SOC 1100 Chapter Notes - Chapter 5: Ethnomethodology, Impression Management, Sym Motors

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10 Aug 2016
Week #2 – January 13-15th, 2015
Chapter #5: Social Interaction – page #110-127:
Social interaction involves people communicating face-to-face, acting and reacting in relation
to each other
The character of every social interaction depends on people’s distinct positions in the
interaction (statuses), their standards of conduct (norms), and their sets of expected
behaviours (roles)
Humour, fear, anger, grief, disgust, love, jealously, and other emotions colour social
interactions, however, emotions are not as natural, spontaneous, authentic, and
uncontrollable as we commonly believe
Various aspects of social structure influence the texture of our emotional life
Nonverbal means of communication, including facial expressions, gestures, body language,
and status cues, are as important as language in social interaction
Feminists emphasize how status differences between women and men influence social
interactions; conflict theories focus on how the competitive exchange of valued resources
affects social interaction; and symbolic interactions stress how people interpret, negotiate,
and modify norms, roles, and statuses in the course of social interactions
Feminist Theory, Emotions, and the Building Blocks of Social Interaction:
A few years ago, a researcher and his assistants eavesdropped on 1200 conversations of
people laughing in public places. When they heard someone laughing, they recoded who
laughed and the gender of the speaker and listener
They found that women laugh more than men do in everyday conversations and the biggest
discrepancy in laughing occurs when the speaker is a woman and the listener is a man
Social interaction involves people communicating face to face or via computer and acting
and reacting in relation to other people. It is structured around norms, roles, and statuses
Status refers to a recognized social position an individual can occupy
Roles are sets of expected behaviours
Norms are generally accepted ways of doing things
Emotion Management:
An external disturbance causes a reaction that people presumably experience involuntarily
Feminists argued that emotions don’t just happen, they’re managed
When people manage their emotions, they usually follow certain cultural “scripts”
individuals usually know the culturally designated emotional response to a particular external
stimulus and try to respond appropriately
If they don’t succeed in achieving the culturally appropriate emotional response, they are
likely to feel guilt, disappointment, or something much worse
Emotion management involves people obeying “feeling rules” and responding appropriately
to the situations in which they find themselves
People have conventional expectations not only about what they should feel but also about
how much they should feel, how long they should feel it, and with whom they should share
those feelings
Norms and rules govern out emotional life
Emotional Labour:
Emotional labour is emotion management that many people do as part of their job for which
they are paid
Jobs that require emotional labour entails people spending a considerable part of their
workday dealing with other people’s misbehaviour, anger, rudeness, and unreasonable
They spend another part of their workday in what is essentially promotional and public
relations work on behalf of the organizations that employ them
In all these tasks, they carefully manage their own emotions while trying to render their
clientele happy and orderly
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