Social Structure  Stable pattern of social relationships that exist within a particular group or society Social Interaction  Process

by which people act towards or respond to other people Relative homelessness:  Being housed in a dwelling that fails to meet basic living standards. Very common among both urban and rural Aboriginal populations. Functionalist VS Conflict Perspectives… Functionalist Perspective: Social structure creates order and predictability in a society. It makes it easier to build a selfconcept. It gives us the ability to interpret the social situations we encounter. (Family to care, school to educate, etc.) Helps people make sense of their environment. Conflict Perspective: Social structure may limit our options. It places us in arbitrary categories not of our own choosing. Marx: Economic production most important structural aspect of any society. Capitalism: System of relations of domination. (ex: owner-worker) We do things due to patterns. Most human action takes place within human interactions, we all depend on each other. Ex: We depend on teacher to teach us, teacher depends on class to pay their salary. It is essential to overall function of society, in which all relationships are co-dependent upon other social structures. In capitalistic societies, the social structure is a relationship of domination. Gender, sexism, ageism, racism, existing social structures that need to be explored. Social marginality:  State of being part insider and part outsider in the social structure.

Stigma:  Any physical or social attribute or sign that so devalues a person’s social identity that it disqualifies them from full social acceptance. Ex: Striped uniform of criminal. Components of Social Structure:  Status  Roles  Groups  Social Institutions Status  A socially defined position in a group or society characterized by certain expectations, rights, and duties o Guides our behavior o Relational: Defines who and what we are in relation to others o Collectively occupied o Not to be confused with prestige Ex: To have teachers, you must have students. Expectations, duties for all people occupying the status are the same. There is no such thing as a “one person status”. Status set  Made up of all the statuses a person occupies over a given time.  Multiple statuses imply many other relationships to other people. Ascribed status  Status ascribed from birth, or involuntarily given in later life.  Usually unchangeable, however some people feel the need to change an ascribed status. Achieved status  Social position that a person can acquire on the basis of merit. Can be changed. Master status  Most important status a person occupies. Dominant over all other statuses.

Stigmatized master status: Master status that conveys a devalued social identity within a particular context.  Ex: Muslim in North America. Status symbols  Material signs that inform others of a person’s specific status. Ex: Wedding ring. Role  A set of behavioral expectations associated with a given status.  Note: We hold a status and perform a role.  Ex: University student’s role set: Faculty, friends, family, dating partners, classmates.  Expected to be attending classes, attentive, well-prepared, hard-working, devoting time to personal enrichment Role expectation  Behavior expected of an individual who occupies a given social position. Role performance  How a person actually plays a role. May or may not match role expectation. Ex: Student expects prof to be fair, knowledgeable, punctual, etc. When roles are done as expected by the person occupying the role, then good relationships are ensured. Role ambiguity  When role expectations are unclear, or when a role is relatively new or unacknowledged by a society. Role conflict (among statuses)  Incompatible role demands are placed on a person by two or more statuses held at the same time. Role overload  When the total number of statuses and role sets overwhelm all activity

Role strain  Incompatible role demands are built into a single status that a person occupies (within a single status) Ex: Student needs to do well and not make others look bad. Role strain. I am worker, student, and son. Need to come into work for emergency, need to study for exam, and visit family member in the hospital. Role conflict. Role distancing  People find themselves in roles in which the social identities implied are inconsistent with how they think of themselves/ how they want to be seen by others. Role exit  When people disengage from roles that have been central to their self-identity. Change in self-concept. Two other solutions:  Establishing priorities  Creating public awareness Example: Dr. Jack Kevorkian and physicianassisted suicide. Stood on trial for murder. Convicted in second-degree murder. Social groups + social institutions (later classes) Next lecture: Social Interactions: A Microsociological Perspective