Social interaction: the process by which people act and react in relation to others.
Status: a social position a person holds
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Status set: all of the statuses that a person holds at any given time
Ascribed status: a social position that someone receives at birth or assumes involuntarily later on in life.
Achieved status: a social position that someone assumes voluntarily and that reflects the personal ability and effort
Master status: a status that has exceptional importance for social identity, often shaping a person’s entire life
Role: behavior expected of someone who holds a certain status
Role set: a number set 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
The social construction of reality: the process by which people creatively shape reality through social interaction
Thomas Theorem: situations we define as real become real in their consequences
Ethnomethodology: the study of the way people make sense of their everyday surroundings
Dramaturgical Analysis: the study of social interaction in terms of theatrical performance
Presentation of self: a person’s efforts to create specific impressions in the minds of others
Non-verbal 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
Every person has many statuses at once, for example, a teenage girl is not only a daughter to her parents but also a sister, a student, and a goalie on her hockey team. These statuses can change gradually over time, for example as this girl grows up she will become a wife, a graduate, a lawyer, and a parent. People over a lifetime can grow to have many statuses.
1. Status is a socially defined position in a group or society characterized by certain expectations, rights, and duties.
2. Status set compromises all the statuses that a person occupies at a given time.
3. Ascribed status is a social position conferred at birth or received involuntarily later in life, based on attributes over which the individual has little or no control, such as race, ethnicity, age, and gender.
4. Achieved status is a social position a person assumes voluntarily as a result of personal choice, merit, or direct effort.
5. Master status is the most important status a person occupies.
6. Status symbols material signs that inform others of a person’s specific status.
1. Role is a set of behavioral expectations associated with a given status
2. Role expectation is a group’s or society’s definition of the way a specific role ought to be played.
3. Role performance is how a person actually plays a role.
4. Role conflict occurs when incompatible role demands are placed on a person by two or more statuses held at the same time.
5. Role strain occurs when incompatible demands are built into a single status that a person occupies.
6. Role exit occurs when people disengage from social roles that have been central to their self-identity.
1. Social Group consists of two or more people who interact frequently and share a common identity and a feeling of interdependence.
2. A primary group is a small, less specialized group in which members engage in face-to-face, emotion-based interactions over an extended period of time.
3. The secondary group is a larger, more specialized group in which members engage in more impersonal, goal-oriented relationships for a limited period of time.
4. Formal organization is a highly structured group formed for the purpose of completing certain tasks or achieving specific goals.
D. Social Institutions
1. Social institution is a set of organized beliefs and rules that establishes how a society will attempt to meet its basic social needs.
II. Societies: Changes in Social Structure
A. Durkheim: Mechanical and Organic Solidarity.
1. Division of labor refers to how the various tasks of a society are divided up and performed.
2. Mechanical solidarity refers to the social cohesion of preindustrial societies, in which there is a minimal division of labor and people feel united by shared values and common social bonds.
3. Organic solidarity refers to the social cohesion found in industrial (and perhaps postindustrial) societies, in which people perform very specialized tasks and feel united by their mutual dependence.
B. Tonnies: Gemeinschaft and Gesellschaft
1. Gemeinschaft is a traditional society in which social relationships are based on personal bonds of friendship and kinship and on intergenerational stability.
2. Gesellschaft is a large, urban society in which social bonds are based on impersonal and specialized relationships, with little long-term commitment to the group or consensus on values.
C. Industrial and Postindustrial Societies
1. Industrial societies are based on technology that mechanizes production.
2. Postindustrial society is one in which technology supports a service-and information-based economy.
III. Social Interaction: The Microlevel Perspective
A. The Social Construction of Reality
1. Social Construction of Reality- the process by which our perception of reality is largely shaped by the subjective meaning that we give to an experience.
2. Self-fulfilling prophecy- a false belief or prediction that produces behavior that makes the originally false belief come true.
1. Ethnomethodology is the study of the commonsense knowledge that people use to understand the situations in which they find themselves.
C. Dramaturgical Analysis
1. Dramaturgical analysis is the study of social interaction that compares everyday life to a theatrical presentation.
2. Impression management (presentation of self) refers to people’s efforts to present themselves to others in ways that are most favorable to their own interests or image.
3. Face-saving behavior refers to the strategies we use to rescue our performance when we experience a potential or actual loss of face.
D. Nonverbal Communication
1. Nonverbal Communication is the transfer of information between persons without the use of words.
2. Personal space is the immediate area surrounding a person that person claims are private.
This sample essay on Social Interaction Essay provides important aspects of the issue and arguments for and against as well as the needed facts. Read on this essay’s introduction, body paragraphs, and conclusion.
We all engage in countless behaviors during our daily lives. We cough, laugh, scratch our heads, grimace when we struggle to carry a heavy package or other routine behaviors. Other people sometimes see our behaviors and alter their own accordingly. In response to our cough, they turn away to avoid catching our cold; in response to our laugh, they smile; in response to our grimace, they offer help. Aware of the responses we have triggered in others, we, in turn, may adjust our behavior.
This is social interaction—the process of people orienting themselves to others and acting in response to what others say and do. The word social implies that more than one person is involved, while interaction means that all parties are mutually influencing one another. Physical proximity is not necessary for social interaction to occur. People interact when they communicate via letter, phone, or fax.
Moreover, just being near others does not always mean that social interaction will take place. One could be hurrying through a crowded train station, surrounded by hundreds of people, and never even make eye contact with a single one.
Social interaction is purposive: People can react and act with each other in pursuing their objectives in life. In some social interactions, the participants can have different goals. For instance, an interviewer would like to finish her interview session and finish the job as quickly and as efficiently as possible, whereas the candidate wants to capture her interest and extend the interview so that he can impress her with his many qualifications. Different goals do not lead to conflicts, though. Sometimes, goals can be complementary. In some situations, participants can intentionally work together with a common aim.
Whether social interaction is complementary or cooperative, competitive, or coercive, it is always ordered by patterns of social structure and culture. When people get together, they generally fall into routinized schemes for expected behavior. Thus, even if one has never gone on a job interview, one knows a good deal about how to prepare for one and what to expect.
Even at a party, there is order and predictability to interaction; it is never completely free form. The party-goer who sits on a couch reading, or keeps asking everyone to quiet down and get serious, will be thought distinctly odd. At parties, one is expected to be sociable and to have fun.
One approach to studying social interaction is to look at how people define the situation. A simple definition of a situation allows people to know so much about what is expected of them. The answer lies in the large stock of cultural knowledge about social life that we acquire through socialization. This knowledge is shared—we all have internalized it—and we can draw on it anytime. That is not to say that we explicitly did not say to the interviewer: “This is a job interview, you know, which means that you are in charge and I should be differential.” We do know, however, implicitly keep such cultural knowledge in mind and let it help guide our actions.
The definition of a situation, however, is not always obvious. If a friend asks you to go with him or her to the library, is this a date or just an effort to get your help with an assignment? It is sometimes hard to say. In some cases, both parties are unclear about what is going on; in other cases, people have definite but different definitions of the situation. When different definitions exist, the participants can be thought of as inhabiting different social realities (Schutz and Luckmann, 1973).
In light of this, W. I. Thomas sociologist states an important issue about this called after his name—Thomas theorem. This theorem says that once we define a situation, that definition determines not only some of our actions but also of the consequences of what we do.
Most of the situations we encounter are ambiguous to some extent. As a result, we must constantly “test out” actions and modify them based on feedback as we strive toward a more precise, collective definition of what is going on. Thus, definitions of a situation are best seen as a form of negotiated order. Shared expectations impose limits (or social structure) on interactions, but these limits are not engraved in stone. There is always rooms for improvisations and negotiation. Negotiations, however, tend to create new rules that impose constraints on future interactions.
The processes of social interaction are the bases for creating social relationships—relatively enduring patterns of interaction between two or more people. Most people have many social relationships—relatively enduring patterns of interaction between making sure that many social relationships, from casual acquaintances to intimate friendships and close family bonds.
In all these, it is helpful to recognize the different levels of role-taking which helps us to tailor our words and actions to those of other people. What good can a well-planned management program do when it is not at all communicated effectively in the team that is in-charge to manage the Company? What good can communication do when the communication process is distorted, manipulated, blocked off, or otherwise broken hence causing misunderstanding, misinterpretation, dishonesty, and mistrust in the information generated by the system?
To illustrate, every organization must put importance to the security and risk management component in running the affairs of the business because a huge part of the success of the Company or Organization is determined by how strong it can withstand threats of risk and security in the business.
The more robust the security and risk management process is established, the greater the chance for the Company to succeed. But then, this is no guarantee all the time. Circumstances can vary. System reliability can be altered. One has to be vigilant and well-equipped for any eventualities and through effective communication he is half-way towards achieving success. Good social interaction facilitates matters swiftly.
Most especially today, the advent of communication and information technology is right before everyone’s eyes and the demand for change is inevitable. Customers or users are becoming more diverse and a large portion of them depend on technological infrastructure availability and confidentiality.
Hence, one has to keep up with the competition by enhancing productivity in order to stay ahead of the rest or to stay on top of everything. Moreover, one has to sustain change to survive in the business. The ongoing challenge is a struggle and most often than not, such challenges are accompanied by increasing risks in existing systems such as “downtime, information inaccuracy, and employee inefficiency” (Novak, 2004).
Nothing compares to having open communication among individuals within the organization. It is always a common fact that many organizations and projects succeed because open communication eradicates misunderstanding between and among people from bringing about successful solutions to problems. “A free-flow of information not only reduces the risk of misunderstandings and wasted effort but also ensures that all team members can contribute to reducing uncertainties surrounding the project.” (Security Risk Management Guide, 2004).
There are numerous aspects of social interaction used in the shaping of social relationships. For the purpose of this paper, I thoroughly examined the theories of “Self-perception” and “Social perception “I decided to focus on the views given by Sociologist Erving Goffman and Charles Darwin throughout chapter four.
According to sociologist Erving Goffman, social interaction should be compared to a theatrical performance, with the members of society playing the roles of actors or actresses.
Performers often worry and stress prior to going on stage. Do they worry about what the spectators will think? Will they ever get another role? How will they know if the spectators like their performance, and if they don’t what will happen to their career? Goffman believes “self-presenters sometimes worry about being judged incompetent; they often rehearse prior to their performance”.
However, performers are not the only individuals who are self -presenters. Society is full of norms and rules that are socially acceptable or unacceptable. These societal norms shape and mold the behavior of human behavior throughout society. Individuals, who try to fit into those norms and rules, often find themselves rehearsing their roles and behavior.
For example, applicants going for job interviews often rehearse what they will, and will not say in the interview. An applicant also observes the interviewer’s body language and responses, in order to figure out if they are being accepted or rejected. Goffman, gives the example of an individual preparing “for a romantic dinner date, for instance, you might purchase your date’s favorite wine, splash on some enticing cologne, and bring a romantic CD as a gift (the props) that will later be played at the right moment to properly set that stage for your romantic self-presentation.
You might even practice your romantic gazes and postures in front of a mirror or rehearse a romantic speech beforehand” (Franzol, 85). The stated examples, illustrate the importance of being accepted. The acceptance or rejection from society shapes the individual’s attitude towards self-worth and will construct their future behavior and interaction.
Further, in the readings, Goffman introduces the term “Strategic self-presentation.” The definition given to describe this term is “Conscious and deliberate efforts to shape other people’s impressions in order to achieve ulterior goals” (Franzol, 85). A common strategy used in self-presentation is self-promotion. Individuals, who use self-promotion, often boast about their positive assets. The intended goals are respect and envy. These individuals feel they posse’s humility and likability. However, these same individuals are more likely to be judged less likable because they are perceived to be a bragger and arrogant.
The next section in the chapter focused on attention-grabbing views of Charles Darwin. Facial expressions demonstrate another aspect of social perception. Darwin believed that facial expressions were the key to communication. Facial expressions are innate and are one of the things that are understood all over the world. The modern world rarely gives a second thought to their facial expressions, All over the world, the primary emotions are happiness, surprise, anger, sadness, fear, and disgust. Darwin also proposed the notion that these expressions are universally understood.
Darwin reports ” The ability to recognize emotion from the observation of facial expressions was genetically programmed into our species and had survival value for us.” This finding reinforces the concept of the power shaping of human behavior, and how construal concepts form social situations.
In conclusion, there is a broad span of societal norms that shapes human behavior. In order for society to accurately asses human behavior, it was important to clarify the above concepts. individuals often unconsciously, loose “power” of their social situation. Therefore, they no longer have control over their own human behavior. The shaping, influenced by society continues to mold ” Robotic” citizens.
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