# 4 Social Structure and Social Interaction

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

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Chapter 4 Social Structure and Social Interaction Levels of Sociological Analysis Macrosociology o Focuses on the large-scale features of society o Investigates the effects of large-scale forces on societies o Is used by both functionalists and conflict theorists o Analyzes such things as social class and how groups are related to one another. Microsociology o Places emphasis on smaller social elements o Is concerned with small groups and social interaction – what people do when they come together. o Is used by symbolic interactionists. o Analyzes such things as a person’s relationship with family or friends, where this person spends his or her time and what they do there, how this person divides up money, their language and so on. Macrosociology and microsociolgy yield distinctive perspectives, and both are needed to gain a fuller understanding of social life. The Macrosociological Perspective: Social Structure Social Structure – the patterned relationships between people that persist over time o The sociological significance of social structure is that it guides our behavior. o Social structure tends to override personal feelings and desires o People learn certain behaviors and attitudes because of their location in the social structure The six major components of social structure are culture, social class, social status, roles, groups, and institutions.
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1. Culture o Culture refers to a group’s language, beliefs, values, behaviors, and even gestures. o Culture is the broadest framework that determines what kind of people we become 2. Social Class o Is based on income, education and occupational prestige. o Our social class not only influences our behaviors but even our ideas and attitudes. 3. Social Statuses o Social Status refers to the positions that an individual occupies. (a) Status set – consists of all statuses an individual occupies. (b) Ascribed statuses – are positions an individual either inherits at birth or receives. For example, sex, race, daughter, son, niece, nephew. (c) Achieved statuses – are positions earned or accomplished through at least some effort on the individual's part. For example, spouse, student, priest, friend. (d) Status symbols – are signs that identify a status. For example, a wedding ring or a uniform. They can be either negative or positive (e) Master status – cuts across other statuses an individual occupies. Some are ascribed others are achieved. For example, wealth, and mental and physical disabilities. (f) Status inconsistency – also known as status discrepancy is a contradiction or mismatch between statuses. For example, a 40 year old married women who is dating a 19 year old college sophomore. o
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This note was uploaded on 01/06/2009 for the course SOC 201 taught by Professor Young during the Fall '08 term at Nassau CC.

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

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