Presentation on theme: "ELEMENTS OF SOCIAL STRUCTURE AND CULTURE"— Presentation transcript:
1 ELEMENTS OF SOCIAL STRUCTURE AND CULTURE Social ProblemsELEMENTS OF SOCIAL STRUCTURE AND CULTURE
2 Why are Social Structure and Culture Important? Social problems are rooted in both the structure and culture of societyIn order to use “the sociological imagination” we need to understand the basic elements of both social structure and of cultureMacro-level theories (functionalism, conflict and feminist theory) focus their attention on social structure while micro-level theories tend to focus more on culture and the creation of meaning
3 Elements of Social Structure 1. Institutionspatterns of social relationshipsFamily, media, religion, etc.2. Social groupsMembers have common identityPrimary and secondary
4 Social Structure (cont.) 3. Statuses:position in groupAscribed, achieved and master status4. RolesAssociated with statusrights, obligations, and expectations
5 Elements of CultureCulture = the meanings and ways of life that characterize a society1. Beliefs: what is assumed to be true2. Values: agreements about good and bad3. Norms: socially defined rules of behaviourFolkways, laws, mores
6 Culture (cont.)4. Sanctions: social consequences for conforming to, or violating normspositive, negative, formal and informal5. Symbols: language, gestures, and objectsmeaning commonly understood by group membersForm communication.
7 Culture as StoriesAccording to George Gerbner’s (1986) “cultivation theory” culture is a set of stories passed through generationsStories about:1. What things are2. How they work3. What to do about themGerbner believes the media now tell our storiesHeavy exposure (esp. to TV) “cultivates” our beliefs, attitudes and values