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SOCI 1010 - Status, Roles, Self & Identity (With Practice Questions)

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SOCI 1010
Deborah Davidson

SOCI 1010 Oct. 15 2013 Status, Roles, Self & Identity Approaches Functionalist Macro- sociological approach to understand status and roles, emphasizing their impact as constraints of behaviour Definition Status – Social position held Role – Expected behaviour, acting as the action element of the status. Thus, to maintain a certain status requires the individual to act out the respective responsibilities and norms a certain way. (Ie: As a student, one should be studious and polite) Types of Statuses Ascribed - status an individual is born with (Monarchy, Race/Gender) Achieved - status one achieves through life. (Old age, degree) Status Set - Cluster of statuses, often gets reconfigured during life changes such as marriage or divorce. (Parent & Wife vs. Single Parent & Divorcee) Sick Role - Talcott Parsons - Functional role that entails two rights and responsibilities 1. -sick people are excused from social role on account of being sick, as a sick person is dysfunctional for productivity because they work less and are contagious to those around them. 2. - But, sick people must want to get better, and take whatever necessary options to return to their original state. This responsibility is difficult to apply to cases of chronic or mental illness in which the individual is always sick. (*When workers abuse sick role, it is no longer functional for society*) Conflict – Marxism -challenge dominant/oppressive characterizations of a group of people (Class Identity) - Certain statuses have roles that are oppressive, or cause alienation of individuals Role Conflict - competing roles (Wife vs. Mother) Role Strain - competing demands built into one role (Mother - commit wholeheartedly to kids well-being while maintaining house and all relationships within. Symbolic Internationalism How social actors make sense of their world Origins – George Mead & Herbert Blumer Roles - Malleable social context within which human interaction unfolds (not products of structuring, but agents of social interaction) Types of Roles: ∗ Role Taking - Aligning actions with a particular role ∗ Role Making - Deviating from accepted role actions. (Not all students act the same) Self Most sociologists would argue the self is a fluid and dynamic component, not concrete. Mead – 2 Parts of Self ‘Me’ - Role of the other (object) ‘I’ - Active impulsive component (subject) Cooley – ‘looking glass self’ - Individuals respond in a dramaturgical response, meaning, we act in a way that will reflect what we think others think of us. Identity Definition - Tells the self what it is Based on… 1. Impression Management Impression management is how individuals create and maintain a certain identity, which can be acted out through a role, to fit within a social group. Erving Goffman – Frontstage vs. Backstage (Dramaturgy) 2. Identity Work Innate hierarchy - professor vs. criminal Social identity vs. personal identity - Management of identity (ie. having kids vs. not having kids) Labelling - master status ie: mentally ill, racially marginalized Techniques of neutralization - neutralize a negative status to preserve identity 1. Denial of responsibility 2. Denial of victim 3. Denial of injury 4. Condemn the condemners 5. Appeal to a higher loyalty 3. Constructing New Identities Constructionism revisited – social construction of reality. Different social realities? Example: Pedophiles = "I love Children" Who are the dominant constructions created by? Claims makers – government, protesters media etc. Questions - STUDENT RESOURCES Multiple Choice Questions 1. The concept of identity politics is most closely associated with which school of thought? a) Functionalism b) Conflict theories c) Symbolic interaction d) All of the above e) None of the above 2. The projection of our identiti
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