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Chapter 6

SOC 1100 Chapter Notes - Chapter 6: Role Theory, Role Conflict, Achieved Status

Course Code
SOC 1100

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Sociology 1100
Chapters 6 Notes
*based off textbook and lecture notes*
1. Social Interaction the process by which people act and react in relation to others
Interaction creates the reality we live in
2. Status a social position that a person holds
Means prestige, example a university president is of a higher status then a newly hired
assistant professor
Status is a part of a social identity that helps define our relationships with others
3. Status Set all of the statuses that a person holds at a given time
We can have multiples statuses, i.e. daughter, sister, student, hockey player
Over a lifetime, people gain and lose different statuses
4. Ascribed and Achieved Status
Ascribed Status a social position that someone receives at birth or assumes
involuntarily later in life, i.e. daughter, Aboriginal person, a teenager
Ascribed statuses are matters about which people have little or no choice
Achieved Status a social position that someone assumes voluntarily and that reflects
personal ability and effort, i.e. Olympic athlete, a spouse, a thief
Achieved status has at least some choice
Most statuses are a combination of ascribed and achieved
Ascribed impacts achieved statues, thus a person with a privileged race or age has more
opportunity to realize desirable achieved statues
Status Set = Ascribed Status + Achieved Status
5. Master Status a status that has an exceptional importance for social identity, often shaping a
persons entire life
Example, occupation could be ones master status
Another example would be societys limitation for women, which limit opportunities
Disease is also a master status
6. Role behaviour expected of someone who holds a particular status, example, as a student you
have to role to attend class and complete assignments
Statuses and roles vary by culture
Role performance varies according to an individuals unique personality, some societies
permit more individual expression of a role then others
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7. Role Set a number of roles attached to a single status
Example, a lady can be a professor, mother, researcher and wife, extended from these,
she has other roles that branch
Global perspective shows that the roles people use to define their lives differ from
society to society, example, in general, in low income countries, people spend fewer
years as students and family roles are often very important to social identity.
8. Role Conflict and Role Strain
Role Conflict conflict among the roles connected to two or more statuses
Experienced when we find ourselves pulled in various directions as we try to respond to
the many statuses we hold
Example, police officer who catches her own son using drugs at home mother and
police officer
Role Strain tension among the roles connected to a single status
One method to minimize role conflict is to separate parts of our lives so that we perform
roles for one status at one time
Example, manager who tries to balance concern for workers with task requirements
office manager
Role conflict arises among roles linked to separate statuses whereas role strain is
tension arising among roles linked to separate statuses
9. Role Exit process by which people disengage from important social roles
Study of exes, examples: ex-doctor, ex-nun
Disengaging from social roles can be very traumatic without proper preparation
1. Doubts forms about ability to continue with certain roles
2. Examination of new roles leads to a tipping point when one decided to pursue a
new direction
3. Learning new expectations associated with a new role
4. Past role may influence new self
10. The Social Construction of Reality
Construction of Reality the process by which people creatively shape reality through
social interaction
The foundation of the symbolic-interaction approach
Social interaction is a complex negotiation of reality: everyday situation involve some
agreement with what is going on, but interests and intentions can affect perceptions,
i.e. family formation
11. The Thomas Theorem situations we define as real become real in their consequences
Thomas insight means that, although reality is soft as it is socially constructed, it can
become hard in its effects
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