Social Structure  Interaction

Social Structure Interaction PowerPoint PPT Presentation


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Social Interaction. The way in which people behave toward and respond to one another in a reciprocal manner. Social Interaction as Part of Social Structure. What do sociologists mean when they use the term social structure? the relatively stable patterns of social interaction that characterize hu

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Social Structure Interaction

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1. Social Structure & Interaction

2. Social Interaction The way in which people behave toward and respond to one another in a reciprocal manner

3. Social Interaction as Part of Social Structure What do sociologists mean when they use the term social structure? “the relatively stable patterns of social interaction that characterize human social life” Three levels of social structure: individual level group level societal level

4. Statuses and Roles Status Social position Most interaction in social situations is guided by status Individuals occupy many statuses status set

5. Statuses and Roles status symbols Can signify high or low status, unlike the casual use of the term, which generally refers to symbols of high status only. Lots of expensive jewelry Missing front teeth

6. Types of Statuses Achieved vs. Ascribed Status Achieved Status A position gained through an individual’s own efforts or skill; can be positive or negative Ascribed Status Assigned at birth or based on factors outside of an individuals control; cannot be changed

7. Types of Statuses Master Status Social position that is exceptionally powerful in determining an individual’s identity, often to the point where other statuses are virtually ignored Can also be negative as in the case of stigmas Examples: Johnnie Cochran - African American Lawyer Ruth Bader Ginsburg - Female Supreme Court Justice Can you think of other examples? Priests, sex offenders, drug dealers

8. Statuses and Roles Role Norms associated with a particular status Tell us what to do and what to expect Role is the dynamic dimension of status.

9. Role Strain vs. Role Conflict Role Strain – difficulty performing all of the elements of the role set connected to a single status – especially likely when role sets are relatively complex Role Conflict – occurs when the expectation of the roles for one status clash with the roles associated with one or more of the different statuses occupied by the same person

10. Statuses and Roles Compartmentalization (AKA “role segregation”) Playing different and conflicting roles at different places in front of different people Role Embracement The feeling that one is nothing more than the roles he or she plays

11. Statuses and Roles Role Distance Communicating, verbally or nonverbally, that one is more than his or her role might suggest. Example: “I may be waiting tables, but I’m really an actress.”

12. Statuses and Roles Role Exit – the process by which people disengage from important social roles Involves beginning to doubt the ability to continue in a certain role, the decision to leave the role, rebuilding relationships with others according to different roles, and even learning new social skills Retirement is an important example

13. Nonverbal Communication Communication is a critical part of social interaction Communication is not exclusive to verbal exchange Nonverbal communication includes body movements, gestures, and facial expressions Research estimates that over 90% of the meaning of our messages is communicated nonverbally (Mehrabian)

14. Theoretical Perspectives on Social Interaction Symbolic Interactionism Focuses on people’s behavior in face-to-face social settings Herbert Blumer argued that people do not respond directly to the world around them, but to the meaning they bring to it e.g., I react to the subjective meanings attached to an object not the innate traits of that object

15. Theoretical Perspectives on Social Interaction Social Construction of Reality The shaping of our perceptions of reality by the subjective meanings we bring to any experience or social interaction Society and Reality are socially constructed We can frame a situation in a certain way in order to sell our construction of the reality to others – can be thought of as “spinning” a specific version of reality

16. Theoretical Perspectives on Social Interaction Communication doesn’t simply allow us to share an understanding of reality—it also serves as a means by which we can create reality. Importance of communication in creating reality seen in the translation of meaning between languages. KFC’s slogan, “Finger-lickin’ good,” when translated into an equivalent phrase in Chinese, came out as “eat your fingers off.”

17. Theoretical Perspectives on Social Interaction The Thomas Theorem Situations that are defined as real are real in their consequences. Reality is “soft” when it is being shaped, but it becomes “hard” in its effects.

18. Theoretical Perspectives on Social Interaction Ethnomethodology The study of how people socially construct their everyday world and give meaning to their experiences and interactions Seek to discover the hidden rules in social interaction Examples: When someone asks “How are you doing?” How do you respond? Do you go into great detail in answering? Why or why not?

19. Theoretical Perspectives on Social Interaction Dramaturgy Uses the analogy of a theater performance to understand the process of social interaction Individuals are social actors and we construct our reality through role playing Social interaction is a cooperative process that requires people to understand and play their roles properly For example, How do you behave when you enter an elevator? Do you make a point of introducing yourself to other riders? Why or Why not?

20. Factors Affecting the Interaction Process Impression Management Strategies we use in an interactive setting to provide information and cues that will lend a positive portrayal of self Self-Fulfilling Prophecy Your expectations of others lead them to behave in ways that confirm the expectations

21. Self-Fulfilling Prophecy

22. Theoretical Perspectives on Social Interaction Conflict Theory Those who wield power shape the social construction of reality Through control over important institutions and the information that is disseminated, elites direct people’s perceptions on issues and situations Examples: the issue of welfare in America, the War in Iraq

23. Theoretical Perspectives on Social Interaction How would functionalists view social interaction? What would they focus on?

24. Two interesting examples of social interaction in the United States: “Civil inattention” – what might also be called “politely ignoring” What do you say when people ask, “How are you?” Are you honest? Why or why not? Interaction in Everyday Life: Some Examples

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