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The Social Construction of Reality: Roles, Norms, Values & B

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Daniela Galvez

on 15 October 2015

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Transcript of The Social Construction of Reality: Roles, Norms, Values & B

Norms are behavioral rules used to perform roles predictably and acceptably.
(basically, norms are the accepted behavior that an individual is expected to conform to in a particular group, community, or culture, and norms allow you to expect the events that will occur in a particular setting (study.com).)
According to Merton, without order and predictability, behavior becomes risky and confusing.
Goffman argues that norms are more open to interpretation and negotiation than either roles or values.
Meaning they can quickly adapt to changes in the social environment. ((give the teacher example))
What is the Norm? Activity
Give the norm and an example of what would not be the norm (aka deviance) in given situations, like:
Your meeting someone for the first time
Movie theater is not crowded
Someone is talking to you directly
Date at a fancy restaurant
Huge end of the year party
what is the social construction of reality?
Basically, if societies are mental constructions (something humans made up in their heads), than reality is socially constructed.

culture contributes to the social construction of reality
culture is made up of two components: material culture (the physical objects) and non-material culture ( which includes things like knowledge and beliefs valued by a particular culture).
by: Daniela Galvez & Shauna Ghorbani
Period 6
The Social Construction of Reality: Roles, Norms, Values & Beliefs

and since cultural objects have different meanings, then cultural interaction becomes complex.
therefore, to make sense of cultural interaction, society creates common meanings and establishes a structure within which behavior an be played out in predictable ways.
while cultures may develop differently, they are all constructed from the same basic materials: norms, roles, values and beliefs.
in more simple terms, a role defines a set of behaviors that are expected of someone who holds a particular status.
it's easy to confuse a status and a role, but the basic difference between them is that we occupy a status and play a role (study.com).
Fundamental, deep-rooted ideas that shape our values and, in some cases, are shaped by them.
Contain ideas, opinions, convictions and attitudes.
They are NOT necessarily true but it is what you believe to be true.
Perform a significant role when combines with systems and ideologies.
Beliefs are the ideas , viewpoints and attitudes of the particular group of society.
onto the lesson...
Roles are a building block of culture for two reasons:
They are always played in relation to other roles (ex. a teacher is only a teacher if others play the role of students). Roles contribute to the creation of culture because roles demand both social interactions and an awareness of others. This in turn helps others develop sociality, the ability to form groups and communities.
Every role has a name (or label). This name identifies a particular role and carries with it a sense of how people are expected to behave in any situation.
let's take a look at an experiment that took the idea of roles and showed the negative aspects of such an idea: The Stanford Prison Experiment

In 1971, a psychologist, Philip Zimbardo, tried to show that prison guards and convicts would tend to slip into predefined roles, behaving in a way that they thought was required, rather than using their own judgment and morals.
Zimbardo was trying to show what happened when all of the individuality and dignity was stripped away from a human, and their life was completely controlled. He wanted show the dehumanization and loosening of social and moral values that can happen to guards immersed in such a situation.

Values are the criteria people use in assessing their daily lives; arranging their priorities and choosing between alternative course of action.
Provide a sense of order and predictability
Some examples of values include: fundamental rights, patriotism, respect for human dignity, equality, etc.
H.M. Johnson, “Values are general standards and may be regarded as higher order norms”.
Values aim to combine expected individual behavior and social action.
values cont.
Role play is governed by behavioral rules in 2 ways:
Role play is governed by values stating behavior guidelines, such as: a teacher
teach their students, a doctor
care for their patient, etc. (how people should behave)
Values are a 'general structured agency', providing only broad guidance. In the case of how a mother
care for their child, it is never stated HOW they should do so.
beliefs cont.
The common example of this term is the usage of religious belief. Different religions believe in different things; "Christians believe that Jesus, as the Messiah, was anointed by God as savior of humanity",
"Buddhists do not believe that a Buddha is a god, but that he is a human being who has woken up and can see the true way the world works. They believe this knowledge totally changes the person.", etc.
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