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Chapter 4

SOC100 - Chapter 4 - From Social Interaction to

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University of Toronto St. George
Arnd Jurgensen

Chapter 4 – From Social Interaction to Social Organization Theory, Emotion, and the Building Blocks of Social Interaction - Women laugh more than twice as often as men do, even when a man speaks and a woman listens - Men are more likely than women to engage in long monologues and interrupt when others are talking - Men are less likely to ask for help or directions because it implicate a reduction in authority Simple gender and male/female conflict Social Interaction – Involves people communicating face to face or via computer, acting and reacting in relation to other people, it is structured around norms, roles, and statuses - Laughter is seen as a gender difference, those who get more laughs are higher in power than those in laugh, which is why the class clowns in schools are always male Emotion Management - Emotions are like the common cold, they both are an external disturbance which causes a reaction that people experience involuntarily We can’t control our body’s response - Feminists found a flaw in involuntary emotional responses, “they don’t just happen to us, we have to control them.” Figure 4.1 on pg. 78 shows this - When people manage their emotions, they follow cultural scripts Emotion Management – The act of obeying “feeling rules” and responding appropriately to situations External Stimulus  Physiological response and initial emotion  Cultural Script  Modified Emotional Response Emotion Labour - Emotion management that many people do as a part of their job Managing according to feeling rules, different rules associated depending on the situation, how we mourn loss, how we express joy, culturally dependent These feeling rules are how you manage emotions, like how you wouldn’t just yell something randomly about something that could be pissing you off or something The job necessitates emotional labour, people do it as part of their job and at which they are paid Conflict Theories of Interaction Competing for Attention - The longer a one-sided conversation persists, the more neglected you feel - A large part of all conversations involves a subtle competition for attention John: I’m starving. Mary: Oh, I just ate. John: Well I’m hungry, I need to eat.. Mary: When did you last eat? In the end, the conversation focuses on John, meaning that he essentially has more power. - Charles Derber recorded 1500 conversations in family homes, work places, restaurants, classrooms, dormitories and therapy sessions, he concluded that North Americans try to put the conversations toward themselves, a typical conversation is a competition for attention and both sides need to receive some or it goes nowhere Symbolic Interaction Is social interaction ALWAYS a competiton? - People act in ways they consider fair even if it doesn’t maximize their personal gain Some people engage in altruistic or heroic acts where they gain nothing and risk much - Selfishness and conflict are not the only bases of social interaction - When people behavior altruistically, they interact with others based on norms they have learned How do people learn these norms, roles, and statuses? George Herbert Mead said you take the role of another, see the other’s perspective - According to Mead, we interpret other people’s words and nonverbal signals to understand how they see us, and we adjust our behaviour to fit their expectations, thus we adjust our image Symbolic Interactionism Goffman’s Dramaturgical Model Erving Goffman (1922-1982) Canadian born, earned a B.A at UofT People are social actors who manage their identities to create desired impressions from their audience (like actors) Social interactions are similar to being in a play (Defined Roles, Front Stage, Back Stage) - When you’re in public, you’re in the front stage - If there are no roles, some American scientists argue that society would cripple and breakdown Symbolic Interactionism, example: Education Specific roles: Professor, teacher, student, etc. - The back stage role is essentially the true self, where there is no image that is being projected or acted upon, it is the private life Role-distancing – Involves giving the impression that we are just going through the motions and that we lack serious commitment to a role Working at McDonald’s but want people to think more of you Singing in a choir, but want people to think you don’t just sing, or you do other activities Verbal and Non-verbal Communication - Human beings are better translators than computers are because they understand the context of the situation Both social and cultural context - Same words can have different meanings in the context, it’s all dependent This is why machines work best when they involve themselves in machine-based work like oil factories or other things Facial Expressions, Gestures, and Body Language - The face alone is capable of 1000 distinct expressions reflecting the whole range of human emotion - A combination of separate gestures gives out body language which tells a message - Different cultural expectations can lead to huge misunderstandings For example, it was considered rude in Japanese to say “no” until recently, so they had to say “yes” as a lie and conceal the word itself - Nodding could mean yes to us, but it could mean no to someone else, vice versa to them as well - The “intimate zone” varies from culture to culture, for us it’s 0.5 metres, others it’s 1.5 metres, social zone is roughly 1.5 metres to 3.5 metres Statues cues – Vi
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