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Status and Roles – Elements of Social Interaction (PSY, SOC)

by Tarry Ahuja, MD
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    00:00 So let me ask you a question.

    00:03 What is your status? What is your role? What groups do you belong to interact with? These are the few of the elements that influence social interaction, right.

    00:12 Lets walk through some of those components.

    00:14 What are we talking about when we say status? This is the term that I am sure you’ve heard before, right.

    00:19 So what are we implying? Well, in the broad rumof sociology we have society, right.

    00:25 Society. We belong to a society, but within that society what is your status? So where do you fit in, in that societal ladder? There is a lot of different things that will influence that and there is a different states or of status.

    00:41 So the first would be if you are equal.

    00:43 And know this is not the picture of me when I was young.

    00:45 Alright, so same of those that you are sitting within the room. Let say in the classroom, you are in the grade school and all the kids around you.

    00:52 Essentially the social ladder you are all the same.

    00:56 You are all, 8-9 year old, sitting in your grade 2 class, going to school.

    01:00 Say you have your group of friends, your circle of friends.

    01:04 Generally speaking, you are all consider yourselves peers. You have a roommate.

    01:09 Unless your roommate is like Michael Jordan you pretty much would consider yourself of all fairly equal.

    01:16 Now, you would be consider inferior relatively speaking if you are of a lower status in those around you.

    01:23 Let say you are a student and you’re referring yourself of to your teacher.

    01:27 Your teacher in that scenario will have a higher status than you.

    01:31 Or you would have a lower status than your teacher.

    01:36 Now, the flip side is if you are engaging with somebody who has a higher status.

    01:41 So let say the CEO of the company.

    01:43 Or in this scenario this example that we have here, we have a drill sergeant and one of the cadets.

    01:50 He would be definitely of a higher status. He is the one making doing the push-ups right.

    01:54 So here three examples and three relative states that you can be in terms of the status.

    01:59 Now, let’s look the types of status.

    02:02 Now, there is the amazing option of being ascribed status.

    02:07 This is when you are given assigned by society regardless the persons own effort.

    02:12 The example that we have here is Prince William.

    02:16 Prince William didn’t sort to choose to be next in line to the throne.

    02:22 He was born into the family. So he was ascribed that level of status.

    02:26 Automatically he is royalty, right.

    02:29 The second one would be achieved where you for example working very hard to study for your MCAT to right the exam.

    02:36 And one day hopefully you will be a world renowned doctor.

    02:39 That will be you achieving that level of status, okay.

    02:42 Now, let’s take a look at what is your role? And what are some different concepts within the types of role that you can have.

    02:54 Social roles are expectations for people of a given social status.

    02:59 If I say, you’re royalty, there is certain expectations that come with that.

    03:05 You have a certain social role.

    03:07 You’re not expected to go to the pub every night and get drunk and have a good time, and mingle and try and pick up young men or women.

    03:16 Instead you are expected to be a philanthropist, a social ambassador for good will and go doing all this things. That is your society driven role.

    03:27 Now, three concepts within social roles includes first being, role conflict.

    03:33 This is when society has ascribed the role but there is some conflict there.

    03:39 For example, when you been assign the role of say male, which want to be a nurse.

    03:47 So society sometimes has a little bit of conflict with that. There is a little bit of role conflicts.

    03:50 Its defined as conflict in society’s expectations for multiple statuses held by the same individual.

    03:56 Now, I know what a male should be.

    04:00 And I have some societal expectations of what a nurse typically looks like.

    04:04 So if I was to ask you to draw a nurse or choose a picture of a nurse most of us would probably do the sort of gender roles assume that its woman and I am thinking here a white outfit with a little nurses cap that’s a nurse.

    04:19 Now, all of a sudden, if I show you a picture and it’s a male nurse wearing a stethoscope and he is there in his light blue scrubs, all of a sudden, “ Oh yeah. I guess, that’s right. It could be a male too.” but so sometimes society has that conflicts and well men aren’t supposed to be a nurses.

    04:33 Or female shouldn’t be a hockey player. And so the list can be on and on, right.

    04:39 So now, we are ascribing a particular role. And when you deviate from that we have role conflict.

    04:45 Then there is role strains, or a single status results in conflicting expectations.

    04:51 What I have say here to gay.

    04:53 So say your sexual orientation is that you are gay or homosexual.

    04:58 So is there a certain amount of gayness that you need to express? I don’t want to be too gay but I don’t want to not be gay enough.

    05:07 Again, so there is expectation in that’s there in the society is laid out.

    05:12 And so you feel is role strain. You, as an individual, feel like well I need to sort of fit someone expectation.

    05:18 But I don’t want to be either under the spectrum. I don’t want to be not gay enough.

    05:21 I don’t want to be too gay. And this going to apply to anything right.

    05:24 So I just highlighted this one because its I think it’s somebody you can make a lot of sense out of.

    05:29 Role exit is when you actually end up trying to disengage or move from one or to another.

    05:35 And the example that have here is when you, our high school student and you are transitioning to say Ecology University.

    05:42 Or you’re in the work place or the work force and you have now enter the world of retirement.

    05:48 So this is you exciting a role that you have perhaps for a long period of time.

    05:53 And society has certain roles and boundaries and expectations.

    05:56 And you are now moving on something different.


    About the Lecture

    The lecture Status and Roles – Elements of Social Interaction (PSY, SOC) by Tarry Ahuja, MD is from the course Social Interactions.


    Included Quiz Questions

    1. Equal
    2. Unequal
    3. Superior
    4. Inferior
    5. Social exit
    1. Inferior
    2. Subordinate
    3. Superior
    4. Equal
    5. Acheived
    1. Ascribed
    2. Entailed
    3. Acheived
    4. Superior
    5. Equal
    1. Role conflict
    2. Role strain
    3. Nonconformity
    4. Status
    5. Social norm
    1. Role strain
    2. Role seperation
    3. Role conflict
    4. Peer pressure
    5. Behavioral affirmation

    Author of lecture Status and Roles – Elements of Social Interaction (PSY, SOC)

     Tarry Ahuja, MD

    Tarry Ahuja, MD


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