Chapters 5 & 6 - Chapter 5 Social Structure and...

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Chapter 5 – Social Structure and Interaction
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2 SOCIAL INTERACTION
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3 Social interaction = the process by which people ACT and REACT in relation to others Our understanding of social reality is literally constructed from our social interactions Remember, face-to-face interaction creates our daily reality How we interact with people is shaped by our perception of their position relative to our own The meanings we ascribe to others’ actions typically reflect: The norms and values of the dominant culture, and Our socialization experiences within that culture The ability to define social reality reflects a group’s power within society We can socially construct reality because situations that are defined as real become real in their consequences ( Thomas theorem)
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4 Social Construction of Reality The process by which people creatively shape reality through social interaction Remember, the foundation of interaction approach is that social interaction builds reality Everyday reality depends on a number of social assumptions One of the best ways to find these out is to purposely break the rules We present ourselves to suit the setting and our purposes Not everyone enters a situation with equal power Participants’ perceptions of events are based on their different interests and intentions Build reality from the culture you know (ex: Westerns)
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5 “I pledge allegiance to the frog of the United States of America. And to the wee puppet For witch’s hands. One Asian, in the vestibule, With little tea and just rice for all.” — How Chinese-American novelist Bette Bao Lord reconstructed the Pledge of Allegiance as a child in Brooklyn (from Newsweek , 6 July 1992)
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6 Dramaturgical performances People live their lives much like actors performing on a stage Presentation of self = a person’s efforts to create specific impressions in the minds of others Performances: dress (costumes), objects (props), how we carry ourselves (demeanor), location (set) Ex: doctor’s office, courtroom, makeup counters
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7 The role of gender in performance Demeanor = the way we act and carry ourselves Powerful people enjoy more personal freedom in how they act (ex: interrupt, swearing, etc.) Women hold eye contact vs. men’s staring Women smile more than men (trying to please) Men tend to touch women (territorial?) Use of personal space = surrounding area over which a person makes some claim to privacy More powerful people get more space Almost everywhere, men intrude into women’s but if a woman intrudes into a man’s it is seen as a sign of sexual interest
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8 Idealization We all try to convince ourselves and others that our actions reflect ideal cultural standards rather than selfish motives Insincere performances uphold cultural ideals
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Chapters 5 & 6 - Chapter 5 Social Structure and...

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