Differences are not due to biology, but to people’s location In the social structure. Culture Culture- a group’s language, beliefs, values, behaviors, material objects, and even gestures. Culture Is the broadest framework that determines what kind of people we become. The specifics will vary by social location. Social Class To understand people, we must examine the particular social locations that they hold in life. Social class- is based on income, education, and occupational prestige. Social class influences our behaviors, ideas, and attitudes.
Social Status Status – the position that an Individual occupies. The position may carry a great deal of prestige, or be a position of low honor. Ascribed Status: involuntary. Achieved Status:earned. Master Status: cuts across the other statuses you hold. Status set – all of the statuses or positions that you occupy. Status symbols – signs that identify a status. Master statuses- those that cut across the other statuses that you hold. Roles Roles- the behaviors, obligations, and privileges attached to a status.
You occupy a status, but you play a role. The sociological significance of roles Is that they lay out what Is expected of people. Groups A group – consists of people who regularly and consciously interact with one another. They may share similar values, norms, and expectations. Involuntary memberships- groups that provide little option to belong. Voluntary memberships- groups to which we choose to belong. Social Institutions Social institutions – the means that each society develops to meet its basic needs.
Family, religion, law, politics, economics, education, medicine, science, and the military. Social Institutions establish the context In which we live. They are so significant, If we were to change them, we would be different people. Comparing Functionalist and Conflict Perspectives The Functionalist Perspective – stresses that no society is without institutions. These perform vital functions that fulfill basic needs. The Conflict Perspective- social institutions are seen as tools used to maintain power. Institutions do not meet universal human needs, but those of the elite.
What Holds Society Together? Social cohesion – the degree to which members of a society feel united by shared values and other bonds. Mechanical solidarity unity or shared consciousness. Organic solidarity based on interdependence. Gamesmanship- intimate community that describes village life. Shillelagh’s – impersonal association in the new type of society. The Microbiological Perspective Symbolic Interaction For symbolic Interactions, the most significant part of life In society Is social Interaction.
Symbols play a vital assumptions we make of what people are like. Personal Space We all surround ourselves with a personal bubble that we try to protect. We open the bubble to intimates, and close it to strangers. Personal preferences vary by culture. Americans use four different distance zones: (1) intimate distance (2) personal distance (3) social distance (4) public distance Dramaturgy Dramaturgy – social life is like a drama or a stage play. We have definite ideas of how we want others to think of us.
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