Social Interaction In Everyday Life Essay

Chapter 6: Social Interaction in Everyday Life

Social InteractionThe process by which people act and react in relation to others.
StatusA social position that a person holds
-generally means “prestige”
Status SetRefers to all the statuses a person holds at a given time
Ascribed StatusA social position a person receives at birth or takes on involuntarily later in life
-matters about which we have little or no choice
Achieved StatusA social position a person takes on voluntarily that reflects personal ability and effort
Master StatusA status that has special importance for social identity, often shaping a person’s entire life
RoleBehavior expected of someone who holds a particular status
Role SetRobert Merton’s term for a number of roles attached to a single status
Role ConflictConflict among the roles connected to two or more statuses
Role StrainTension among the roles connected to a single status
Role ExitEbaugh’s term for the process by which people disengage from important social roles
Social Construction of RealityThe process by which people creatively shape reality through social interaction
-Foundation of symbolic interaction approach
Thomas TheoremRefers to W.I. Thomas’s assertion that situations that are defined as real are real in their consequences
EthnomethodologyGarfinkel’s term for the study of the way people make sense of their everyday surroundings
Dramaturgical AnalysisGoffman’s term for the study of social interaction in terms of theatrical performance
Presentation of SelfGoffman’s term for an individuals efforts to create specific impressions in the minds of others
-sometimes called “impression management” : begins with the idea of personal performance
Nonverbal CommunicationCommunication using body movements, gestures, and facial expressions rather than speech
Personal SpaceThe surrounding area over which a person makes some claim to privacy
Georg Simmel-One of the founders of sociology
-Before we can deal with anyone, we need to know who the person is (in terms of status)
Example of Status-When we say a college president has more “status” than a newly hired assistant professor
Example of Status Set-A teenage girl may be a daughter to her parents, a sister to her brother, a student at her school, and a goalie on her soccer team
Example of Ascribed Status-Being a daughter, a Cuban, teenager, or widower
Example of Achieved Status-In the U.S. being an honors student, Olympic athlete, nurse, software writer, and theif
Example of Master Status-Being in the Bush or Kennedy family attracts attention and creates opportunities
-Cancer or Aids patients could be avoided
-Gender for the limit of opportunities for women
-Dehumanize people with disabilities
Example of Role-Being a student leads you to perform the role of attending classes and completing assignments
Robert Merton-Introduced the term role set
Example of role set-Teacher status= teacher role and colleague role
-Researcher status= fieldwork role and author role
-Wife status= marital role and domestic role
-Mother status= maternal role and civic role
Example of role conflict-People put off having children in order to stay on the fast track for career success
-A politician drops out of a race b/c of conflicting demands of a hectic campaign schedule and family
Example of role strain-A professor may enjoy being friendly with students at the same time must maintain the personal distance needed to evaluate students fairly
Helen Rose Fuchs Ebaugh-Study role exit
-Identified elements common to the process of becoming an “ex” (boyfriend, nun, alcoholic)
-People come to doubt their ability to continue in a certain role
Example of role exit-an ex nun may hesitate to wear stylish clothing and makeup
-ex nuns who enter dating scene are surprised to learn that sexual norms are very different from those they knew when they were teenagers
Harold Garfinkel-Devised ethnomethodology
-Pointing out that everyday behavior rests on a number of assumptions
Example of Ethnomethodology-When you ask someone “How are you?” you want to know how the person is doing in general you might want to know something deeper than that but just “being polite” is a cultural norm for us
Erving Goffman-Dramaturgical analysis
-explained people live their lives much like actors performing on a stage
-Although behavior is spontaneous in some ways, it is more patterned than we think
Dramaturgical Analysis further explained by Goffman-Offers a fresh look at the concepts of status and role
-A status is like a part in a play, and a role serves as a script
-Presentation of self
Examples of Nonverbal Communication-Facial expressions (smiling)
-Eye contact- invite or deny social interaction
-Hands speak for us
-Gestures
DemeanorThe way we act and carry ourselves is a clue to social power
IdealizationGoffman suggest, we construct performances to idealize our intentions.
-we try to convince others (and perhaps ourselves) that what we do reflects ideal cultural standards rather than selfish motives.
EmbarrassmentDiscomfort following a spoiled performance
-Goffman described it as “losing face”
TactHelping someone “save face”
Emotions-Are an important element of human social life
-What we do often matters less than how we feel about it
-Commonly called feelings
Paul Ekman-Reports people everywhere express 6 basic emotions: happy, sad, anger, fear, disgust, surprise.
-Found people in every society use much of the same facial expressions
-Believes that some emotional responses are “wired” into humans or biologically programmed in face, muscles, and CNS
Ekman’s explanation for culture playing a role in guiding human emotions1. Culture defines what triggers an emotion
2. Culture provides rules for the display of emotions
3. Culture guides how we value emotions
Emotion ManagementWe socially construct our emotions as part of our everyday reality