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SOC103H1 (103)
Chapter 3

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Lorne Tepperman

Sco 103 chapter 3 - We follow a number of scripts, because we follow a variety of roles o Although our roles and identities play an important part in shaping our behavior, the groups we belong to also have a large influence o Roles are important for the team to function, since leaders are need to unify the team and players are need to carry out the commands of the leader to achieve the group’s goals Classic Studies: Outsiders - in outsiders, Becker sets the groundwork for labeling theory o in explaining this approach, Becker notes the ‘social groups create deviance by making rules whose infraction constitutes deviance and by applying these rules to a particular people and labeling them outsiders’ o deviance is a result of group expelling an individual/subgroup - his analysis of deviance is largely based on his observations of jazz musicians/weed users o he shows how members of these 2 groups are labeled deviant because of their actions o but, he turns the table on this analysis, emphasizing that their outsider status is because of their actions and the way other responds to these actions  people do actions by learning other actions, but once labeled deviant by other, they tend to set themselves apart and develop their own language/patterns of behavior - he stresses a sequential rather than simultaneous model of deviance o he analyses deviance as a process of becoming someone outside the community’s accepted rules o Overtime, the deviant learns social provided reasons for both stating an activity/continuing it.  Initiation (for example) requires a progressively greater commitment to norms and institutions that endow the deviant action with meaning and value o Being labeled a deviant requires interaction/commitment with an outside group and the rejection of views held by the larger society - One of the main points Becker makes is the study of deviance pay as much attention to rule enforcers as it does to rule violators o Why do we label a particular behavior as deviant? Identities, Roles and Role-sets - Social scripts are most closely associated with the dramaturgical approach of symbolic interactionism (Goffman) o Goffman showed that we can understand and think with costumes, scripts, audiences and roles o Of course, social life is not a scripted play. His approach is a useful metaphor about social life  Powerful metaphor that allow us to predict how situations unfold o This approach also helps us explain the sheer fact of social structure  The dramaturgical approach helps to account for other features of the situation that are play like - The social scripts we follow are usually imperfect. They give us the general outlines of what to say and do, but not in details o We need social skills and insight to deduce what behavior is suitable in a particular situation - The roles we play provide us with social scripts: guidelines for what to do and say. Fulfillment of these expectation promotes effective interactions o Breach of these expectation can lead to embarrassment, bewilderment, regret o The social roles we play are the source of our identities  In contrast, symbolic interactionist argues that the social roles we play are the main origin of our identities o In thinking about roles and identities, it’s useful to start the related concepts category and community  Community – group of people who interact and communicate more often with one another and share common interest/values/goals  Membership in the community is important to these people. Thy will almost do anything to say they are in good community standing  As individuals, they belong to demographic categories: men/women, young/old…  People belonging to the same category don’t communicate/ interact with each other merely based on their shared membership in that category o Category mobilization – what social movements are about (women’s movement) - Before the dramaturgical approach, many sociologist explained identity formation with labeling theory(we gain knowledge/understanding of who we are by seeing how other people view or treat us) o Related to labeling theory, looking-glass self is the notion that the way others treat you influence how you treat/value yourself  There are limits to this, as that we don’t absorb all the traits and description that everyone labels us with - He notes that roles and identities are closely intertwined that the 2 almost overlap, as suggested by these concepts o Role embracement – a person willing accepts moth social role and the identity associated with it o Role distance – a person may take on a role but keep their behavior from the identity associated to a particular role separate o Role exit – process a person undergoes when leaving a role (through loss of identity associated to a role) - Interactionist perspective argues that identities are socially determined, based on the social roles we play. According to this theory, we internalized the roles we play so that they become an integral part on our identity - When you face with a new identity (parent), it begins to structure your life, and you know now to take on other roles associated with it o Some roles are clearly defined, especially when they are paired with a particular roles (father-son) - How do roles change overtime? According to interactionist approach, social roles are unlike theatrical roles in that they are not predetermined o Individuals can exercise control over the roles the play - Mead argues that people adopt roles throughout their lifetime in a process he called role-taking. They do so from the people around them (role-taking – the process in which take on existing define roles) - Symbolic interactionist: role adoption is a sequence that is under the control of our own motivations, the motivations of others around us, groups we are trying to part of, culture and society o Central to this process is the learning and use of symbols. In mead’s view, the interaction of roles depends mainly on symbol systems, especially language. Without language, social life would be impossible - Role making is a social process that works through social interaction. People invent new social roles with the assistance and co-op of others o This concept helps us identify a major flaw in the interactionist approach o Part of the problem is that a newly invented role may not have an accompanying status, which provides needed recourses for role-play  Statues – social positions usually associated with roles - Status and roles are closely relates, but not the same things o People play roles to occupy statuses. Status are characterized by certain qualities, duties, privileges o Status stands in a hierarchical relationship to other status
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