groups by xiaopangnv


									“Structure” and “Interaction”
         in Society
• Social structure is the framework of society
  in place before you were born
• It guides our human behavior
• Components:
  – Culture
  – Social class (education, income, occupational
  – Social status
  – Roles
  – Groups (those you interact with and share similar
    values, norms, expectations adding social
  – Social institutions
  – Societies
  Social groups are powerful
   agents of socialization:
• How do you feel when you belong to a
• Groups are “agents of socialization”:
  – Part of a primary group: intimate, face to face
    connections that give us a sense of who we are
  – Part of a secondary group: larger, more
    anonymous, more formal groups based on
    common interests or activities
     • Or a secondary group that’s become a primary group:
        – Example from your own lives? Why does this happen?
  More on the power of groups:

• The dangers of “in-groups” and “out-groups”
  – Group identification can be a shared identity, but also
    contribute to rivalry or a sense of superiority!
  – Anti-Arab hate crimes, victimization, and detention
    after 9/11 and definition as “evil” out-group
As a group grows, it becomes a
• It needs a more formal structure to
  accomplish its goals (it transitions from
  secondary group to formal organization)
• Specialized roles and offices are
  established (president, vice president,
• Leaders emerge
• This structure allows the group to survive
  and to grow over time
   McDonaldization means…?
• Rationalization:
  – The traditional, spontaneous, and informal (“home
    cooked meal”) is replaced by standardization,
    routinization, and speed/efficiency (“two patties,
    special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, ketchup, on a
    sesame seed bun”)
  – The rules and regulations of bureaucracies aimed at
    efficiency increasingly influence our lives!
       What are the parts of a
• Those at the top are accountable, those below
  them are assigned the work
• Specialized division of labor
• IDEALLY, promotion based on credential and
  not personal connections
• Written rules to help with efficiency grow and
  written record of all communications is kept
• Impersonal: The office not the person holding it
  is what’s important
        Bureaucracies as “ideal types”
 (otherwise known as “why bureaucracies can

• Rigidly following the rules: Red Tape and
  bureaucratic ritualism
• Leaders protect their positions (guarding
  information) leading to inefficiency and rigidity
  (large structures with poor communication are
  slow to change)
• Promotion from within perpetuates race,
  class, and gender inequalities
        Why bureaucracies can
            suck…part 2
• Organization grows because “bigger is better” (creates
  bureaucratic inertia- size and largeness of structure
  make rapid change very difficult)
• Alienation and a loss of sense of pride in what you have
  produced (“dehumanization”)
   – Coworkers can give positive reinforcement that a bureaucratic
     structure cannot give (adding the personal to the impersonal)
   – Bureaucratic personality leading to trained incapacity to do
     anything other than your narrow job according to code
• Iron law of oligarchy: Robert Michels and the tendency
  for bureaucracies to be ruled by the few
• Max Weber and bureaucracies as “ideal
• Means they don’t always work as they’re
  supposed to:
  – Example is “Office Space”
  – What examples of the positive or negative
    sides of bureaucratic structures?
   Social Institutions: Big time
   example of Social Structure
• The ways and structures that emerge to meet
  the needs of society- try this out yourself!
  – What needs do they serve, what groups form to meet
    those needs, what statuses are there within those
    groups, and what are the values that inform norms of
    behavior? What are the norms for behavior?

• Some examples: family, religion, education,
  economics, medicine, politics, law, science,
  military, mass media
 Status comes in many forms…
• Status: a position you occupy in society

• Status set: all the positions you occupy!

• Master status: the status that cuts across
  all other statuses and is the one that is
  most important to how others see you in
        Other types of status:
• Ascribed status: an involuntary status that you
  inherit or are given by society
• Achieved status: voluntary status that you earn
  or accomplish
• What if your statuses don’t get along well with
  each other?
  – Status inconsistency (example: child and college

• Mark your status with status symbols
   You occupy a status but you
           play a role
• Roles are the behavior or privileges attached to
  the status that lay out what is expected of
  someone in your status
• When roles associated with different statuses
  fight: Role conflict
  – Examples?
• When the roles associated with one status fight:
  Role strain
  – Examples?
         Try out these ideas!
• “Circles of my multicultural self”
  – Practice for your next paper (comes after the
    first exam)!
  – What are your statuses (identities), and how
    do you sometimes feel constrained or limited
    by them?
  – What role or stereotype associated with one
    of your identities or statuses do you not feel
    applies to you?
            Conformity and
         the power of authority
• Milgram (1965): I’ll shock the stuffing out of you
  as long as the authority figure said it was OK
• With the power of authority and conformity, we
  can get “group think”
   – Asch (1952): 33% gave in half of the time, 40% gave
     in less often, 25% did not give in at all

   – Authority and student parking here at Kirkwood!!!
  Other Microsociological
aspects of social interaction
     Face-to-face interactions
Personal Space: Get outta’
 • Public distance (out in public) versus
   social distance (impersonal interactions
   like a job interview) versus personal
   distance (friends and acquaintances)
   versus intimate distance (!)
   – 2 volunteers to demonstrate 3 out of 4 of
   – Why not the 4th?
      Self-fulfilling stereotypes
• What you hear or observe about a person
• Gets fit into stereotypes for what you expect of
  that person
• So your actions toward that person are
  according to these stereotypes or expectations
• From that the person gets a sense of what you
  think of them
• Then…the behavior of that person may change
  to meet your expectations!

• Goffman: We spend a lot of our time
  focusing on “impression management”
• What’s your front stage self? (You
  playing your assigned roles)
• What’s your back stage self? (Where
  you “let your hair down”)
  – Example of this to the person next to you
     What happens when a
   “performance” goes wrong?
• Face saving technique, like…studied non-
  observation (pg. 38 in your book)

• You’re never going to forget “studied non-
  observation” are you?
    Yes, Dorothy, our reality is
     Socially Constructed…
• Thomas Theorem: If we define it as real, it
  is real in its consequences!!!
  – Race is not biologically “real,” but since we have
    defined it as real (or socially constructed it), it is
    very real in its consequences for social life
• We reproduce our social constructions
  through interactions with others, which
  keeps making it all “real”

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