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Chapter 6

SOC100H5 Chapter Notes - Chapter 6: Flight Attendant, Nonverbal Communication, Erving Goffman

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Suzanne Casimiro

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Chapter Six: Social Interaction in Everyday Life
Social interaction: process by which people act and react in relation to others
Social Structure: A guide to everyday life
Members of every society rely on social structure to make sense of everyday
situations and frame their lives
Defn: a social position that a person holds
Part of social identity and helps define our relationship to others
Status Set
Defn: all of the statuses that persona holds at given time
Over a lifetime, people gain and lose many statuses
Ascribed and Achieved Status
Classified in terms of how people achieved them
Ascribed Status: social position that is received at birth or assumed involuntarily
later in life
oEx. Being a daughter, a teenager
oMatters of which people have little or no choice
Achieved Status: social position which is assumed voluntarily and reflects personal
ability and effort
oEx. Honour students, athlete, spouse
oIndividual has some choice
Most statuses involve combination of both
Master Status
Defn: status that has exceptional importance for social identity, often shaping
persons life
More important than others
Occupation may be a master status because it conveys information about social
background, education and income
Negative- serious illness may also be a master status
Defn: behaviour expected of someone who holds a particular status
Person holds status and performs role
oEx. Student-> attend class and finish assignments
Roles and statuses vary from culture to culture
Role Set
Defn: number of roles attached to single status
Global perspective shows that the roles of people use to define their lives differ from
society to society
Role Conflict and Role Strain
Role conflict: conflict among the roles connected to two or more statuses
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oExperienced when we find ourselves pulled in various directions as we try to
respond to the many statuses we hold
oResponse to this is deciding that something has to go
Role Strain: tension among roles connected to single status
oCarry out on role at a particular time, while performing roles of another
status at different time and place
Role Exit
Defn: process by which people disengage from important social roles
Defined the process of becoming an ex”- Helen Rose Ebaugh
Process begins as people come to doubt their ability to continue in certain role;
imagine alternatives and decide to pursue new life
Social Construction of Reality
Defn: process by which people shape reality through social interaction
Follows symbolic-interaction paradigm
Social interaction amounts to negotiating reality
Thomas Theorem
Defn: situations we define as real become real in their consequences
Although reality is soft as its fashioned, it can become hard in its effects
Harold Garfinkel
Defn: study of way people make sense of their everyday surroundings
Everyday behaviour rests on a number of assumptions
To see what assumptions we make about reality, we should purpose break the rules
oEx. Taking boyfriends hand from the front
Reality Building: Class and Culture
How we act or what we see in our surroundings depends on our interests
Social background affects what we see
In global perspective, reality construction is more variable
People build reality from surrounding culture
Dramaturgical Analysis: The Presentation of Self
defn: study of social interaction in terms of theatrical performances
status= part in play
role= script (provides dialogue and actions)
presentation of self aka impression management: persons effort to create specific
impressions in the minds of others
obegins with idea of personal performance
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