ORDER & CONSISTENCY IN
HUMAN BEHAVIOUR
Sociological Explanation
© Dr. Francis Adu-Febiri, 2012
13/04/2015
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Presentation Outline
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1. Order and Consistency: Facts & Evidence
2. Structure and Dynamics of Social Structure and
Social Interaction
3. Components of the Social Structure
4. Structure and Dynamics of Social Interaction
5. Changes in Social Structure and Dynamics
6. Theoretical Perspectives of Social Structure and
Social Interaction
ORDER AND CONSISTENCY
IN HUMAN BEHAVIOR
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jm6lMT
3Jm6g
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ORDER AND CONSISTENCY IN
HUMAN BEHAVIOR: Questions
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How was it possible for many thousands of ordinary Germans—
products of what was regarded as the most advanced civilization
on earth—to murder millions of defenseless and innocent Jews,
Gypsies, homosexuals and people with mental disabilities
systematically in German death camps? And why did the innocent
often march to gas chambers without protest?
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ORDER AND CONSISTENCY IN
HUMAN BEHAVIOR: Answers?
1. Conventional answer:
 Many Nazis were evil, sadistic, or
deluded enough to think Jews and other
“undesirables” threatened the existence
of the German people. Therefore they
acted to eliminate these people.
 The innocent often marched to gas
chambers without protest because of
ignorance or fear.
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2. SOCIOLOGICAL ANSWER
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2. SOCIOLOGICAL ANSWER
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Social Orbits (Macro and Micro Social Forces):
Culture, Property, Power, Prestige and Human
Agency:
Social Structure (macro social forces),
particularly culture and structures of economy,
and power/authority and prestige, tends to
render people obedient or conformists either
voluntarily or involuntarily.
Social Interaction (micro social forces) of
individuals and groups tends to produce
culture and structures that guide peoples’
definitions and responses to situations,
including authority.
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2. SOCIOLOGICAL ANSWER
 Human
behavior , actions,
experiences, conditions, and
destinies are scripted by social
structure and interaction.
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DYNAMICS OF SOCIAL STRUCTURE & SOCIAL
INTERACTION
SOCIAL STRUCTURE AND INTERACTION:
SOCIOLOGICAL CLAIM
SOCIAL INTERACTION stabilizes into
RELATIONSHIP or SOCIAL
STRUCTURE which then shapes further
social interaction.
 “All social interaction takes place within
a social structure--a series of predictable
relationships composed of various
positions that people occupy” (Witt &
Hermiston 2010, p. 91).
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DYNAMICS OF SOCIAL STRUCTURE
& SOCIAL INTERACTION
Micro Social Forces
SOCIAL
INTERACTION
Cohesive Relationships
Based on statuses
SOCIAL
Consistency in Human STRUCTURE
Behavior & Identities
Conflict Relationships
based on statuses
Macro Social Forces
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 SOCIAL
STRUCTURE
COMPONENTS OF SOCIAL STRUCTURE
CULTURE
Statuses & Roles
Ascribed
Achieved
INDIVIDUAL BEHAVIOR,
CONDITION, IDENTITIES &
INTERACTION
Mass Media
Social Institutions
Secondary
Social Groups
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CULTURE
COMPONENTS OF SOCIAL
STRUCTURE
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1. CULTURE: Everything people create and
share as members of society.
2. SOCIAL GROUPS: People connected
together and having awareness of their
connectedness.
3. STATUSES: Social positions people occupy
4. ROLES: acting or playing out organized or
negotiated scripts that accompany social
positions.
5. SOCIAL INSTITUTIONS: Organized patterns of
rules/norms, values, beliefs, functions and interaction
centered on basic social needs of people.
RELATIONSHIPS AMONG THE COMPONENTS OF
THE SOCIAL STRUCTURE AND INTERACTION
Social Interaction
CULTURE
Social Groups
Social Institutions
Individual/Group
Interaction, condition
and identity
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RELATIONSHIPS AMONG THE COMPONENTS OF
THE SOCIAL STRUCTURE AND INTERACTION
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SOCIAL INTERACTION initiates culture, the
dynamics of CULTURE produce SOCIAL
GROUPS that construct STATUSES and their
accompanying ROLES to manage the dynamics
of group relations.
SOCIAL INSTITUTIONS emerge to provide
the needs of group relations.
SOCIAL INTERACTION, individual behavior,
and identities make sense only within these
dynamics of the social structure.
CULTURE
SYMBOLS
ARTIFACTS
CLOTHING &
DECORATIONS
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RITUALS
VALUES &
BELIEFS
TECHNOLOGY
NORMS
INFRASTRUCTURE
FOOD &
ENTERTAINMENT
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 SOCIAL
GROUPS
SOCIAL GROUPS
PRIMARY (Informal Relationships):
Involuntary & Voluntary; Usually small
 SECONDARY (Formal Relationships):
Involuntary & Voluntary; Usually large
 INFORMAL RELATIONS in Secondary
Groups:
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– CLIQUES
– NETWORKS
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SOCIAL GROUPS: NETWORKS
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Connections with people in same and/or
different social circles in both the concrete/real
and virtual worlds:
Social Networks as a Resource:
– shaping our economic/employment,
marriage, political, academic, and social
opportunities.
Social Networks as a Liability:
– Gossips, Scandals, and Constraints
damaging relationships or limiting the range
of interaction.
SOCIAL NETWORK: ADOLESCENT
SEXUAL NETWORKS
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At “Jefferson High” there are extensive
network of romantic and sexual
relationships that occurred over an 18month period. Though most of the
teenagers had had just one or two
partners, 288 of the 832 students
interviewed were linked to a giant sexual
network (Bearman, Moody and Stovel
2004).
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 SOCIAL
STATUS
STATUS: Socially Defined Position
within a group/society
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THE STRUCTURE OF SOCIAL POSITIONS
Master
Status
Status Set
STATUS
(ASCRIBED & ACHIEVED)
Status
Symbol
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SOCIAL STATUSES
Daughter
20 years old
Aboriginal
Sister
Female
Student
Classmate
Roommate
Teammate
Employee
Friend
QUIZ 8a
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The latest Canadian census data show that the face
of poverty in Canada is an Aboriginal female
living on reserve. What social position does this
representation suggest?
– A) Achieved Status
– B) Ascribed Status
– C) Status Inconsistency
– D) Status Deflation
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QUIZ 8b
Ellen Bains has observed that in most party
and social interaction situations in Victoria,
people want to know what she does for
living. This suggests that in Victoria one’s
job or occupation or profession
constitutes…
 A) a status set
 B) a status symbol
 C) a master status
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ROLE
RELATIONSHIPS AMONG
STATUS, ROLE AND IDENTITY
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ROLE/IDENTITY AS DYNAMIC SIDE OF STATUS (pp. 144,
148, 293, and 294).
Role
Expectation
STATUS
Role
Conflict
Role
Making
ROLE
Role
Playing
Role
Performance
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Role
Strain
IDENTITY
Role
Taking
Role
Exit
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ROLE CLASH: ROLE CONFLICT AND
ROLE STRAIN
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ROLE CONFLICT:
– Incompatible expectations arising from two
or more social positions held by the same
person.
ROLE STRAIN:
– The difficulty arising from one (the same)
social position creating conflicting demands
and expectations on the person holding this
one position.
ROLE EXIT:
– Process of disengagement from a social expectation
that is central to one’s self-identity in order to
establish a new role and identity: E.G: Ex-convicts,
divorcees, recovering alcoholics, ex-nuns, former
doctors, retirees, and transsexuals.
ROLE CLASH ILLUSTRATED
You
You
Daughter
or Son
Friend
Student
Worker
Visit mom
in hospital
Go to 21st
Birthday
party
Prepare for
tomorrow’s
exam
Come in for
emergency
overtime
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Role
Conflict
Student
Do
well
Not make
others
feel bad
Role
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Strain
QUIZ 8c
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Anita Bradford, a sociology major, had the
privilege to meet Tiger Woods, the famous
professional golfer. Anita asked Mr. Woods to
do her a favour by teaching her how to golf.
Tiger’s response was, “I love playing golf but I
hate to teach it to others.” From her knowledge
in sociology, Anita concludes that this response
of Mr. Woods’ represents……………
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A) Role strain
B) Role Exit
C) Role Conflict
D) Role ambiguity.
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QUIZ 8d
Ameto Guluu is experiencing a confusion.
He loves his girlfriend, Amie, but his
mother hates Amie. Which of the
following concepts would help you to
correctly represent Ameto’s situation
sociologically?
 A) Role Exit
 B) Role strain
 C) Role Conflict
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 D) Role ambiguity
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 SOCIAL
INSTITUTIONS
SOCIAL INSTITUTIONS
– THE WEB OF ENDURING, PREDICTABLE SOCIAL RELATIONSHIPS
THAT EXISTS TO MEETCOMMON HUMAN NEEDS.
RELIGION
EDUCATION
ECONOMY
FAMILY
HEALTH
LEISURE
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POLITICS
MEDIA
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SOCIAL INTERACTION
SOCIAL INTERACTION
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Responses of people to others/objects on the
basis of their interpretation/subjective
definition of the symbolic meanings of the
actions of others/objects.
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SOCIAL INTERACTION
Presentation
of the Self in
Everyday Life
–1. Structure and Dynamics
–2. Impression Making and
Impression Management
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PRESENTATION OF THE SELF IN EVERYDAY LIFE:
Front Stage: MASKS
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SOCIAL INTERACTION
STRUCTURE & DYNAMICS
FRONT STAGE: THE FAKE SELF
 On the front stage the individual is
usually not of her/his real self. She/he is
phony, faking through and through.
She/he is in “deep acting”.
 In effect, on the front stage, interacting
individuals wear MASKS
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Because the front stage is multiple, societal
members should have multiple masks or
multiple personalities. They should become
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social chameleons or they are labeled
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BACK STAGE: Putting Away Masks
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SOCIAL INTERACTION
STRUCTURE & DYNAMICS
BACK STAGE: THE REAL SELF
 Where the individual can put away the masks and
be of her/his real self.
 At the back stage the individual recuperates from
the fractures, burns and bruises sustained from
front stage performances.
 Individuals who are unable to put away the front
stage masks when they enter the back stage
become disconnected from their true feelings;
cause emotional stress to their loved ones; may
suffer nervous breakdown or experience mental
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problems and thus go through life feeling
miserable.
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Oversharing: The Presentation of the Self
in the Internet Age
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People ‘overshare’ when they interact with others through
the screens of computers and smartphones. Oversharing
means to divulge more of their inner feelings, opinions and
sexuality than they would in person, or even over the
phone. Text messaging, Facebooking, tweeting, camming,
blogging, online dating, and Internet porn are vehicles of
this oversharing, which blurs the boundary between public
and private life...we are much more public about what used
to be private. (Ben Agger 2012).
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
CHANGES IN SOCIAL STRUCTURE
AND INTERACTION
CHANGES IN SOCIAL STRUCTURE & SOCIAL
INTERACTION
 CHANGE PROCESSES & HOMEOSTASIS:
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1. FUNCTIONALISM:
– Through evolution there is change from a traditional society
characterized by MECHANICAL SOLIDARITY or
GEMEINSCHAFT ((close-knit community) to a modern
society characterized by ORGANIC SOLIDARITY or
GESELLSCHAFT (impersonal mass society).
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2. S0CIAL CONFLICT:
– From PRE-CAPITALIST society to CAPITALIST SOCIETY,
and eventually to COMMUNIST society through a
SOCIALIST revolution.
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3. INTERACTIONISM:
– Constant and multidirectional micro changes
 4. FEMINISM:
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– From Androcentrism to Egalitarianism.
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GEMEINSCHAFT TO GESELLSCHAFT
FUNCTIONALISM:
 GEMEINSCHAFT & MECHANICAL SOLIDARITY:
– Close-knit Community: Homeostasis provided by
tradition and collectivist practices focusing on
primary or informal relations. That is the local, the
personal and the intimate or face-to-face contacts
such as family, kinship, friendship and community.
 GESELLSCHAFT & ORGANIC SOLIDARITY:
– Impersonal Mass Society: Homeostasis provided
“large-scale, impersonal, economically based, and
utility-driven marketplace with no foundational
sense of virtue, morality or home” (Butin 2010, p.
115), but rather individualistic values focusing on
impersonal or secondary or formal relations such as
occur at the workplace, school, bureaucratic public
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domains.
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QUIZ 8e
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Scotia Bank has employed you as a sociologist
to use your knowledge to help it advertise its
products/services as if the bank has an informal
relations with customers. What sociological
concept would best capture this proposition of
the bank?
A) Social Closure
B) Gesellschaft
C) Gemeinschaft
D) Androcentrism
E) Capitalism
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PRE-CAPITALISM THROUGH
CAPITALISM TO COMMUNISM
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SOCIAL CONFLICT:
PRE-CAPITALISM: This social structure is
characterized by:
– Inequalities based on ascription
– lack of individual freedom.
CAPITALISM: This social structure is
characterized by
– Class struggles: social inequality, violence,
crime, alienation, stress and rhetoric of
individual freedom
COMMUNISM: This social structure is characterized
by
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– Classlessness: social equality and absolute individual 48
freedom.
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ANDROCENTRISM TO
EGALITARIANISM
FEMINISM
 ANDROCENTRISM:
– Male dominance causing inequality and
oppression against girls and women.
 EGALITARIANISM:
– Equity (perfect equality) and absolute
individual freedom and empowerment
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 THEORETICAL
PERSPECTIVES
THEORETICAL PERSPECTIVES ON SOCIAL
STRUCTURE AND INTERACTION
FUNCTIONALISM SOCIAL CONFLICT
Homeostasis:
-Emphasizes
the importance
of social order.
Sees social
structure and
interaction as
carrying out the
key tasks in this
regard.
Political
Economy &
Social Closures:
-Emphasizes
power
differential
among groups:
sees social
structure and
interaction as
reinforcing
inequality and
maintaining the
status quo
INTERACTIONISM
FEMINISM
Human Agency:
Patriarchy:
-Emphasizes
how social
structure and
interaction are
gendered; how
women and
men receive
differential
treatment in
culture and
institutions.
-Emphasizes
everyday
interaction,
shaped by
subjective
definition of
situations, as
the basis for
constructing
reality. Social
structure and
interaction reflect
and reinforce that
constructed
reality.
CONCLUSION
 Human
behaviour,
actions, experiences,
conditions, and
destinies are scripted
by social structure
and interaction.
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CONCLUSION
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The facts of contemporary history are also facts about
the success and failure of individual men and women.
When a society is industrialized, a peasant becomes a
worker; a feudal lord is liquidated or becomes a
businessman. When classes rise or fall, a man is
employed or unemployed; when the rate of investment
goes up or down, a man takes new heart or goes broke.
When wars happen, an insurance salesman becomes a
rocket launcher, a store clerk, a radar man; a wife lives
alone; a child grows up without a father (C. Wright
Mills 1959: Sociological Imagination).
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SAMPLE MIDTERM EXAM
QUESTION
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1. Gabriel has found out in his reading on culture
that the theories of the Hindu practice of keeping
cattle as sacred animals have no available
empirical evidence to support them. Therefore, he
has decided to conduct a survey research to
produce the necessary empirical evidence to test
the existing theories on this issue. This type of
research is……….?
–
–
–
–
A) Quantitative and Inductive
B) Quantitative and Deductive
C) Qualitative and Inductive
D) Qualitative and Deductive
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SAMPLE MIDTERM EXAM
QUESTION
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2. One of your Sociology 100 classmates has expressed
to you that she’s having difficulty identifying the
correct research method or technique to use to collect
data for her research assignment on hidden crimes.
You have advised her to use a content analysis to
examine backyard party conversations. What
sociological paradigm(s) would support this research
technique?
– A) Interactionism
– B) Feminism
– C) Functionalism
– D) Social Conflict
– E) All of the above
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