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structural forces

There aren't enough good-paying jobs in
nonwhite communities.

social interaction forces

Racial inequality is reinforced when police
officers assume nonwhites are more likely to
be criminals.

social structure

recurrent pattern f relationships
enable and constrain us
can be found in all levels of society
reinforced by formal rules and/or custom
3 elements: status, role and institution


A specialized position in a group.

achieved statuses

(good or bad) position that a person can attain for life

ascribed statuses

are fixed by
birth and inheritance; ex: race, sex, age, etc..

status set

refers to the
combination of all statuses held
by an individual.


Sets of norms specifying
rights and obligations
associated with status.

role strain

occurs when incompatible role demands develop within a single status. ex: like mothers not being able to feed kids

role conflict

when incompatible role
demands develop
because of multiple statuses. ex: working student


enduring social structures that meet basic human needs.

basic social institutions


institutional interdependence

Each institution
affects the others
and is affected by
reinforces norms
and values; adds
to social stability.

structural functional theory

--Institutions allow
social life to run
smoothly in stable
and predictable ways.
Sanctified by
tradition, viewed as
morally right - they
provide satisfaction
and security.

conflict theory

who benefits from existing institutions?
institutions support the interests of those in power
help maintain inequality

types of society

hunting, fishing and gathering

hunting fishing and gathering

Those societies in which most food must be
obtained by killing wild animals or finding
edible plants.
Simple subsistence economy does not
produce surpluses.
Individuals are homogenous (alike) having
the same everyday experiences.


Characterized by small-scale, simple farming,
without plows or large animals, settlement
Began when people began to cultivate crops
(first agricultural revolution).


are based on growing foods using plows and large beasts of burden


Characterized by mass production of nonagricultural goods.
Arose only a few hundred years ago in Western


societies in
which most people share
close personal bonds.


societies in
which people are tied
primarily by impersonal,
practical bonds.


an answer to the question What is going on here?

identity negotiation

Identities will depend somewhat on the frame.
Identity is negotiated by trying to get others to
play the roles we have assigned them.
Negotiation is based on power relations


A version of symbolic
interaction developed by
Erving Goffman, that
views social institutions
as scenes manipulated
by the actors to convey
the desired impression to
the audience.

impression management

Actions and
statements made
to control how
others view us.
Consists of two
general strategies:
• avoiding blame
• gaining credit

avoiding blame

accounts, excuses, justifications, disclaimer


are explanations of unexpected or untoward behavior: excuses and justifications


one admits that an act is wrong, or inappropriate; claims one couldn't help it


explains reasons one had for choosing to break the rule; often an appeal to an alternate rule


verbal device used in advance toward off negative reactions to one's conduct

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