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SOCS 185 Discuss Performing Social Roles

Week 4

Soc 185 Discuss Performing Social Roles

Our everyday encounters with others are heavily influenced by our social status, and the position we occupy in the social system. Social status is highly context dependent.

As an example, in the educational context, a schoolteacher performs the role of educating and guiding students. Now, imagine this schoolteacher is promoted to the role of principal. This person’s role would change considerably, focusing more on mentoring teachers, communicating with parents, and leading the entire school.

Of course, at the end of the day, this principal goes home. At home, this person may be a spouse and a parent in the context of family relationships, providing love and support, and doing one’s part to keep the family healthy, happy, and safe.

If this principal is a father, in a traditional family structure he will be expected to be the “head of the family” and perform the roles of provider and protector. If this principal is a mother, on the other hand, she will most likely be expected to take the primary responsibility for raising the children and keeping the home clean and comfortable.

Now that you’ve been given some examples of how social roles work, it’s time for you to reflect on your own social status in terms of the roles you inhabit.  Think about your daily interactions with others and provide a few examples of your social status.  What are some of the social expectations that go along with these roles?

Discuss:  Has any of your identified master status helped or hindered you?  What master status would you like to achieve?  Why?

The Functionalists claim that gender differentiation, based on traditional gender roles, contributes to the stability of society in general. They believe within a proper and functional family; the adults must maintain particular roles and tasks must be divided between the spouses.

Let us take a look around at commercial products: home appliances, accessories, toys, and personal care items. Which products are gendered and gender neutral? Which products do you think are genuinely different between genders and which products do you think are the same? Why?

If this principal is a father, in a traditional family structure he will be expected to be the “head of the family” and perform the roles of provider and protector.  If this principal is a mother, on the other hand, she will most likely be expected to take the primary responsibility for raising the children and keeping the home clean and comfortable.

Now that you’ve been given some examples of how social roles work, it’s time for you to reflect on your own social status in terms of the roles you inhabit.  Have you ever deviated from the expectations of your social role?  If so, what were the consequences?  Overall, do you think that strict adherence to social norms is beneficial or detrimental to society?

Discussing systems in play that speak of the idea of deviant behavior that impacts us and society as a whole.  These are societal norms that do not conform to basic cultural norms and expectations.   The application of incentives and punishments to promote social conformity in social control for society.  To that point, let’s discuss our punishment process for deviant behavior in society:

Some believe that juveniles should not be tried as adults, while others feel that they are responsible for the crimes that they commit and should be tried for violent offenses. Discuss why you think there are more juveniles in the legal system. Do you have friends who have been arrested?  Why does a person pursue a life of crime?   What are some suggestions in regard to eliminating or reducing juvenile delinquency?

Support your response with research/scholarly work.

The United States certainly seems to have a lot of guns, especially handguns. There are more guns in this country on a per capita basis than in any other high-income nation. As the text explains, more than half of U.S. households have at least one gun. The nation’s rate of violent killing, while trending downward in recent decades, is also high by international standards.

Why do you think gun ownership is so widespread in the United States? Does this pattern increase our security as a nation, or does it put us at risk? Why? If you were a policy maker, what would you do about gun ownership in our country.  Please support your work with research.


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