File - Francis Social Studies


Social Structure Unit 3

Sociology 35G

Social Structure and Status

Social Structure

 The underlying patterns of relationships in a group


 A position a person occupies within a social structure

Ascribed Status

 A position that is neither earned nor chosen but assigned

Achieved Status

 A position that is earned or chosen

Social Structure and Status

Status Set

 All of the statuses that a person occupies at any particular time

Master Status

 A position that strongly affects most other aspects of a person’s life

My Status Set

 Write down all the statuses that you occupy at this point in your life.

 Beside each status, write down which ones are ascribed and which ones are achieved  Now decide which one or ones are your master statuses…these can be achieved or ascribed  Explain why these are your master statuses!

The presidency of the United States, professional athlete

Philip Zimbardo’s Prison Experiment Role Playing

Social Psychologist Philip Zimbardo designed an experiment to observe the behaviour of people in a mock prison.

Philip Zimbardo’s Prison Experiment

This is one of the most famous and controversial studies ever conducted in the field of social science.

Philip Zimbardo’s study is a classic example of the power of the situation and how easily an individual can slip into a role and have it become real.

Zimbardo Prison Experiment Exit Slip

 Write a reflection (your thoughts, wonderings) about the Zimbardo Experiment.

 Give an example in your life, either recently or when you were a child, when you were put in a role where you acted in a way that you would not normally act.

Social Structure and Roles


 An expected behaviour associated with a particular status


 A behaviour that individuals can expect from others


 A behaviour that individuals are expected to perform toward others

Role Performance

 The actual behaviour of an individual in a role

Social Structure and Roles

Role Conflict

 Condition in which the performance of a role in one status interferes with the performance of a role in another status

Role Strain

 Condition in which the roles of a single status are inconsistent or conflicting

Role Conflict or Role Strain?

 Mr. Jones is a member of a high school board and his daughter is in Grade 11 at the same school. The board recently considered a proposal to drastically cut spending in the art department. Mr Jones’ daughter is an aspiring artist with dreams of opening her own studio someday. Mr. Jones’ vote could be crucial. What should Mr. Jones do?

Role Strain and Role Conflict Activity

In your group act out a scenario of role strain or role conflict.

Examples:  Role strain at school  Role conflict at school   Role strain within the family Role conflict within the family   Role strain in social life Role conflict in social life

Exit Slip: Role Strain or Role Conflict

 Think of a time when you encountered either role strain or role conflict. Explain what happened and how you felt.


Groups are classified by how they develop and function.

Social Category People who share a social characteristic Social Aggregate People temporarily in the same place at the same time.

Primary Group People who are: 1.



emotionally close, know one another well, and seek one another’s company.

Secondary Group People who share only part of their lives while focusing on a goal or task.

Primary or Secondary Relationships?





A married couple A coach and her soccer team A teacher and her students A car salesperson and her potential customer Primary Relationships involve interactions that are intimate, personal, caring and fulfilling.

Secondary relationships involve impersonal interactions involving limited parts of personalities


Identify a primary group to which you belong. and a secondary group Describe three functions of each of these groups based on your personal experiences

The Lifeboat Game

A passenger liner is wrecked at sea and these 15 people find themselves together in a lifeboat. The lifeboat however, can only support 9 people. If six are not eliminated everyone will die. If you were in command of the lifeboat, whom would you choose to survive?

The Lifeboat Game

In your

assigned secondary groups

, you are required to reach a joint decision to which passengers will be eliminated.

Exit Slip #6 Lifeboat Activity

Was this a difficult task for you to do in your secondary group? Explain why.

If you had done this activity on your own would your answers have been different? Explain why.

If you had done this activity with one of your primary groups, would your answers have been different? Explain why.

Social Interaction


Interaction in which individuals or groups combine their efforts to reach a goal


Interaction aimed at defeating an opponent

Ingroups and Outgroups

The social definition of who you are also implies who you are not

Two kinds of groups that provide us with standards against which we evaluate ourselves. People tend to perceive certain groups as more attractive to belong to than others.

Social Interaction

Social Exchange A voluntary action performed in the expectation of getting a reward in return Coercion Interaction in which individuals or groups are forced to behave in a particular way. The opposite of social exchange. Coercion is a one way street. (e.g. Parents coerce children with a curfew, guards coerce prisoners with force and governments coerce drivers with fines.) Conformity Behaviour that matches group expectations. Without conformity there would be no culture or social structure.

Social Interaction

Group Think Self-deceptive thinking that is based on conformity to group beliefs, and created by group pressure to conform

Group Think

Many decisions are likely to be the product of groupthink.

For example: During the administration of President John F. Kennedy in the early 1960s, for example, the president and his advisers decided to launch an invasion of Cuba at the Bay of Pigs. The invasion failed. Analysis revealed that during the decision process, because of group pressure, several top advisers failed to admit that they thought the plan would probably not succeed.

Solomon Asch’s Experiment

  In 1951 social psychologist Solomon Asch devised an experiment to examine the extent to which pressure from other people could affect one's perceptions. In total, about one third of the subjects who were placed in this situation went along with majority’s wrong opinion.

Conditions that Strengthen Conformity






The person feels insecure.

The group has at least 3 people.

The group is unanimous.

The person admires the groups’ status.

Others in the group are observing the person’s behaviour.

Exit Slip #7 Conformity

 Think of a time when you conformed to a group that went against what you would normally do or think.

 Explain the situation and why you think you conformed to the people in this group

Stanley Milgram’s Experiment

Stanley Milgram, a psychologist at Yale University, conducted a social psychology experiment that focused on the conflict between obedience to authority and personal conscience

Milgram came up with a famous and controversial experiment to examine what happens when ordinary people are faced with morally questionable orders. What he learned shocked not only him but the entire world.

He tested whether people would shock a person simply because an authority figure told them to do it.

In the experiment, conducted at Yale University over a period of months in 1961, an authority figure -- "the experimenter" -- dressed in a white lab coat and instructed participants to administer what they believed were increasingly painful electric shocks to another person. Two-thirds of Milgram's participants delivered shocks as they heard cries of pain, signs of heart trouble.

Stanley Milgram’s Experiment

Conditions that Strengthen Obedience


The person giving the orders is perceived as an authority figure is close at hand.


The victim is depersonalized or at a distance from the person obeying 3.

There were no role models for defiance (no one else is disobeying)

Video: Group Influence

 What surprised you about the video  What are some of the things you learned about group influence

5 Types of Group Social Interaction

Read pages 181-185 Write a definition for each term and then give a personal example of the 5 types of social interaction: 1.





Cooperation Conflict Social Exchange Coercion Conformity

Cooperation, Conflict, Social Exchange, Coercion or Conformity




Blood donors expect payment. Social exchange Students read what a teacher assigns. conformity Saddam Hussein invades Kuwait. conflict 4.


Flood victims help each other. cooperation Employees are forced to work overtime or be fired coercion Why is conformity essential for the development of social structures?

Social Psychologists:

Philip Zimbardo – Role Playing Prison Experiment Solomon Asch – Conformity Line Experiment Stanley Milgram – Obedience Shocking Experiment

Leadership in Groups

A leader is someone who is consistently able to influence the behaviour of others.

Instrumental leadership organizes a group by defining goals and determines ways to achieve them Expressive leadership creates harmony and keeps morale high usually well liked by group members

Leadership Styles

Authoritarian  Give orders  Effective in emergencies Democratic   Attempt to win consensus on goals and courses of action Concern for individual rights in the group Laissez-faire  Make little attempt to direct or organize the group  Group functions mostly on its own


Clique – an exclusive group that includes a small number of chosen members Why do people belong to cliques?

Through cliques, people find others who share their values, ideas and activities. Cliques provide a way to form close friendships.

Activities: 1. Reading 6 “The Curse of Cliques” and 2. Primary group analysis:cliques Alternative assessments pg 30

Cliques Exit Slip #8

What clique do you feel you belong to at Vincent Massey? Describe your clique (norms, behaviours, activities, appearance) How does this clique make you feel?

How did you feel about the group activity we did? Why? Were you offended by any comments?

Castlegate: Group Brain Teaser

How effective was your group in this activity?

Was there a lot of discussion in your group?

If not, why?

Did someone act as a leader in your group?

Was this helpful or not?

Do you usually act as a leader in group activities? Are you comfortable acting in a leadership role? Why or why not.

Individual Activity “Groups”

Consider your own family . Analyze how you are a part of that social group. Ask yourself the following and write down the answers. Hand in your answers when finished…today!

1. What am I expected to do and be in that group?

2. What is my position or status in that group?

3. In what ways am I an important part of the group?

4. What happens when a family member does something the rest of the group doesn’t like?

Formal Organizations and Bureaucracies

Formal Organization – a group deliberately created to achieve one or more long term goals Bureaucracy – a formal organization based on rationality and efficiency

Unit 3 Test Social Structure Status Ascribed Status Achieved Status Status Set Master Status Role Right Obligation Role Performance Role Conflict Role Strain Social Structure Social Aggregate Social Category Primary Group Secondary Group Ingroups and Outgroups 5 Types of Social Interaction: Cooperation Conflict Social Exchange Coercion Conformity Group Think Cliques Types of Leadership Leadership styles Long Answer Questions: The Social Psychologists and their experiments: Stanley Milgram, Philip Zimbardo and Solomon Asch