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Social Interaction, Social Structure, and Groups Chapter 5.

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Presentation on theme: "Social Interaction, Social Structure, and Groups Chapter 5."— Presentation transcript:

1 Social Interaction, Social Structure, and Groups Chapter 5

2 Social Interaction and Reality Reality shaped by perceptions, evaluations, and definitions – Varies across cultures – Ability to define social reality reflects group’s power – Social change involves redefining or reconstructing social reality

3 Social Interaction The process by which people act and react in relation to others Social construction of reality – the process by which people shape reality through social interaction Thomas Theorem – Situations defined as real become real in their consequences

4 Status Status – a social position – Status set – consists of all the statuses a person holds at a given time – Ascribed status – a social position given to a person by society – Achieved status – a social position that someone assumes voluntarily and that reflects ability and effort

5 Status – Master status – a status that has special importance for social identity, often shaping a person’s entire life.

6 Figure 5-1: Social Statuses

7 Roles Behavior expected of someone who holds a particular status Role conflict - conflict among roles corresponding to two or more different statuses Role strain – incompatibility among roles corresponding to a single status

8 Understanding Social structure Durkheim Tonnies Lenski

9 Durkheim’s Mechanical and Organic Solidarity Division of Labor ([1893] 1933) – Mechanical solidarity: Collective consciousness that emphasizes group solidarity, implying all individuals perform the same tasks – Organic solidarity: Collective consciousness resting on the need society’s members have for one another

10 Tönnies Gemeinschaft and Gesellschaft Gemeinschaft (guh-MINE-shoft): Small community in which people have similar backgrounds and life experiences Gesellschaft (guh-ZELL-shoft): Large community in which people are strangers and feel little in common with other community residents

11 Lenski’s Sociocultural Evolution Approach Human societies undergo process of change characterized by dominant pattern known as sociocultural evolution – Level of technology critical Technology: “Cultural information about the ways in which the material resources of the environment may be used to satisfy human needs and desires” (Nolan and Lenski 2006:361)

12 Lenski’s Sociocultural Evolution Approach Preindustrial Societies – Hunting-and-gathering society: People rely on whatever foods and fibers are readily available – Horticultural societies: People plant seeds and crops – Agrarian societies: People are primarily engaged in production of food

13 Lenski’s Sociocultural Evolution Approach Industrial societies: societies that depend on mechanization to produce its goods and services – People depend on mechanization to produce goods and services – People rely on inventions and energy sources – People change function of family as a self-sufficient unit

14 Lenski’s Sociocultural Evolution Approach Postindustrial and Postmodern Societies – Postindustrial society: Economic system engaged primarily in processing and controlling information – Postmodern society: Technologically sophisticated society preoccupied with consumer goods and media images

15 Groups Group: any number of people with similar norms, values, and expectations who interact on a regular basis – Primary group: small group with intimate, face-to-face association and cooperation – Secondary group: formal, impersonal groups with little social intimacy or mutual understanding

16 Table 18-1: Comparisons of Primary and Secondary Groups

17 Groups In-groups and Out-Groups – In-groups: any groups or categories to which people feel they belong – Out-groups: any groups or categories to which people feel they do not belong Conflict between in-groups and out-groups can turn violent on a personal as well as political level

18 Groups – Reference group: any group that individuals use as standard for evaluating their own behavior

19 Formal Organizations Large, secondary groups that are organized to achieve goals efficiently

20 Types of formal Organizations Utilitarian - primary motive is income Normative – not for income but to pursue some worthwhile goal Coercive- involuntary

21 Bureaucracy a form of organization based on explicit rules, with a clear, impersonal, and hierarchical authority structure

22 Characteristics of Bureaucracy Complex division of labor (specialization) Hierarchy of authority Explicit rules Rewards on the basis of performance Extensive written records

23 Corporation A group that, through the legal process of incorporation, has been given the status of a separate and real social entity – Limited liability

24 Group Think Intense social pressure within a group for individuals to conform to group norms and abandon individual and critical thinking People will compromise judgment to avoid being difficult – Solomon Asch’s experiment

25 Types of Leadership Instrumental Leadership – group leadership that emphasizes the completion of tasks Expressive Leadership – group leadership that focuses on collective well-being

26 Organizational Culture Classical theory (scientific management) workers are motivated almost entirely by economic rewards Human relations approach – emphasizes the role of people, communication, and participation within a bureaucracy

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