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Introduction to Sociology SOC-101


Introduction to Sociology SOC-101 Unit 5 Social Structure and Social Interaction Saints and Roughnecks In 1978, William Chambliss published his study ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Introduction to Sociology SOC-101

Introduction to Sociology SOC-101
  • Unit 5 Social Structure and Social Interaction

Levels of Sociological Analysis
  • Macrosociology
  • This is the analysis of social life that focuses
    on the broad features of society
  • This includes social class and how groups related
    to one another
  • Used by conflict theorists and functionalists
  • Goal is to examine the large-scale social forces
    that influence people
  • Microsociology
  • This is the analysis of social life that focuses
    on social interaction
  • What people do when they come together
  • Used by symbolic interactionists
  • Both analyses need to be used to get a full
    perspective of what is being studied

Macrosociological Perspective
  • In order to understand human behavior, we must
    examine the social structure
  • Social Structure
  • This is the framework that surrounds us
  • Consists of the relationships of people and
    groups to one another
  • It guides our behavior
  • People learn certain attitudes and behaviors
    because of their location in the social structure

Components of Social Structure
  • The components of social structure include
  • Culture
  • Social Class
  • Social Status
  • Roles
  • Groups
  • Social Institutions

Components of Social Structure
  • Culture
  • This refers to a groups language, beliefs,
    values, behaviors, gestures and material objects
  • This is the broadest framework that determines
    who we become
  • Social Class
  • A group of people who rank close to each other in
    income, education, and power
  • This influences not only our behaviors but
    attitudes and ideas

Components of Social Structure
  • Status
  • A recognized social position that an individual
  • Different from prestige, where someone who
    holds a high position has high status
  • We hold multiple statuses at once
  • Each status adds to our social identity, defines
    our relationships to one another, and guides our

Components of Social Structure
  • Status Set
  • All the statuses a person holds at a particular
  • For example, at one time a person can be a
    sister, daughter, student, and friend
  • Status sets can change over the course of ones
  • We gain and lose many statuses over the course of
    our lifetimes

Components of Social Structure
  • Ascribed Status
  • This is a social position that a person receives
    at birth or assumes involuntarily later in life
  • Race, ethnicity, gender, daughter, teenager
  • Achieved Status
  • This is a social position that a person assumes
    voluntarily and reflects personal ability and
  • Honors student, spouse, parent, teacher

Components of Social Structure
  • Master Status
  • This is a position that carries exceptional
    importance for identity and often shapes a
    persons entire life
  • Cuts across all other statuses you hold
  • For most people occupation is a master status
    because it says a lot about your social
    background, education, and income
  • Master status can be a negative if it is tied in
    with a disease, disability, or even gender in
    some societies

Components of Social Structure
  • Status Inconsistency
  • When a persons statuses are mismatched or
    contradict one another
  • 10-year-old college student or 25-year-old with
  • Status Symbol
  • Item used to identify a status
  • Wedding rings, uniforms, luxury car
  • Can also be negative like the scarlet letter in
    Hawthornes book

Components of Social Structure
  • Role
  • The behaviors, obligations and privileges
    expected of someone who holds a particular status
  • Individuals hold a status and perform a role
  • Roles lay out what is expected of people
  • Group
  • People who regularly interact with one another
  • They usually share similar values, norms, and
  • To belong to a group we have to yield the right
    to make certain decisions about our behavior to
    others in the group

Social Institutions
  • Social Institution
  • The organized, usual, or stand ways by which
    society meets its basic needs
  • Examples include family, education, law,
    military, and mass media
  • In industrialized societies, the social
    institutions are more formal, while in tribal
    societies they are more informal

Society and Its Transformations
  • Society
  • A group of people who share a culture and a
  • In order to understand society, we need to
    examine its transformation over time
  • Hunting and Gathering Society
  • A group that depends on hunting and gathering for
    its survival
  • Consisted of small, nomadic groups that moved as
    they depleted an areas vegetation or pursued
    migratory animals
  • Had an egalitarian society since no one owned
    anything and no one became wealthier than anybody
  • There were no rulers as the group as a whole made

Pastoral and Horticultural Societies
  • Pastoralism
  • This is the domestication of animals
  • Horticulture
  • This is the cultivation of plants using hand
  • First Social Revolution
  • With a dependable source of food, labor became
    specialized and with that people were able to
    accumulate material possessions
  • Creation of an elite, ruling class

Agricultural Societies
  • Agricultural Societies
  • Agriculture
  • Large-scale cultivation using plows harnessed to
    animals or more powerful energy sources
  • Growth of permanent settlements with populations
    growing into the millions
  • Members of this society become even more
    specialized and money is invented as a form of
    common exchange

Agricultural Societies
  • Second Social Revolution
  • Social inequality became a fundamental feature of
    social life
  • Most people worked as serfs or slaves
  • The elites were free to study philosophy, art,
    and literature
  • The elites also created armies to hold their
  • Men began to gain pronounced power and privilege
    over women

Industrial Societies
  • Industrial Societies
  • Industry
  • The production of goods using advanced sources of
    energy (like steam) to drive large machinery
  • Before 1765, most had depended upon human or
    animal to provide power
  • With the development of the steam engine,
    production became much more efficient

Industrial Societies
  • Third Social Revolution
  • Industrialization brought even greater surplus
    and even greater social inequality
  • Those who first used the new technology created
    massive amounts of wealth
  • People moved off their farms into the cities to
    work in factories
  • Over time, the social equalities diminished as
    workers gained rights, slavery was abolished, and
    there was the creation of a more representative
    form of government

Postindustrial (Information) Societies
  • Postindustrial Society
  • It is based on information, services, and the
    latest technology rather than on raw materials
    and manufacturing
  • Basic component is information
  • Fourth Social Revolution
  • Based on the microchip, the information
    revolution is transforming society

Social Integration
  • Social Integration
  • This is the degree to which members of a society
    are united by shared values and other social
  • With the way society has evolved and its many
    conflicting groups, how does society still hold
    itself together?
  • Sociologists have found that as societies change,
    so do peoples orientations to life

Mechanical/Organic Solidarity
  • Emile Durkheim (1893)
  • Believed that as society changes, the
    relationships amongst its members also change
  • Mechanical Solidarity
  • People have much in common through similar work,
    education, religion, and lifestyle
  • This was found in more traditional and small
    scale societies

Mechanical/Organic Solidarity
  • As societies get larger, labor becomes more
  • People become more dependent on one another for
    the work they contribute to the whole
  • Organic Solidarity
  • The interdependence that results from the
    division of labor where people depend on others
    to fulfill their jobs
  • This is found in more modern and industrial

Gemeinschaft and Gesellschaft
  • Ferdinand Tönnies also analyzed the evolution of
    two types of human association in 1887
  • Gemeinschaft (Intimate Community)
  • A type of society in which life is intimate, and
    where everyone in the community knows everyone
  • Found in traditional and small scale societies
  • An example of this is Amish society

Gemeinschaft and Gesellschaft
  • Over time, society changed and the relationships
    among people became more impersonal
  • Gesellschaft (Impersonal Association)
  • A type of society that is dominated by impersonal
    relationships, individual accomplishments, and
  • This is more modern day, industrial society

Microsociological Perspective
  • While macrosociologists look at the overall
    features of society, microsociologists looks that
    the interpersonal, face-to-face interactions
  • Stereotypes
  • Assumptions of what people are like, whether true
    or false
  • First impressions of a person can be shaped and
    affected by their sex, race, ethnicity, age and
  • This can also affect how you act towards that

Personal Space
  • Personal Space
  • This refers to the surrounding area over which a
    person makes some claim to privacy
  • The definition of personal space varies from
    culture to culture
  • In the U.S., most people prefer to stand several
    feet apart when talking
  • In the Middle East, they stand much closer
  • Edward Hall (1969)
  • An anthropologist who observed that North
    Americans use four different distance zones
    when it comes to personal space

Personal Space
  • Four levels of personal space
  • Intimate Distance (gt 18 inches from our bodies)
  • Reserved for comforting, protecting, hugging,
    intimate touching, and lovemaking.
  • Personal Distance (18 inches to 4 feet)
  • Reserved for friends and acquaintances and
    ordinary conversations
  • Social Distance (4 to 12 feet)
  • For impersonal or formal relationships
  • For example, we use this zone for such things as
    job interviews
  • Public Distance (lt12 feet)
  • Reserved for more formal relationships
  • For example, it is used to separate dignitaries
    and public speakers from the general public

  • Dramaturgy Erving Goffman (1922-1982)
  • Analyzed social life in terms of drama or the
  • Socialization consists of learning how to perform
    on the stage of life
  • Performances
  • Everyday life includes things like dress
    (costume), objects carried along (props), and
    tone of voice and gestures (manner)
  • Impression Management
  • Peoples efforts to control the impressions that
    others receive of them
  • Front Stage This is where we give our lines
    to an audience
  • Back Stage Behind the scenes where there is
    no audience
  • This is where we can relax and let our hair

  • Roles play a vital aspect in dramaturgy
  • Role Performance
  • The ways in which someone performs a role within
    the limits that role provides
  • Being the ideal daughter, or the good worker
  • Role Conflict
  • The conflict someone feels between roles because
    the expectations attached to one role are
    incompatible with the expectation of another role
  • Do you study, go to your friends party, or help
    your parents out with chores?
  • Role Strain
  • Conflicts that someone feels within a role
  • A friendly boss still needs to keep his distance
    to evaluate his workers properly

  • Team Work
  • The collaboration of two or more people to manage
    impressions jointly.
  • Face-Saving Behavior
  • Techniques used to salvage a performance going
  • Tact
  • Helping someone save face when members of the
    audience help a performer recover from an

  • Role Strain and Role Conflict

  • Ethnomethodology Harold Garfinkel (1967)
  • This is the study of the way people make sense of
    their everyday surroundings using commonsense
  • Background Assumptions
  • These are deeply embedded common understandings
    of how the world operates and how people are
    supposed to act
  • In order to discover our background assumptions
    we must break the rules
  • This is the only way to see how people construct
    their reality
  • Examples include bargaining for items in a
    supermarket, the teacher playing the student for
    a class, talk to people an inch away from their
  • By breaking the rules, people will become
    agitated, surprised, and possibly angry

Social Construction of Reality
  • Social Construction of Reality
  • The use of background assumptions and life
    experiences to define what is real
  • Thomas Theorem William and Dorothy Thomas
  • If men define situations as real, they are real
    in their consequences
  • We behave according to the way we perceive the
  • It is not the reality of something that impresses
    itself on us, but society impresses the reality
    of something on us

Saints and Roughnecks
  • In 1978, William Chambliss published his study on
    the Saints and the Roughnecks
  • Examined two different delinquent groups in a
    towns high school
  • The Saints were boys from good middle-class
    families and were expected to go somewhere
  • The Roughnecks were boys from lower-class
    families and perceived to have no futures

Saints and Roughnecks
  • The boys in both these groups skipped school, got
    drunk, did a lot of fighting, and committed
    numerous acts of vandalism
  • The Saints actually were more delinquent since
    they skipped school more often and committed more
    acts of vandalism
  • After high school, seven of the eight Saints
    graduated college and went on to well paying jobs
  • Three of them received advanced degrees
  • With the Roughnecks, only four finished high
  • Two did well in sports, went to college on
    scholarships, and became high school coaches
  • Two who did not graduate wound up in prison for
    separate murders

Saints and Roughnecks
  • Using macrosociology, we can see
  • How social class can either open or close doors
    for us
  • How people learn different goals in different
  • Using microsociology, we can see
  • How the Saints used their reputation to their
    advantage and how it negatively affected the
  • How the Saints used the fact that they had cars
    and were able to use them to commit crimes in
    other communities (thus keeping their good
    reputation in their own community
  • How the Roughnecks, by not having cars, were
    focused in a small area and visible to their own

Macro- and Micro-Sociology
  • We need to study both macro- and micro-sociology
    to get a complete understanding of social life as
    they both give us different aspects
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