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Chapter 5

Sociology Chapter 5.doc

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Ungar, Shelly

Sociology Chapter 5- Interaction and organization -How could Germans murder so many people in WW2, why did victims going to concentration often not fight back? -non-sociological reason: Nazis were evil, sadistic, or deluded enough to think Jews and other undesirables threatened existence of Germans, therefore in their mind the innocents had to be killed Sociologist emphasizes 2 other factors: 1. Structures of authority tend to render people obedient Ex. Milligram- experimenter expectancies from notes. People were to administer shock every time person gets wrong answer, they didn’t know that this person was an actor, encouraged by testers to do so even though didn’t want to, allowed to stop at anytime, but most continued to shock at high levels -experiment shows that structure of authority is introduced, we are inclined to obey those in power -even if authority structure is new and highly artificial, if we are free to walk away from in without penalty, if we think that remaining in it is causing pain to others -Actions and inactions of German citizens become more understandable if no more forgivable 2. Bureaucracies are highly effective structures of authority -Nazi’s were bureaucratically organized therefore more effective -Bureaucracy: large, impersonal organization composed of many clearly defined positions arranged in hierarchy - has permanent, salaried staff or qualified experts and written goals, rules, and procedures -staffs always try to find ways of running organization more efficiently -efficiency: achieving goals at least cost -jobs were broken down to many for Nazis to be more efficient -factors account for variations in Jew victimization rates across Europe in WW2 1. Bureaucratic organization- more Jews killed where bureaucracy was best organized 2. Why did Jews sometimes not fight back, b/c they had few resources to do so -Jews with resources did fight with Nazis -only in camps where Jews lacked means of resistance is where they fearfully complied -Social Interaction: involves people communicating face to face, acting and reacting in relation to other people -Structured around 3 elements: each person engaged in SI tend to adhere to specific norms or generally accepted ways of doing things, each person acts according to demands of particular role or set of expected behaviors, each person assumes certain status or recognized pattern in interaction -social groups: clusters of people who identify with each other and adhere to defined norms, roles and statuses -usually distinguished from social categories: people who share similar status but do not identify with each other -primary groups: norms, roles, statuses agreed upon but are no set down in writing -SI leads to strong emotional ties, extends over long period , involves wide range of activities -results in group members knowing each other well, family is most important primary group -Secondary groups: larger and more impersonal than primary group -creates weaker emotional ties, extends over shorter period, involves narrow range of activities -results in most group members have mostly acquaintance relation with each other ex. This class -bureaucracy is secondary group Three modes of social interaction -Three ways of maintaining socialization and therefore cementing society: by means of domination, competition, and cooperation Interaction as competition and Exchange -maintaining interaction and maintaining a relationship required needs of both parties for attention is met E.g. don’t like to be neglected from a conversation, don’t like to talk to people who monopolize conversation -Derber: North Americans usually try to turn conversation towards themselves, in ways that go unnoticed -also ways conversations are not winner-take all competitions -unless both people in 2 way conversation receive attention, interaction likely to stop -follows conversation involve exchange of attention -attention is only one resource people trade during social interaction, can also trade pleasure, approval, prestige, information and money -Exchange Theory: social interaction involves trade in values resources is central insight to this theory -Rational Choice Theory: variant to Exchange theory focuses less on resources being exchanged than on way interacting people always weight benefits and costs of interaction -RCT says interacting people try to maximize benefits and minimize costs -everyone wants to gain most of their interaction, socially, emotionally, and economically at lowest cost -some types of interaction cant be explained by exchange and rational choice theory Ex. People act in ways that are fair even if it doesn’t maximize self gain, or people act in heroic ways where they gain nothing -heroes typically report they decide to act in an instant, before chance to consider costs and benefits -respond to cries for help based one emotion and not calculation -when people behave fairly or altruistically, are interacting with others based on learned norms that say they should act justly and help people in need even if there are costs to this -Norms like this are ignored by social exchange and rational choice theory, they say norms are like “norm of reciprocity”- do to others what they try to do for you, b/c if you don’t, they will stop doing things for you -interaction not all selfish, can’t assume what people want because norms are not presented to us fully formed. We do not mechanically accept them, instead norms, roles, statuses are constantly negotiated and modified as we interact with others Interaction as impression management Impression management: manipulate way they present themselves so they can appear in best possible light - Medical students do this to be judged competent by teachers and patients -Jack Haas and William Shaffir: study of professional socialization- students adopt new medical vocabulary and wear lab coat to set themselves different from patients -ex. Try to model themselves after doctors who have authority, hide ignorance through medical talk -by doing this, reduce distance from b/w premedical selves and role of doctor -when finish school, have reduced distance so much they no longer see difference b/w who the are and role of doctors -this study is application of symbolic interactions, SI regards people as active, creative, and self- reflective -exchange assume what people want, Symbolic internationalist argue people crate meanings and desires in course of social interaction -symbolic interactions based on 3 principles: 1. Human beings act toward things on basis of meaning they have for them 2. Meaning of a thing emerges from process of social interaction 3. Use of meanings by actors occurs through process of interpretation -dramaturgical analysis: most wide applied symbolic interaction approach, developed by Ervin Goffman -we are constantly engaged in role playing -Most clearly evident in “front stage”- public settings that require use of props, set gestures, memorized lines. Ex. Server in restaurant, what would you like for your meal? -“backstage”- can relax, from front stage performance, and discuss with fellow actors, act like true selves -when we do this its called role distance -even backstage we engage in role-playing and impression management, less likely to notice though -implication of dramaturgical analysis is that there is no single self, just ensemble of roles played in social contexts -emphasizing how social reality is constructed in course of interaction, symbolic intera
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