sosiology notes - Chapter 5 Social Interaction and Everyday...

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Chapter 5: Social Interaction and Everyday Life Chapter Review The Study of Daily Life Many apparently trivial aspects of our day-to-day behavior turn out on close examination to be both complex and important aspects of social interaction. An example is the gaze—looking at other people. In most interactions, eye contact is fairly fleeting. To stare at another person could be taken as a sign of hostility—or on some occasions, of love. The study of social interaction is a fundamental area in sociology, illuminating many aspects of social life. The study of social interaction reveals the structure and form of social life. It demonstrates how humans are creative in shaping their social reality. It sheds light on larger institutions and systems. Nonverbal Communication Many different expressions are conveyed by the human face. It is widely held that basic aspects of the facial expressions of emotion are innate. Cross-cultural studies demonstrate quite close similarities between members of dif- ferent cultures both in facial expression and in the interpretation of emotions registered on the human face. There are no gestures or bodily postures that are used in all, or even most, cultures. Gestures convey mean- ings when nothing is actually said. There is reason to believe that there is a gender dimension to both verbal and non-verbal communication. The differences between men and women in power and status are reflected in the patterns of social interactions. Ethnomethodology The study of ordinary talk and conversation has come to be called ethnomethodology, a term first coined by Harold Garfinkel. Ethnomethodology is the analysis of the ways in which we actively— although usually in a taken- for-granted way—make sense of what others mean by what they say and do. Face, Body, and Speech in Interaction Unfocused interaction is the mutual awareness individuals have of one another in large gatherings when not directly in conversation together. Focused interaction, which can be divided up into distinct encounters, or episodes of interaction, is when two or more individuals are directly attending to what the other or others are saying and doing. Social interaction can often be illuminatingly studied by applying the dramaturgical model—studying social interaction as if those involved were actors on a stage, having a set and props. As in the theater, in the various contexts of social life there tend to be clear distinctions between front regions (the stage itself) and back regions, where the act- ors prepare themselves for the performance and relax afterward. Impression management refers to the strategies we use to control the impression others form of us. Sociologists distinguish between ascribed and achieved statuses, as well as master statuses. There are cultural differences with respect to personal space, the physical space that surrounds us and is
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This note was uploaded on 04/17/2008 for the course BIO 101 taught by Professor Schau during the Spring '08 term at North Park University.

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sosiology notes - Chapter 5 Social Interaction and Everyday...

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