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Chapter 5

Chapter 5-Social Interaction

13 Pages

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Sheldon Ungar

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Chapter 5 Social Interaction the creation of a novel way for people to communicate face to face or via theSocial interaction computer acting and reacting in relation to each other As is generally the case social interaction was structured around specific statuses roles and normsEX hiring stewardesses flight attendants to help boost the airline business The structure of Social InteractionStatus refers to a recognized social position an individual can occupy a person can have many statuses A status set is the entire ensemble of statuses that are occupied by an individual Ascribed status is an involuntary status Achieved status is a voluntary status Master status is the status that is most influential in shaping his or her life at a given timeRoles are sets of expected behaviour We occupy statuses but we also perform roles Role set a cluster of roles that are attached to a single status Norms social interaction requires norms or generally accepted ways of doing thingsNorms may be prescriptive or proscriptivePrescriptive norms suggest what a person is expected to do while performing a particular roleProscriptive norms suggest what a person is not expected to do while performing a particular role Role conflict occurs when two or more statuses held at the same time place contradictory demands on the person EX working as an air attendant requires being away from home but being a mother and taking care of the family requires a person to stay close to homeRole strain occurs when incompatible role demands are placed on a person in a single statusWhat Shapes Social Interaction norms roles and statuses are the building blocks of face to face communication these building blocks structure their interaction Our emotions are not as unique involuntaryand uncontrollable as we are left to believe Underlying the turbulence of emotional life is a measure of order that and predictability governed by sociological principles Roles norms and statuses require a sort of social cement to prevent them from falling apart The Sociology of EmotionsLaughter and Humour Robert Povine 2000 and his research assistants eavesdropped on 1200 conversations of people laughing in public places such as shopping malls He found that speakers laugh more often then listeners do 798 percent vs 547 percent of incidentsWomen laugh more than men do in everyday conversations But men get more laughs from their audience then women do In social situations where people of different statuses interact laughter is unevenly distributed across the status hierarchyPeople with higher status get more laughs and people with lower status laugh morewhich is perhaps why class clowns are usually boys Laughter is often a sign of dominance or subservience If status equals enjoy a privileged position in the larger society they often direct their humour to perceived social inferiors Members of disadvantaged groups tend to laugh at the privileged majority or at themselvesEmotion ManagementWe can and often do control our emotions to suit certain situationsWhen we manage our emotions we tend to follow cultural scripts we usually know the culturally designated emotional response to a particular external stimulus and we try to respond appropriately a boy repressed his grief over his grandfathers death so as not to appear asa sissy In front of his classmates Involves people obeying feeling rules and responding appropriately to the situations in which they find themselveso The norms of our culture and expectations of people pattern our emotionsEmotion management involves people obeying feeding rules and responding appropriately to the situations in which they find themselves She stated that emotion management involves people obeying feeling rules and responding appropriately to the situations in which they find themselves We have conventional expectations about what we should feel but also how much we should feel and how long we should feel it and with whom we should share our feelings withWomen are expected by society to focus on feeling than action men focus on action more than feelings More middle class than lower class people are employed in service occupations in which the management of emotions is an important part of the job Hence they are more adept at suppressing their own feelings Emotional stimulationpsychological emotional responsecultural scriptmodified emotional response Emotion Labour is emotion management that many people do as part of their job and for which they are paidTeachers sales clerks nurses and flight attendants must be experts in emotion labour They spend a lot of time dealing with other peoples misbehaviour anger rudeness and unreasonable demands All jobs requiring emotion labour allow the employer to exercise a degree of control over the emotional activities of employees Emotions in a Historical Perspective Social structure impinges on emotional experiences in many waysStatus hierarchies influence patterns of laughter Cultural scripts and expectations of others influence the way we manage our emotions and personal lives The growth of the economys service sector requires more emotional labour turns it into a commodityand decreases the ability of people to experience emotions spontaneously and authentically Grief the crude death rate describes our experiences with grief In the 1600s life expectancy was only 35 years and many infants died at birth or in their first year of life So the grief response to the death of children was shorter and less intense than ours is the mourning period was briefer and people were less distraught But as health conditions improved and the infant mortality rate fell over the years society began developing more emotions towards childrenAlso with industrializationwomen were having fewer babies and as emotional investment increasedgrief response to the childrens death intensified and lasted longer Anger Industrialization and the growth of competitive marketsturned the family into an emotional haven from a world that was perceived as heartless
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