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Social Structure, Social Interaction, and Collective Behavio

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Kirstin Morris

on 28 January 2015

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Transcript of Social Structure, Social Interaction, and Collective Behavio

Social Structure: The Macrolevel Perspective
Social Interaction: The Microlevel Perspective
focuses on social interaction between and among individuals, especially in face-to-face encounters
Social Interaction: The Microlevel Perspective
Social Structure, Social Interaction, and Collective Behaviour
SOC7008 Winter 2015
voluntary, often spontaneous activity that is engaged in by a large number of people and typically violates dominant group norms and values
Collective Behaviour
Read
Mass Behaviour and Rumours and Gossip (pp 94 - 96)
Social Structure
Topics
Components of Social Structure
Social Interaction: The Microlevel Perspective
Collective Behaviours
social structure provides the framework within which we interact with others
Functionalist perspective
social structure is essential
creates order and predictability in a society
social structure gives us the ability to interpret the social situations we encounter
social structure may limit our options and place us in arbitrary categories not of our own choosing
Conflict perspective
there is more to social structure than is readily visible
we must explore the deeper, underlying structures that determine social relations in a society
social structure creates boundaries that define which persons or groups will be insiders and outsiders
social marginality
can result in
stigmatization
contains several essential elements:
social institutions
groups
statuses
roles
norms
the state of being part insider and part outsider in the social structure
any physical or social attribute or sign that so devalues a person's social identity that it disqualifies that person from full social acceptance
social structure is essential because it creates order and predictability in a society
How many examples of stigmas can you think of?
Social structure = social positions, the relationships among these positions, the kinds of resources attached to each
Status
a socially defined position in a group or society characterized by certain expectations, rights, and duties
are independent of the specific people who have them
status set
- all the statuses that a person occupies at a given time
Ascribed Status
a social position conferred at birth or received involuntarily later in life, based on attributes over which we have little or no control
ethnicity
age
Achieved Status
a social position a person assumes voluntarily as a result of personal choice, merit, or direct effort
Master Status
the most important status a person occupies
historically = occupation
ethnicity
occupation
confers low or high levels of personal worth and dignity on people
status symbols
- material signs that inform others of a person's specific status
Roles
we
occupy
a status and
play
a role
a set of behavioural 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
specific expectations:
surgeon
professor
less structured expectations:
friend
spouse
expectations tend to be based on a range of acceptable behaviours rather than on strictly defined standards
roles are defined in the context of roles performed by others
role ambiguity
- when the expectations associated with a role are unclear
Role Conflict and Role Strain
essential because it creates order and predictability in a society
role conflict
- when incompatible demands are placed on a person by
2+ statuses
held at the same time
prioritize
compartmentalize
may occur as a result of changing statuses and roles in society
role strain
- when incompatible demands are built into
a single status
that a person occupies
ex. many married women
Role Exit
when people disengage from social roles that have been central to their self-identity
Groups
social group
- 2+ people who interact frequently and share a common identity and a feeling of interdependence
primary group
- a small, less specialized group in which the members engage in face-to-face, emotion-based interactions over an extended period
secondary group
- a larger, more specialized group in which members engage in more impersonal, goal-oriented relationships for a limited time
social solidarity
- or cohesion, relates to a group's ability to maintain itself in the face of obstacles
social networks
- series of social relationships that link an individual to others
work differently for men and women, for different ethnic groups, and for members of different social classes
social networks typically do not work effectively for poor and homeless individuals
middle and upper class levels - find employment,, make business deals, win political elections
Social Institutions
a set of organized beliefs and rules that establish how a society will attempt to meet its basic social needs
institution - a standardized way of doing something
Functionalist Perspective
Social institutions perform 5 essential tasks:

1.
Replacing members
: socially approved ways of replacing members who leave or die is necessary
2.
Teaching new members
3.
Producing, distributing, and consuming goods and services
4.
Preserving order
5.
Providing and maintaining a sense of purpose
Institutions in each society perform these tasks in somewhat different ways
depends on their specific cultural values and norms
Conflict Perspective
social institutions are organized to meet basic social needs, but do not work for the common good
social institutions maintain the privileges of the wealthy and powerful while contributing to the powerlessness of others
Social Interaction and Meaning
The Social Construction of Reality
Dramaturgical Analysis
Nonverbal Communication
most of us are concerned about the meanings others ascribe to our behaviour
social interaction within a society has certain shared meanings
ex. transaction at a cashier
ethnicity, gender, and social class play a part in the meanings we give to our interactions with others
very little social reality beyond that which is socially created?
=
social construction of reality
- the process by which our perception of reality is shaped largely by the subjective meaning that we give to an experience
we act on reality as we see it
this can result in a
self-fulfilling prophecy
- a false belief or prediction that produces behaviour that makes the originally false belief come true
we define situations from our own frame of reference, based on the statuses we occupy and the roles we play
dominant group members with prestigious statuses may have the ability to establish how other people define reality
Erving Goffmann
the study of social interaction that compares everyday life to a theatrical production
most of us try to play our role as well as possible and to control the impressions we give to others
impression management
- refers to people's efforts to present themselves to others in ways that are most favourable to their own interests or image
a front stage and a back stage
the need for impression management is highest when role players have widely divergent or devalued statuses
focuses on appearance and not on the underlying substance (Gouldner, 1970)
this approach does not place enough emphasis on the ways in which our everyday interactions with other people are influenced by occurrences within the larger society
the transfer of information between persons without the use of speech
intentional
unintentional
nonverbal communication establishes the relationship between people in terms of their responsiveness to and power over one another
demeanour - how we behave or conduct ourselves
deference - the symbolic means by which subordinates give a required permissive response to those in power
key - who is initiating the body language (eye contact, touching, facial expressions)
personal space - the immediate area surrounding a person that the person claims as private
varies from culture to culture
lacks:
official division of labour
hierarchy of authority
established rules and procedures
lacks institutionalized norms to govern behaviour
crowd - a relatively large number of people who are in one another's immediate vicinity
mass - a number of people who share an interest in a specific idea or issue but who are not in one another's immediate vicinity
Casual Crowds
relatively large
Conventional Crowds
people who specifically come together for a scheduled event
Expressive Crowds
provide opportunities for the expression of some strong emotion
Acting Crowds
intensely focused on a specific purpose or object
Protest Crowds
Types of Crowd Behaviour
people who happen to be in the same place at the same time
plays no active role in the event
simply observes
share a common focus
crowd is essential to the event
may erupt into spontaneous violent or destructive behaviour
engaged in activities intended to achieve specific political goals
civil disobedience
Explanations of Crowd Behaviour
Contagion Theory
focus on the socio-psychological aspects of collective behaviour
Convergence Theory
focus on the shared emotions, goals, and beliefs that many people bring to crowd behaviour
Emergent-Norm Theory
emphasizes the importance of social norms in shaping crowd behaviour
Gustave Le Bon
attempts to explain how moods, attitudes, and behaviour are communicated rapidly and why they are accepted by others
anonymity
feeling invulnerable
contagious feelings
people of similar attributes find a collectivity
internally rational behaviour
symbolic interactionist
crowds establish norms that fit the occasion
crowds are not irrational
Social Movements (pp 96 - 97)
celebrities
historically = related to positions in the family
social interaction
- the process by which people act toward or respond to other people and is the foundation for all relationships and groups in society
social structure
- the stable pattern of social relationships that exists within a particular group or society
occupation
education
income
criminal
drug addict
homeless
teacher and student
customer and sales clerk
ex. provider-dependent aspects of a parent-child relationship
4 stages:
1. doubt
2. search for alternatives
3. turning point - final action necessary
4. creation of a new identity
my
family vs.
the
family
our perceptions about the meaning of a situation vary widely based on the statuses we occupy and our unique personal experiences
collectivity - a relatively large number of people who mutually transcend, bypass, or subvert established institutional patterns and structures
Herbert Blumer (1946)
mob
riot
panic
a highly emotional crowd whose members engage in, or are ready to engage n, violence against a specific target
violent crowd behaviour that is fuelled by deep-seated emotions but not directed at one specific target
a form of crowd behaviour that occurs when a large number of people react to a real or perceived threat with strong emotions and self-destructive behaviours
McPhail and Wohlstein (1983)
Full transcript