Social structure and social interaction


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Brief overview of Social Structure and Social Interaction from Chapter 4 of our readings.

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  • The way in which society is organized into predictable relationships, patterns of social interaction (the way in which people respond to each other). These patterns etc, are to some extent independent of the particular individual, they exert a force which shapes behavior and identity. We already know the vast influence of values and beliefs that culture places on society – Influences can have personal implications, but also have farther reaching, larger impacts on groups of people.
  • Sociologists use 2 approaches to study social life. Macro focus on broad social structures and Micro focus on small face to face.
  • Social structure and social interaction

    1. 1. Social Structure and Social Interaction
    2. 2. Sociological ApproachesMacrosociology  Large-Scale Features of Social LifeMicrosociology  Focus on Social InteractionBoth Approaches Necessary
    3. 3. The Macrosociological PerspectiveExamine the framework of society – how all the pieces fit togetherSocial Structure  Our guide for interactions  Our location, our place, guides our behavior  Culture  Social Class - Snickers?  Social Status – ascribed, achieved, master, and status symbols  Roles  Groups  Social Institutions
    4. 4. Social InstitutionsSociological SignificanceTen Social Institutions in Industrialized Societies  To be explored in detailMass Media as an Emerging Social InstitutionComparing Functionalist and Conflict Perspectives
    5. 5. Social InstitutionsComparing Functionalist and Conflict Perspectives  Functionalist  Replacing Members  Socializing New Members  Producing and Distributing Goods and Services  Preserving Order  Providing a Sense of Purpose  Conflict Theorist  Powerful Groups Control Institutions  Preserve the status quo, power and privilege  Feminist sociologists – gender relations
    6. 6. What Holds It All Together?Social Integration – Emile DurkheimMechanic SolidarityDivision of LaborOrganic Solidarity
    7. 7. The Microsociological PerspectiveFace-to-face interactionsBehavior and Approach towards life  Stereotyping - Boys  Girls  Personal space  Eye contact  Facial expressions and body language
    8. 8. Dramaturgy
    9. 9. The Social Construction of RealityOur own subjective reality  Josh Bell in the Metro  Up in the AirThomas Theorem  How does stereotyping play out?  Using a famous quote known as the Thomas theorem, we can begin to understand the potentially damaging effects of stereotypes: "if [people] define situations as real, they are real in their consequences." In other words, when people accept stereotypes as true, then they are likely to act on these beliefs, and these subjective beliefs can lead to objective results.
    10. 10. Social Structure ActivityThink about 3 or 4 statuses you occupy  Are they achieved or ascribed or master statuses  Do you display status symbols, what are theyWhat roles do you play within each status  Are there any conflicts between the rolesThink about the larger institutions where these statuses are located  What are the functions of these institutions (how do they hold society together)  Which institution exerts the most influence on your life  Are there conflicts among the institutions
    11. 11. Lens AssignmentThink about the different grand perspectives sociologists use to analyze and evaluate the social world – macro and microIt may be easier to select one perspectiveFrom the macrosociological perspective, look for different components of social structure (class, status, roles, institutions) and describe how they may be analyzed within the photographFrom a microsociological perspective, look for evidence of Goffman’s Presentation of Self in Everyday life and describe “the stage,” roles, and impression management.