Delta State University
SOC 101: Principles of Sociology
Spring Semester 2005

Study Questions
Week 5

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Topic for the Week:  Social Interaction and Social Structure

Readings for the Week:

Society: The Basics
, Chapter 4

Sociological Footprints, Chapters 15 (Hall & Hall) & 16 (Wood)


(1)  What is meant by the term social interaction.  What are the functions and products of social interaction?

(2)  What is meant by the term social structure.  What are the components of social structure?  Provide concrete examples of the component of social structure and briefly describe some functions of each.

(3)  Distinguish the following concepts:  ascribed status, achieved status, master status.  What is the relationship between statuses and roles?  Between statuses and social hierarchies?

(4)  What is meant by role conflict?  What is meant by role strain?  Provide an example of each from your own experiences.

(5)  Sociologists argue that society is socially constructed.  What does this mean?  How do the Thomas theorem, ethnomethodology and dramaturgical analysis contribute to our understanding of social construction processes?

(6)  Provide an example of how social situations are constructed.  What roles do nonverbal communication, idealization, and tact play in social construction processes?

(7)  Are social constructionists generally more interested in objective or subjective reality?  Explain.

(8)  The social construction of reality occurs through interaction.  How might emotions, language, and humor influence the meaning attached to a particular interaction?  What role does perception play in this process?

Explain the role of nonverbal communication in social interaction.  What messages are transmitted nonverbally?  How do these affect social organization?

(10)  How do menís and womenís friendships differ?  Explain how these differences create structures that influence behavior.