Elements of Social Interaction

  • Status
  • Status is a person’s social position in society. Each person has many statuses, ex. Son, student, friend, etc. They affect the type of interactions we have – some equal, some not.
    • Friends are equal, but if you are interacting with professor they are superior to you. Of if you’re president of school organization you can be superior over members.
  • Ascribed statuses – statuses you can’t change, given from birth.
    • Prince of royal family
  • Achieved status – status you earn yourself after working for it,
    • Olympic athlete
  • Role Strain and Role Conflict
  • Role strain – when you can’t carry out all obligations of a status, tensions within one status.
    • Causes individual to be pulled many directions by one status, ex. a student.
  • Role conflict – conflict between two different statuses, unlike role strain.
    • someone who’s a parent, friend, husband, and worker.
  • Primary and Secondary Groups
  • Primary groups – closest members of the group to you, ex. in a wedding the bridesmaids/groomsmen. They provide an anchorpoint. You are born into a primary group – your family. Often seen as a source of close human feeling/emotion.
  • Secondary groups – formal and business-like relationships, based on a limited purpose/goal. Usually short-term, and only see them sometimes. Only part of the group to accomplish a task or earn money.
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