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Social Interaction. Groups, Institutions, & Social Construction of Reality. Group V Institution. Group Composed of specific, identifiable people 2 or more people who interact frequently and share a common identity and a feeling of interdependence

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social interaction

Social Interaction

Groups, Institutions, & Social Construction of Reality

group v institution
Group V Institution
  • Group
    • Composed of specific, identifiable people
    • 2 or more people who interact frequently and share a common identity and a feeling of interdependence
      • i.e. families, childhood friends, university classes, work & community organizations, society
    • Primary V Secondary group
group v institution1
Group V Institution
  • Institution
    • A standardized way of doing something
    • A set of organizaed beliefs and rules that establish how a society will attempt to meet its basic social needs:
      • Children are born & socialized, goods & services are produced & distributed, order is preserved
    • i.e. family, religion, education, economy, gov
    • i.e. mass media, sports, science, medicine, military
group v institution2
Group V Institution
  • Family as a Group
    • “your family” or “my family” = a family (grouping)
  • Family as an Institution
    • Ideologies and standardized patterns of behaviour that organize family life = family (social institution)
    • Certain statuses are organized into relationships
      • (husband-wife, parent-child, brother-sister)
social institutions
Social Institutions
  • Functionalist view on Social Institutions
    • Social Institutions perform 5 essential tasks
      • Replacing members
      • Teaching new members
      • Producing, distributing, and consuming goods & services
      • Preserving order
      • Providing & maintaining a sense of purpose
    • All societies require these tasks, yet the institutions in each society perform these tasks in different ways depending on their specific cultural values & norms
social construction of reality
Social Construction of Reality
  • People interpret social interactions in different ways
    • Ethnicity, gender, and social class play a role
    • Varies based on the statuses we occupy and our unique personal experiences
      • i.e. members of the dominant classes regard the poor, unemployed, and working class as less worthy of attention
social construction of reality1
Social Construction of Reality
  • Symbolic Interactionists believe that there is very little shared reality beyond that which is socially created
  • Social Construction of Reality:
    • The process by which our perception of reality is shaped largely by the subjective meaning that we give to an experience
    • Influences what we “see” and how we respond
social construction of reality2
Social Construction of Reality
  • We act on reality as we see it
    • “the definition of the situation”
      • We analyze a social context in which we find ourselves, determine what is in our best interest, and adjust our attitudes and actions accordingly.
  • This can produce a self-fulfilling prophecy
    • A false belief or prediction that produces behaviour that makes the originally false belief come true
social construction of reality3
Social Construction of Reality
  • Reality can be constructed by the dominant group
    • Dominant group members with prestigious statuses may have the ability to establish how other people define “reality”
      • i.e. the media often set the tone for our current opinions about homelessness, teen crime, and what is considered “cool” at the moment via negative or positive news stories