UB SOC 101 - The Two Levels of Sociological Analysis

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The Two Levels of Sociological AnalysisMacrosociological Components of Social StructurePart II. Microsociological Components of Social Structure: Social Interaction in Everyday LifeChapter 5: Social Structure and Social InteractionRead the entire chapter EXCEPT SECTIONS 5.2 and 5.3The Two Levels of Sociological Analysismacrosociology -- social structuremicrosociology -- social interactionSociologists look at society from both a macro and a micro perspective.Macroanalysis is a sociological approach that takes the broadest view of society by Social life is composed of many levels of building blocks, from the very micro to the very macro. These building blocks combine to form the social structure.Macrosociological Components of Social Structure Social InstitutionsA social institution is an established and organized system of social behavior with a recognized purpose. Functionalists emphasize the positive aspects of social institutions and argue that social institutions exist because they meet universal needs. The purpose of social institutions is to provide society with its functional requisites, the major tasks that a society must fulfill if it is to survive."Total institutions" are an extreme example.2Social StructuresSocial structures are the organized patterns of social relationships and social institutions that together comprise society.Different social classes, racial/ethnic groups and women have different access to opportunities.Recall Durkheim’s concept of “social facts”All of the components of social structure work together to maintain social order by limiting, guiding, and organizing human behavior.Social Interaction and Society3Groups To sociologists, a group is a collection of individuals who:- interact and communicate with each other- share goals and norms- have a subjective awareness of themselves as a distinct social unitSocial status Statuses are socially defined not individually defined. Statuses define who and what we are in relation to others. Differs from the concept of identity.Status is an established position in a social structure that carries a degree of social rank or value.achieved status ascribed status master status RolesRole – expected behavior associated with a particular status.The difference between a role and a status is that a person occupies a status, such as being a male, but plays a role , such as acting tough. One individual occupies several statuses at the same time= status setFor each status there are a number of roles= role set.Role conflict: When two or more roles impose conflicting expectations.Role strain is conflicting expectations within a single role.4In conclusion to Part One of this chapter, suffice it to say that social structure sets the context for what individuals do, feel and think. For most 5people, social structure is largely a constraining force that shapes and molds their everyday life, mostly unconsciouslyPart II. Microsociological Components of Social Structure: Social Interaction in Everyday LifeSymbolic interactionists examine small-scale, face-to-face social interactions from a microsociological perspective.Theories about Analyzing Social InteractionSociologists use different theories of human interactions and relationships:o the social construction of realityo ethnomethodologyo impression management & dramaturgyo social exchange theory The social construction of realityour perception of what is real is determined by the subjective meaning we assign to an experience.This is the principle, described by W.I. Thomas, of the social construction ofreality—the idea that our perception of what is real is determined by the subjective meaning that we attribute to an experience.Ethnomethodologystudying norms by violating them to reveal people’s standards.See how people react to disruption and what they do to restore the normative order.Demonstrates how easily these forces can be challenged and how fragile they

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UB SOC 101 - The Two Levels of Sociological Analysis

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