Chp. 6 HSociology

social structure
social patterns that guide our behavior in everyday life
a social position that is part of our social identity and that defines our relationships to others
the action expected of a person who holds a particular status
ascribed status
a social position a person receives at birth or takes on involuntarily later in life
achieved status
a social position a person takes on voluntarily that reflects personal ability and effort
master status
a status that has special importance for social identity, often shaping a person’s entire life
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behavior expected of someone who holds a particular status
role set
a number of roles attached to a single status
role conflict
conflict among the roles connected to two or more statuses
role strain
tension among the roles connected to a single status
Thomas theorem
says that the reality people construct in their interaction has real consequences for the future
strategy to reveal the assumptions people have about their social world
social construction of reality
the process by which people creatively shape reality through social interaction
dramaturgical analysis
explores social interaction in terms of theatrical performance; a status operates as a part in a play, and a role is a script
the way we present ourselves to others
affects performances because men typically have greater social power than women
with greater social power, men have more freedom in how they act
use of space
men typically command more space than women
idealization of performances
means we try to convince others that our actions reflect ideal culture rather than selfish motives
presentation of self
Erving Goffman’s term for a person’s efforts to create specific impressions in the minds of others
nonverbal communication
communication using body movements, gestures, and facial expressions rather than speech
personal space
the surrounding area over which a person makes some claim to privacy
social interaction
the process by which people act and react in relation to others
the Thomas Theorem
“situations that are defined as real are real in their consequences” — although reality is initially ‘soft’ as it is being shaped, it can become ‘hard’ in its effects
the way we act and carry ourselves
who first developed microsociology?
Erving Goffman
who emphasized the dramaturgical perspective?
who does Goffman model himself off of?
Mead and Cooley
human agency
us having the ability to make choice, effect change, act accordingly, according to our own interest and our own initiative
3 reason Goffman says why studying seemingly trivial aspects of social life matter:
1. everyday routines provide the structure of our lives
2. interactions reveal the importance of human agency
3. interactions can tell us a lot about our larger society
2 types of interaction
focused and unfocused
focused interactions/encounters
those where we directly engage someone
unfocused interactions
those where we are present with others, but do not communicate directly with them
Harold Garfinkel
person who introduced the study of how we make sense of interactions; called this approach ‘ethnomethodology’
means ‘folk’ or ‘lay’
conversation analysis
research method in which all aspects of interaction are noted and assessed for meaning
microsociology offers “thick description” — looks at immediate behavior & considering the contextual and experiential understanding of what is taking place
idealization of performances
means we try to convince others that our actions reflect ideal culture rather than selfish motives
‘loss of face’ in a performance

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