Chapter 4: Social Strctures

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Ascribed Statuses
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are the result of change in that people exert no effort to obtain them
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Achieved Statuses
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are acquired through some combination of personal choice, effort, and ability
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Statue Set
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sociologist use this term to capture all the statuses any one person assumes
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Role
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used to describe the behavior of a status in relation to another status Ex. the role of foster parent in relation to foster child, r the role of physician in relationship to patient
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Role Set
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any given social status which is associated with an array of roles
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Role Expectations
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also known as norms about how a role should be enacted relative to other statuses
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Role Performances
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the actual behavior of the person occupying a role, do not meet role expectations as when some physicians knowingly perform unnecessary surgery or when some patients fail to comply with treatment plans.
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Role Conflict
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is a predicament in which the roles associated with two or more distinct statuses that a person holds conflict in some way
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Role Strain
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is a predicament in which there are contradictory or conflicting role expectations associated with a single status.
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Master staus
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a status that shapes every aspect of life and dominates social interactions
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Group
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consists of two or more people interacting largely predictable ways who share expectations about their purpose for being
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Primary groups
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are characterized by face-to-face contact and/or by strong emotional ties among members who feel an allegiance to one another Ex. teams, couples, siblings, cliques, peer groups, etc.
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Secondary groups
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consists of two or more people who interact for a very specific purpose – confined to specific settings and the involved parties relate to each other in terms of specific roles. Ex. employees of a larger corporation or fans that support a particular sports team
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Social structure
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a largely invisible system that broadly shapes and constrains human activity in noticeable and predictable ways
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Social facts
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are collectively imposed ways of thinking, feeling, or behaving that have \”he remarkable property of existing outside the consciousness of the individual\” (Durkheim)
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Human agency
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is the capacity of individuals to act autonomously to resist the constraining pressure of social structure. Also it is said that its about the individual’s ability to question the way things are done, to choose to do it another way or try to.
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Division of labor
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refers to work that is broken down into specialized tasks, each performed by a different set of workers trained to do the task
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Social network
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is a web of social relationships linking people to one another
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Dyad
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smallest group which consists of two people. Reasons dyads form: birth- mother & son by choice- two friends social necessity- doctor & patient, teacher & student, author & editor
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Comprehensive Dyad
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the involved parties have more than a superficial knowledge of each other’s personality and life: they know each other in various ways
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Segmentalized Dyads
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the parties know much less of the other’s personality and life; and what they know is confined to a specific situation: classroom, salon, or specific setting
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Triad
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consists of three people. Ex. step-dad, a new friend, a nurse to the doctor & patient
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Oligarchy
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is rule by the few, or the concentration of decision making power in the hands of a few persons who hold the top positions in a hierarchy.
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Formal organizations
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are coordinating mechanism that brings together people, resources, and technology and then direct human activity toward achieving a specific outcome.
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Voluntary organizations
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draw in people who give time, talent, or money money to address a community need
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Coercive organizations
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draw in people who have no choice but to participate Ex. public schools
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Utilitarian organizations
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draw in those seeking to achieve some desired goal in exchange for money.
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Bureaucracy
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in theory, as a completely rational oraganization one that uses the most efficient means to achieve a valued goal, whether that goal is feeding people, counting people, collecting taxes, drilling for oil.
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Ideal type
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a deliberate simplification or caricature in that it exaggerates essential traits.
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Formal dimension
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is the official, by the book way an organization should operate
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Informal dimension
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encompasses any aspect of the organization’s operations that departs from the way it is officially supposed to operate
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Instrumental rational action
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is result-oriented behavior that emphasizes the most efficient methods or means for achieving some valued goal, without regard for any adverse consequences those methods have
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Rationalization
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is a process in which thought and action organized around emotion, superstition, respect for mysterious forces, or tradition are replaced by instrumental rational action
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McDonaldizaion of society
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the process by which the principles of the fast food industry have been applied to other sectors of American society and the world. Principles: efficiency, calculability, predictability and control
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Efficiency
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involving using methods that will achieve a desired end in the shortest amount of time
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Calculability
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emphasizes numerical indicators as a way customers can judge the results of a product or service or the speed with which it is delivered
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Predictability
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is the expectation that a service or product will be the same no matter where in the world or when it is purchased.
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Control
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involves replacing employee labor with \”smart\” technologies and/or requiring, even demanding, that employees and customers behave in a certain way
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Iron cage of irrationality
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used to label the process by which supposedly rational systems produce irrationalities
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Alienation
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a state of being in which humans lose control over the social world they have created and are dominated by the forces of their inventions.

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