dozens of statusesAscribed and Achieved StatusSociologists classify statuses in terms of how people obtain themAscribed statuses are matters about which people have little or no choice in contrast is the achieved statusPeople have somewhat of a choice in the matter of an achieved statusIn practice most statuses involve some combination of both ascription and achievement ascribed status affects achieved statusMaster StatusSome statuses matter more than othersIn most societies gender also is included in master statuses as well as diseaseWe sometimes dehumanize people with physical disabilities by perceiving them only in terms of their disabilities this includes people that are too tall fat skinny etcRoleA person holds a status and performs a roleBoth statuses and roles vary by cultureIn every society actual role performance varies according to an individuals unique personalityRole SetBecause we hold many statuses at once a status set everyday life is a mix of multiple rolesThe roles people use to define their lives differ from society to societyRole Conflict and Role StrainPeople in modern highincome nations juggle many responsibilities demanded by their various statuses and rolesWe experience role conflict when we find ourselves pulled in various directions as we try to respond to the many statuses we holdOne response to role conflict is deciding that something has to goEven roles linked to a single status may make competing demands on usOne strategy for minimizing role conflict is separating parts of our lives so that we perform roles for one status at a timeRole ExitThe process by which people disengage from important social rolesThis process begins as people come to doubt their ability to continue in a certain role
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