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Social Structure and Group Behavior

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1 Social Structure and Group Behavior
Sociology, Chapter 3

2 Social Structure Social Structure- the way in which a society is organized into predictable relationships. Status- individual’s position within a large group or society Ascribed- assigned to a person by society Achieved- earned through traits, talents, efforts, activities, etc.

3 Roles Roles- expected behavior patterns within a status
Role Strain- occurs when conflicting demands are built into a role Role Conflict- occurs when conflicting demands occur between multiple status a person holds Roles are reciprocal, meaning that roles are part of our interaction with other people’s roles

4 Social Institutions Social Institutions- established patterns of beliefs and behaviors We exercise our roles within these institutions Examples of Social Institutions Families Education System Governments

5 What is a group? Group- at least two people who have one or more goals in common and share common ways of thinking and behaving What is not a group? Social category- people who share a social characteristic Social aggregate- people in the same place at the same time

6 Three Characteristics of Groups
Structured Interaction Common Goals and Norms Common Identity Relationships within groups can be: Instrumental- focus on accomplishing goals Expressive- valued for the relationship itself

7 How do groups work? Decision Making Leadership
Decisions are made by nearly all group members participating as equals Laissez-faire- “hands off”; let the group decide OR Decisions are made by one or two leaders Leadership Authoritarian-give orders Democratic- “give and take” interactions

8 Types of Groups Primary group- people who are emotionally close, know one another well, and seek one another’s company Secondary Groups- people who share only part of their lives while focusing on a goal or task

9 Types of Groups (continued)
In-Group- exclusive group demanding intense loyalty Out-Group- group targeted by an in-group for opposition, antagonism, or competition In-Groups must have ways to distinguish themselves from the out-groups (ex: style of dress, language used, etc.)

10 Types of Groups (continued)
Reference Groups- groups used for self-evaluation and the formation of norms and beliefs Reference groups can be positive or negative Example- I may look at a gang and learn how not to behave

11 Formal Organizations Formal Organization- a secondary group that is large and complex Voluntary associations- informal groups based on voluntary membership Bureaucracies- large, hierarchical organizations

12 Weber’s Model of Bureaucracy
Chain of command Division of Labor Well-established, written rules Defined set of goals Merit-based hiring and promotion Job performance is judged by productivity

13 Pros and Cons of Bureaucracies
Fast Efficient Organized Provide social stability Cons Can lose sight of the purpose Creativity is not encouraged “Red Tape”– sometimes the system impedes on the goal Office Space

14 Rules of Bureaucracies
The Peter Principle- “in a hierarchy, every employee tends to rise to his or her level of incompetence” Iron Law of Oligarchy- power is concentrated in the hands of a few. Orders flow from the “top.” Parkinson’s Law- bureaucracies waste time doing work that doesn’t need done.

15 Social Interaction Social Interaction- the way in which people respond to one another Ways to Study Social Interaction Dramaturgy- comparing life to a stage Ethnomethodology- breaking rules in order to understand the structure of rules

16 Forms of Social Interaction
Exchange Competition Conflict Cooperation Accomodation

17 Social Networks Social Network- a series of social relationships that link a person directly to others, and as a result, indirectly to still more people

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