Sociological Significance of Social Structure
Social structure determines or influences behavior? Think about the meaning of the underlined verbs in the previous question. Sociologists differ on their opinion of the appropriate verb. What do you think, considering social structures such as the classroom, dining out in a restaurant, or daily chores (or lack thereof) at home?
Behavior Decided by Location in Social Structure
Group's Language, Beliefs, Values, Behaviors, Gestures
Society - People Who Share and Culture and Territory
Society Evolved Through Stages:
Hunting and Gathering
Pastoral and Horticultural
Social Status: Position in a social structure
Ascribed: Involuntary status, perhaps by birth.
Achieved: Status gained through work or effort.
Status Symbols: What are status
symbols of living in Southern
Master Statuses: The most socially important status.
Roles - Behaviors, Obligations, Privileges Attached to a Status
Status vs. Role
You Occupy a Status
You Play a Role
Stereotypes: overgeneralizations about an entire group of people
Front and Back Stages
Role Strain Between and Within Roles
Teamwork and Face-Saving Behavior
The Study of How People Do Things: Background assumptions
The sabbatical project engaged by Instructor Hund in 2003-04 represents a type of ethnomethodology in that Hund researched and lived the everyday life norms in the village in Ghana, as well as homestays with local families in Ghana, Vietnam and Germany. Ethnomethodology allows one to understand the everyday practices that we participate in and take for granted but maybe never really take the time to understand why we do what we do. For example, the study of the greetings cross-culturally: In Ghana and Vietnam, greetings include questions about one's family, marital status, children and age. Whereas in the U.S. or Germany, these questions may be considered taboo. The snap in Ghana is used in formal and informal greetings whereas no formal physical greeting is practiced in Vietnam except to greet the elderly with a bow; in Germany, it is expected to shake hands firmly, not like a dead fish! How do you greet your family and peers?
Definition of the Situation: If people define things as real, they are real, in and of the consequences. - Thomas Theorem
Objective Reality vs. Subjective Interpretation
Social Interaction on the Internet
Groups - People Who Regularly and Consciously Interact
Social Institutions - Means Developed by Societies to Meet Basic Needs (examples of social institutions: family, workplace, religion, politics, religion, education, health care, prison, media)
A Group - People Who Think of Themselves as Belonging Together
Primary Groups: Strong interpersonal
relations, typically a small group
(examples: Friends, family)
Secondary Groups: Larger, more anonymous groups in which members interact based on specialized roles (examples: workplace, school)
In-Groups and Out-Groups Produce: Loyalty, Sense of Superiority, Rivalries
What might be the implications of in-groups and out-groups for a socially diverse workplace or city?
Reference groups are groups in which one may not be a member, but these groups have an impact on the self (examples: media figures)
How do media figures influence your dress, your dialogue, your attitude, your values?
Ties that Extend Outward from Self
Implications for Socially Diverse Society
People Connect Online
Online Chat Rooms
How might electronic communities serve to improve one's network base or dating options?
Five Characteristics of Bureaucracies
Clear Cut Levels/Hierarchy
Division of Labor
Written Communication and Records
The California DMV, LBCC, and City of Long Beach Police Departments are all examples of bureaucracies. One's family is not. Do you understand why?
Red Tape: Excessive rules and regulations.
Bureaucratic Alienation: Disconnection, possibly emotional and physical, to one's activity in a bureaucracy.
Resisting Alienation: Finding personal connections or meaning in one's activity in a bureaucracy.
The "Hidden" Corporate Culture
Iron Law of Oligarchy
Half of Workers are People of Color, Immigrants, and Women
Hiring and Promoting Teams
Almost Total Involvement
Decision Making by Consensus
Myth vs. Reality
Differences Less than in the Past
Global Competition Causes Interdependencies
Technology Affecting Worker Behavior
Group Size Affects Stability and Intimacy
Group Size Affects Stability and Intimacy
As Size Increases, So Does Stability
Effects of Group Size on Attitudes and Behavior
The Larger the Group...
Greater Diffusion of Responsibility
Increase in Formality
Division into Smaller Groups
Collective Tunnel Vision Groups Develop
Example of groupthink: the majority of the German population during WWII who followed Hitler's Final Solution and Genocide attempts of more than 6 million Jews, gays, lesbians, Jehovah Witnesses, immigrants, communists and political dissidents. Similarly, during Pol Pot's era as Cambodian ruler from 1975-79, over 1 million Cambodians were killed by Cambodians (skulls from the Cambodian Killing Fields shown below).
Global Consequences of Group Dynamics: Can you think of any examples of group think occurring in the U.S. which have global impacts?
Preventing Groupthink: Voicing opposition or dissent. Example: The White Rose Society which began in Munich and spread to various towns and cities in Germany, in opposition to the fascism of Hitler's government (1st photo from left below). However, several of the students (shown below: Hans Scholl, Sophie Scholl, and Christoph Probst) and a professor were publicly hung for their dissent and publications against the Hitler propaganda.