Chapter 4 - Chapter 4 Social Structure and Interaction in...

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Chapter 4 Social Structure and Interaction in Everyday Life I Social Structure: The Macrolevel Perspective At the macrolevel, the social structure of a society has several essential elements: social institutions, groups , statuses, roles, and norms. -Functional theories- emphasize that social structure is essential because it creates order and predictability in a society. Social structure- the complex framework of societal institutions (economy, politics, religion) and the social practices (rules, social roles) that make up a society and organize and establish limits on people's behavior. Social structure gives us the ability to interpret the social situations we encounter. Schools, Families, Police -Conflict theories- says there is more social structure than is readily visible and that we must explore the deeper, underlying structures that determine social relations in a society. Boundaries define which persons will be insiders or outsiders. Social boundaries - the state of being part insider and part outsider. Immigrants Stigma- physical or social attribute or sign that devalues a person's social identity. Criminal (prison uniform) II Components of Social Structure Structure includes social positions, relationships among those positions, resources attached to each position, groups that make up society, and relationships among those groups. Pg. 112 Figure 4.1 A. Status -Status- is a socially defined position in a group or society characterized by certain expectations, rights, and duties. In a sociological sense status refers to all socially defined positions, high rank and low rank. Ascribed status- a social position conferred at birth or received involuntarily later in life, where the individual has no control over, (race/ethnicity, age, gender) 1
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Achieved status- a social position a person assumes voluntary as a result of personal choice, merit, or direct effort, (occupation, education, income). Some statuses are not the result of desire, (drug addict, homeless). Master status- the most important status a person occupies. This status overrides all the other statuses a person has, (poor or rich) Status symbols - material signs that inform others of a person's specific status. B. Roles -Roles- a set of behavioral expectations associated with a given status. Role expectation- a group's or society's definition of the way a specific role ought to be played. Role performance- how a person actually plays the role. Role performance does not always match role expectation. Role conflict- when incompatible role demands are placed on a person by two or more statuses held at the same time. Role strain- when incompatible demands are built into a single status that a person occupies . Pg. 119 Figure 4.2 Role distancing- people consciously foster the impression of a lack of commitment or attachment to a particular role and merely go through the motions f role performance. Role exit-
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This note was uploaded on 04/19/2008 for the course SOCIOLOGY 101 taught by Professor Hall during the Spring '08 term at Mt. San Jacinto College.

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Chapter 4 - Chapter 4 Social Structure and Interaction in...

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