Social Structure, Social Groups, and Social Organizations

Social Structure, Social Groups, and Social Organizations

Make an exhaustive (extremely long) status set list. Identify which statuses are ascribed and which are achieved. Identify your master status. Finally, for your master

status create an exhaustive role set.

Social Structure, Social Groups, and Social Organizations
Components of Social Structure
Status – a socially defined position that an individual occupies.
Status set – the combination of all the statuses any individual holds at a given time. Ascribed vs. Achieved
Master Status – the status that takes priority over all the others in your social identity.
Roles – a set of expectations and behaviors associated with any given status
Role sets – multiple roles attached to individual statuses

Role Ambiguity – when the expectations associated with a particular social status are unclear.
Role Conflict – when incompatible expectations arise from 2 or more social positions held by the same person.
Role Strain – occurs when differing and incompatible roles are associated with the same status
Role Exit – the process of disengagement from a role that is central to one’s self-identity in order to establish a new role and identity
Types of Social Interaction
Exchange; Cooperation; Competition; Conflict, Coercion

Groups – any number of people with similar norms, values and expectations who interact with one another on a regular basis.

Types of Groups (Non-Social; Limited Social; Social; Primary & Secondary; In vs. Out; Peer; Reference)

Statistical Groups – a group formed by scientists or statisticians in which members are unaware of belonging and have no social interaction or social organization.

Categorical Group – a group in which a number of people share a common characteristic.

Aggregate – a group consisting of a collection of people who are together in one place and socialize very little

Associational/Organizational Groups – consist of people who join together in some organized way to pursue a common interest, and they have a formal structure

Social Groups – involve some type of interaction, a sense of belonging or membership, shared interests, or agreement on values, norms, and goals, and a structure,

meaning a definable, recognizable, arrangement of parts.

Primary Group – a small, informal group of people who interact in a personal, direct, and intimate way.

Secondary Group – a group whose members interact in am impersonal manner, have few emotional ties and come together for a specific practical purpose
In-Group – a social category to which persons feel they belong and in which the members have a consciousness or awareness of kind.

Out-Group – those with whom we do not share an awareness of kind

Peer Groups – an informal primary group of people who share a similar status and who usually are of a similar age.

Reference Groups – groups that we identify with psychologically.

Impact of Group Size
A size increase = more Division of Labor (DOL)
Size increase – more rigidity and formality
Size increase = more need for formal leadership
Size increase = change in communication patterns
Size increase = cohesion decrease

Instrumental Leaders – organize the group around its goals by suggesting ways to achieve them and persuading the members to act appropriately

Expressive Leaders – resolve conflicts and create group harmony and social cohesion

Bureaucracy – a formal organizational structure that directs and coordinates the efforts of the people involved in various organizational tasks; it is a hierarchical

arrangement of an organization’s parts, based on the division of labor and authority
Division of Labor and Specialization
Hierarchy of Authority
Employment Based on Technical Qualifications
Written Rules and Regulations
Dysfunctions of Bureaucracy
Iron Law of Oligarchy – when an organization is dominated by a small self-serving group of people who achieve power and promote their own interests.
Trained Incapacity – when the demands of discipline, conformity, and adherence to rules render people unable to perceive the end for which the rules were developed

Durkheim’s Societal Typology
Mechanical Solidarity – A collective consciousness that emphasizes group solidarity, characteristic of societies with minimal division of labor.

Organic Solidarity – A collective consciousness that rests on mutual interdependence, characteristic of societies with a complex division of labor.

Tonnies’ Gemeinschaft and Gesellschaft Communities

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