Eye-to-eye contact, maximizing perception and monitoring 3. Use of talk and body language 4. Rhythmic synchronization of talk and bodies 5. Emotional entrainment C.
Use rituals to repair breaches to the interpersonal flow E. The appropriate emotions to be felt and displayed F. Meet transactional needs for: 1.
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Verifying types and levels of identity salient in the situation 2. Making profits in exchanges of resources 3. Sensing group inclusion for self in the interpersonal flow 4. Experiencing trust in others 5. Perceiving facticity G. Experience a high ratio of positive to negative emotions 3. Avoid face-to-face engagement with others B.
When individuals find themselves in encounters, these forces are what push them to act in particular ways to sustain the encounter. The more focused is the encounter, the higher are the valences of these forces, although they also operate in unfocused encounters as well, but not with the same intensity.
In unfocused encounters, ecological and demographic forces are more pronounced, whereas in focused encounters, status, role, symbolic, motivational, and emotional forces become more intense. Thus, a theory of microdynamics is about the conditions that increase or decrease the valences of forces and that cause intersections among the seven forces, particularly status, role, symbolic, motivational, and emotional forces, as focused encounters are formed. As I have emphasized, the nature of embedding has large effects on the valences of forces and how they interact with each other to propel encounters along a particular trajectory.
Encounters are almost always nested inside corporate and categoric units which, in turn, are lodged, respectively, inside institutional domains and stratification systems. Thus, in order to fully understand the dynamics of micro encounters and the forces that drive their formation and operation, it is first necessary to examine the nature of embedding in more detail than I have in this chapter.
For as will become evident, the type and degree of embedding of encounters in meso and macro levels of reality have large effects on the valences of the forces driving encounters. And so, before I move into developing elementary principles on the microdynamic forces, it is useful to outline the nature of embedding. As will become clear across these volumes of Theoretical Principles of Sociology, the theory that I develop tries to answer this fundamental question — not so much by ontological fiat as by theoretical principles that explain the effects of embedding of the micro into the meso and, then, the embedding of meso in the macro, while at the same time, offering principles on how the meso level of reality is built up from microdynamics and how the macro is constructed from the units of the meso level of reality.
Again, it is not essential to read the volume on macrodynamics, if this is not of interest, but in examining embedding, we can gather key insights into how micro social processes are influenced by macro and meso levels of reality, and vice versa. Chapter 2 The Embedding of Encounters The Unfolding of Social Reality The Emergence and Power of the Macro Realm The first human societies were built around small bands of hunter-gatherers organized into nucleated kinship units composed of mother, father, children. These first societies were obviously not macro in the contemporary sense, but the history of human societies has involved episodic movements toward ever-larger societal and inter-societal formations.
This evolution has not been linear, of course; periods of growth and increased complexity have been followed by societal disintegration, only to be reintegrated as new sociocultural formations have been built up. Beginning around 10, years ago, however, these episodic cycles became shorter and the scale of societies and inter-societal began to increase across an ever greater proportion of the human population; and today, the evolution of a complex macro level of social reality clearly constrains what individual and corporate actors in a society can do.
This macro reality is constructed from institutional domains, which are sets of groups and organizations located in communities that deal with problems of sustaining a population in an environment.
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I have termed these problems selection pressures because they push on individual and collective actors to find new ways to a produce goods and commodities, b distribute sufficient resources to support the larger population, c regulate, coordinate, and control activities by actors in this population, and d reproduce members and the structures coordinating their activities Turner , , a; Turner and Maryanski a, b. These selection pressures first arose from population growth that made older, simpler forms of social organization unviable.
One way to look at these early selection pressures from population growth is as first-order logistical loads that individual and J.
These first- and second-order logistical loads and the selection pressures that they generate constantly have put pressure on individual and corporate units to find solutions to reducing these loads over the last ten millennia, and if solutions are not forthcoming, a societies have disintegrated or been conquered by more powerful and efficiently organized societies.
The history of humans on earth, then, has revolved around a constant battle to meet rising logistical loads that come with population growth and increasing societal complexity. Second-order logistical loads increase not only from differentiation of diverse institutional domain — e. Each institutional domain distributes valued resources, and as societies become more complex, each does so unequally. Out of this unequal distribution of money, power, prestige, piety, learning, influence, knowledge, health, competitiveness, and aesthetics emerges a stratification system composed of classes that are rank ordered by their respective shares and configurations of resources Turner , a, b, c.
Inequality always generates tensions, and thus, one of the most powerful second-order logistical loads comes from inequality and stratification which, if not managed, will tear a society apart.
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It may seem strange to begin a book on the micro-level of human social organization with such a grand narrative. Yet, as will become clear, what occurs in encounters of face-to-face interaction is almost always embedded in larger-scale structures and processes. We do not need to examine in detail the dynamics driving the operation of these larger-scale structures and their cultures see Vol.
This constraint is mediated by two basic types of meso-level structures and their cultures: 1 corporate units that ultimately are the building blocks of institutional domains and the units within domains distributing resources unequally and 2 categoric units that often serve as the building blocks of stratification systems. Encounters are almost always embedded in both corporate and categoric units; and it is typically through these meso-level The Unfolding of Social Reality 31 structures and their cultures that the macro-level of reality exerts its influence on what transpires in the micro realm of social reality.
The outcome of the battle to stave off the disintegrative pressures from logistical loads has been the evolution of institutional domains, and as noted above, these domains are built from corporate units, such as organizations, revealing a division of labor to achieve specific goals. These organizational corporate units are located in geographical corporate units, or communities.
In turn, corporate units are built up from group structures composed of individuals engaged in iterated interactions within organizational corporate units. In the history of human societies, then, there have been only three basic types of corporate units at the meso level of social organization: groups, organizations, and communities. Groups are periodic gatherings of individuals to achieve some end, which can be as vague as achieving sociality and companionship or as instrumental as accomplishing some specific task; organizations are larger and more enduring, structures organizing groups in divisions of labor to achieve what are typically more clear-cut goals that are defined by the nature of the institutional domain in which they are lodged e.
Encounters are embedded in one and, quite often, all three basic types of corporate units. For example, an encounter among members of a group of individuals in an academic department occurs within the larger organizational systems — the university or college — that in turn is embedded within a community.
Moreover, the university is also embedded within an institutional domains — i. Just which of these structures has the most influence on what transpires in an encounter can vary, depending upon the individuals and their place in the corporate units of the institutional domain of education. Thus, while some encounters may not be embedded in meso and macro structures, most are. They are part of a complex web of embeddedness in meso- and macro-level sociocultural formations.
On the one hand, this embedding makes encounters more complicated, but on the other hand, the number of formations in which encounters can potentially be embedded is limited to groups, organizations, 32 2 The Embedding of Encounters communities, institutional domains, societies, and inter-societal systems, and as I will discuss shortly, categoric units that are lodged in stratification systems which, in turn, are nested in societal and, potentially, inter-societal systems.
The structure and culture of these meso- and macro-level units constrain what can transpire in encounters, and reciprocally, the interactions in encounters sustain, reproduce, and at times, change the structure and culture of these meso and macro units. Certain properties of corporate units increase the clarity of expectations guiding all microdynamic processes. One key property is the degree to which the boundaries of a corporate unit are explicit, such that persons know when they have crossed this boundary and entered the corporate unit.
For example, walking through the doors of a building housing a corporate unit is a very clear boundary, separating the division of labor of the unit from its environment. At other times, the boundaries of corporate units are vague, as is the case when entering a community where the boundaries are so extensive, it is difficult to know for sure what elements of such a large corporate unit are relevant. Even entering a shopping mall does not make it clear which boundaries apply — the mall as a corporate unit or its stores? Increasing clarity of expectation in encounters 1.
Visibility of the boundaries of a corporate unit, separating the division of labor within the unit from its surrounding environment 2. Clarity of the entrance and exit rules that inform individuals when and where the culture and structure of the corporate unit is relevant 3. The explicitness of the goals and the degree of focus of the division of labor of a corporate unit on these goals 4. The explicitness of the positions in the horizontal and vertical divisions of labor in corporate units specifying tasks and relative authority 5.
The formality of the structure and culture of a corporate unit and its division of labor 6. The degree of consolidation or correlation of positions in the division of labor, particularly the vertical division of labor, with memberships in discrete categoric units 7. The degree of relative autonomy of the institutional domain in which a corporate unit is embedded from other institutional domains 8. The level of consistency among generalized symbolic media, ideologies, and norms governing the operation of the corporate unit as a whole and its internal divisions of labor The Unfolding of Social Reality 33 that are to be felt and displayed.
A related, second property of corporate units is their entrance and exist rules that can facilitates recognition of boundaries. The more entrances and exits are marked off, and the more they involve ritual acts when crossing a corporate-unit boundary, the more likely will individuals understand the expectations guiding encounters.
The simple act, for example, of punching a time card, showing an ID card, or having a hand stamped accentuates that the rules applying to the division of labor of the corporate unit are now in effect, or having to open the door to a classroom after it begins signals that classroom demeanor rules are now in effect; without such explicit entrance-exit markers, individuals will often need to work at establishing what rules with respect to what elements of the division of labor are relevant.
When the division of labor within a corporate-unit and its culture are organized to meet specific goals, individuals are much more likely to understand relevant expectations for encounters that occur within this division of labor. For instance, entering a university laboratory devoted to a particular line of research generates clear expectations for what individuals are supposed to do, as does entering a workplace, church, or school. The goals provide the frame estabishing what is relevant and irrelevant for individuals.
A fourth property is the explicitness of the vertical and horizontal divisions of labor in corporate units which also increase clarity of expectations tied to tasks and lines of authority; and when these are spelled out, individuals are able to form and navigate encounters among those in the same and different positions and roles. A fifth property is the formality of the structure and culture of a corporate unit, which specifies the rituals, forms of talk, deference of demeanor, status and roles, relevant norms, appropriate motivational states, and emotions that can be expressed.
Formality makes encounters less fluid and spontaneous, but it always increases clarity of, and consensus over, expectations. A sixth property is the degree of consolidation or correlation of positions in the divisions of labor with discrete categoric units. If, for example, all decision makers are male and all secretaries are female — a situation that at one time was quite common in business corporate units — expectations for members of diverse categoric units and for positions in the hierarchical division of labor reinforce each other and, thereby, make expectations for behaviors in encounters clear at the price, however, of higher inequality.
Other properties of corporate units are related to their embeddedness in the structure and culture of institutional domains. Thus, a seventh property of corporate units is the degree of autonomy of the institutional domains in which they are embedded. When a domain is relatively autonomous with its 34 2 The Embedding of Encounters own distinctive generalized symbolic medium, ideology, and institutional norms, corporate units within this domain are more likely to be organized by these cultural elements, allowing individuals to understand expectations for encounters within the division of labor of the units in a domain.
For instance, churches, schools, businesses, teams, medical clinics and other corporate units are embedded in relatively autonomous domains, making it much easier for individuals to determine the culture of the situation and the expectations on diverse actors in encounters. These varying properties of corporate units and their embedding within institutional domains and, at times, the stratification system when there is a high correlation of categoric unit memberships with positions in the divisions of labor in corporate units highlight the importance of embedding as a constraint on microdynamic forces.
If we ignore embedding, we will miss some of the key dynamics of encounters Grannovetter Moreover, we will also fail to analyze how encounters can, at times, be the seedbeds for social change in meso and macro sociocultural formations. Social change comes when actors in iterated encounters within corporate units push for change or create new kinds of corporate units as a means for responding to selection pressures arising from first- and second-order logistical loads.
For most encounters, however, the actions of individuals are constrained by the pattern of embedding — that is, groups lodged in organizations within communities and institutional domains that, in turn, are nested in societies which are part of inter-societal systems. The structure and culture of these embedded corporate units will have very large effects on the loadings of the forces that drive encounters, and while these can be diverse and complex, they are nonetheless delimited and can be theorized, as I hope to demonstrate in the pages to follow. Categoric Units.
The other basic type of meso-level unit in which encounters are always embedded is the categoric unit, which are defined by a parameter marking individuals as distinctive Blau , a. In actual practice, however, graduated parameters are often converted into rough nominal parameters during the course of interaction.
For example, years of education is translated into categories such as high The Unfolding of Social Reality 35 school dropout, high school diploma, college education, and graduate education; or age is broken down into such categories as infant, young, middle aged, old, and very old; or income is divided into rough categories like poor, rich, average income, and affluent. Indeed, a moment of reflection will document this effect.
An encounter composed of all males will suddenly change when females begin to participate; an encounter of two old people will be very different when younger persons enter; an encounter among members of one ethnic categoric unit will be very different from one where multiple ethnic categories are co-present.
For each categoric unit, there are status beliefs that are translated into expectation states for how individuals should act as members of a social category Ridgeway , , , , To some degree, these expectations arise from the differential evaluation of categoric units. Expectations for members of highly valued social categories will be different from those who are incumbent in devalued categories. The differential evaluation of categoric units is generally tied to the resources that members of a categoric unit can command, and the resources of members are an outcome of the unequal distribution of resources in corporate units within institutional domains.
For example, if high and low education represent a categoric unit in a society, the valued resource — i. As a result, entirely different sets expectations on high- and low-learners will be imposed on individuals in encounters. When members of categoric units are defined by their respective resources, discrimination at the level of corporate units within institutional domains has typically been operative. Those without education, jobs, and health care have often been subject to discrimination, often on the basis of their membership in other categoric units, such as their ethnicity or religious affiliation.
Categoric units are thus part of the larger stratification system in which the unequal distribution of resources has led to the formation of distinctive social classes another type of categoric unit that may have a gender or an ethnic component when members of these categoric units are over-represented in some classes and under-represented in others.
This embedding of individuals in categoric units that, in turn, are embedded in a stratification system within a society and, potentially, inter-societal 36 2 The Embedding of Encounters system has very large effects on how individuals interact in both focused and unfocused encounters. The same would be true in more focused interactions; all of the microdynamic forces in play will be influenced by how categoric-unit memberships load the valences of these forces. Thus, the degree of embedding of individuals in categoric units, the salience of categoric units in any given encounter, the degree of differential evaluation of salient categoric units, and the expectations on members of these differentially evaluated units will all have significant effects on what transpires in focused and unfocused encounters.
Embedding in categoric units and, by extension, the larger macro-level stratification system will be as critical as positions in corporate units within institutional domains in explaining the dynamics of all encounters. To some degree, incumbency in many different categoric units can reduce the power of the evaluation and expectations for any one unit, but this outcome is related to the degree of correlation among memberships in high- and low-evaluation units. As is the case with embedding in corporate units, particular properties of categoric units increase the clarity of expectations in encounters.
One is the discreteness of the parameters defining the boundaries of membership in a categoric unit. Thus, gender and markers of ethnicity such as skin color even with large variations in actual skin color signal clear boundaries for membership in a categoric unit; and under these conditions, the expectation states for how members of categoric units are to behave will guide the flow of interaction.
A second property is consensus over the evaluation of members in a categoric unit in terms of their moral worth and the ideologies and metaideologies that are employed to form this evaluation. Increasing clarity of expectations in encounters 1. The discreteness of the boundaries defining membership in a categoric unit 2. The degree of embeddedness of categoric units in the macro-level stratification system and the a level of inequality of resource distribution, b the degree of homogeneity of classes, and c the linearity in rank-ordering of classes in terms of shares of resources and moral worth 4.
The homogeneity among individuals who are members of a categoric unit 5. The degree of correlation of membership on one categoric unit with membership in other categoric units revealing similar levels of evaluation 6. The degree of correlation of membership in categoric units with diverse positions in the divisions of labor or corporate units, particularly the vertical division of labor 7. The degree of embedding of corporate units in which categoric unit membership is consolidated with positions in the division of labor within relatively autonomous institutional domains, and especially those domains distributing highly valued resources behaviors very clear.
A third property is the degree of embedding of a categoric unit in the macro-level stratification system; for, the more correlated is membership with locations in the class system, the more clear-cut are evaluations of, and expectation states for, individuals in categoric units. The correlation of membership in categoric units is most likely when there are a high levels of inequality in resource distribution by corporate units within diverse institutional domains, b high degrees of homogeneity of class memberships, and c high levels of linearity in the rank-ordering of classes in terms of their relative resource shares and moral worth.
A related, fourth property is the homogeneity among individuals in a categoric unit; the more their appearances and demeanors converge, and the more similar their shares of resources, the more explicit are evaluations of their moral worth and expectation states for their behaviors. A fifth property is the degree to which memberships in categoric units are correlated with each other. For instance, if ethnicity is correlated with class location, or if ethnicity is correlated with a nominal category created from a graduated parameter, such as years of education e.
However, if memberships in categoric units are not correlated with each other or with locations on graduated parameters, then the effects of categoric unit membership will decline and, as a result, expectation states 38 2 The Embedding of Encounters will often be ambiguous because just which membership is salient during an encounter may be unclear. The last two properties once again stem from embedding. One is the situation where there is a high correlation between memberships in categoric units with specific positions in the divisions of labor of corporate units, especially the vertical dimensions to the division of labor.
This property only works to clarify expectations, however, when the moral evaluation correlates with high and low rank along the vertical dimensions of the division of labor. If low-esteem categoric unit members are spread across the entire division of labor, then the salience of categoric unit membership declines, and status in the division of labor will be more salient than expectation states attached to members of categoric units. In essence, status will trump diffuse status characteristics associated with categoric unit membership.
Yet, if there is a high correlation between categoric unit membership and status positions in the division of labor, this association increases the salience of categoric unit membership and hence makes expectation states more explicit and powerful. If the corporate units revealing a correlation between a diffuse status characteristics and b status in the division of labor are embedded within autonomous institutional domains, then the effects of this correlation will be that much greater on the expectations for individuals in encounters. For example, if all executives in a business corporation are male and white, while all secretaries are women and line workers are disproportionately members of devalued ethnic categories, these correlations mean that money and power are unequally distributed and that those with less of these resources will be negatively evaluated by the ideology of, say, a capitalist economy where money and power are highly evaluated and denote moral worth.
Encounters among these categoric units — male, female, and ethnicity marked by skin color — may have some tension associated with inequality but they will also reveal relatively clear expectation states for all parties. In sum, then, embedding in corporate and categoric units that, in turn, are embedded in autonomous institutional domains and stratification systems revealing high inequalities constrains the options of individuals in encounters because of the moral evaluations and expectations states attached to positions in divisions of labor and to memberships in categoric units.
The culture and structure of meso-level units i. Hence, it is worth reviewing, once again, the structure of embedding that builds on the brief discussion in the last chapter and the beginning of this chapter. The Structure of Embedding 39 The Structure of Embedding All structural units have a culture or system of symbols regulating actions and behaviors, and it is for this reason that I label units at all levels of social reality sociocultural formations as a way to communicating this obvious fact of social life.
Embedding at any level of social organization thus involves location at a point in the social structure of the more inclusive unit, which in turn determines the relevance of particular aspects of culture. The relative effects of structure and culture can be highly variable, but there are patterns to these effects and, hence, they are amenable to theoretical generalizations. To fully understand how embedding determines behaviors in encounters, I need to step back and provide a broader conception of sociocultural formations at the macro, meso, and micro levels of social reality.
The focus of this discussion will be on how the structure and culture of the macro and meso realms influence actions and behaviors in the micro realm, but to appreciate the power of embedding, it is important to outline some of the key properties and dynamics of the macro and meso levels of social reality. Institutional domains are congeries of variously related corporate units for resolving logistical loads and selection pressures. Stratification systems revolve around the unequal distribution of the resources by corporate units within institutional domains, the formation of classes, the rank-ordering of classes on a scale of worth, and mobility of individuals and families among social classes.
Societies are geopolitical units controlling and defending territories, and inter-societal systems are relations among societies, most often through corporate units in key institutional domains, especially economy, polity, and religion. At the meso level, as emphasized above, are corporate and categoric units that, respectively, are the building blocks of institutional domains and stratification systems.
Corporate units are not only the building blocks of an institutional domain, they are also embedded in this domain. Groups are nested inside of organizations which are part of an institutional domain, and hence the structure and culture of both groups and organizations will reflect this nesting.
The culture and structure of these configurations of institutional domains thus have large effects on the dynamics of communities. For our purposes, however, it is group and organizational corporate units that have the greatest effects on encounters because most encounters are embedded in one or both; and since groups are a part of organizations, and organizations are lodged in institutional domains, the structure and culture of institutional domains will at least indirectly influence what occurs in encounters.
Institutional domains determine, to a high degree, the properties of corporate units. For example, the basic kinship system in western societies is nucleated — that is, composed of mother, father, and their children in smaller and relatively autonomous corporate units — with the consequence that kinship is composed of mostly group structures and does not reveal the embedding of nuclear units in larger organizational systems, such as lineages, clans, moieties, built up from nuclear units.
Thus, encounters embedded in the kinship domain of a post-industrial society where nuclear kinship units dominate will be very different than those in a horticultural society where kinship is elaborated into organizations constructed from descent and residence rules. To take another example, economic activities and encounters among hunter-gatherers are lodged inside of kinship and band, whereas in contemporary industrial and post industrial societies, kinship and economy are differentiated from each other, with the result that the structure of economy will determine how organizational systems and groups are organized and, thereby, how encounters will proceed.
Institutional domains are embedded in societies, with the structure of a society determined by the level of differentiation among institutional domains and the mechanisms by which they are integrated Turner a.
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Similarly, an inter-societal system is built from relations among particular institutional domains, most typically economy and polity but, potentially, religion and kinship as well. Even though societal and inter-societal systems may seem remote from encounters, these large-scale structures determine who is present in encounters and how they are supposed to act.
True, these encounters are also embedded in groups and organizations of polity and economy, but to understand the dynamics of the encounter, it is also necessary to see how the structure and culture of the more macro units constrains what these parties can do as they negotiate in encounters.
Moreover, the mode of integration among these domains and the corporate units in them can be critical to what transpires in encounters. For instance, if power and domination by the polity of one society is the mode of integration of an inter-societal system — as has been the case through much of human history — then encounters in political and trade negotiations will be very different than if integration was achieved by market exchanges or by common cultures of the parties in encounters.
These modes of integration are the subject matter of macro-level analysis and have their greatest direct impact on the structure of corporate units as these constrain encounters. Yet, at times this effect can be more direct, but even if it is mediated by the structure and culture of corporate units, the latter is very much constrained by the institutional domains involved in societal and inter-societal formations as well as the mechanisms by which integration among institutional domains within and between societies is achieved see Turner a: for a detailed analysis.
Encounters are also embedded in stratification systems. The types and levels of varying resources held by individuals is always critical to what transpires in an encounter. At times these resources are part of an organizational system and groups, but the nature of the resources and the pattern of resource distribution is determined by the structure and culture of broader institutional domains and the stratification system that emerges from the unequal distribution of resources to individuals in each domain.
At other times, individuals meet as members of different categoric units outside of institutional domains and organizations; and what occurs in encounters will be influenced by the shares of resources and evaluations of respective worth of members in different categoric units. The more a categoric unit is embedded in the stratification system, the more salient will be categoric membership during the course of an encounter, and particularly so when members of differentially valued categoric units interact but also when members of only one type of categoric unit interact e.
It would not be possible to understand the interaction among individuals in these categoric units without some appreciation for the structure of the stratification system along such dimensions as the level of inequality in the distribution of various resources, the degree to which homogeneous classes exist, the degree of linear rank-ordering of classes, and the rates of mobility across class boundaries. These properties of stratification will have direct effects on encounters as well as mediated effects through the formation of categoric units.
Attached to these structural units are symbol systems or culture that order cognitions, arouse emotions, and regulate the behaviors of individuals and collective actors. Later, in Fig. At the societal level of social organization and by extension the inter-societal as well are a languages that are used by actors to build all other elements of culture, b technologies or knowledge about how to manipulate the environment and, thereby, build up institutional domains, c texts both oral and written on the history traditions, characteristics, and life-ways of a population, d values or the highly general moral premises about what is right and wrong, good and bad, and e meta-ideologies or composites of the ideologies from each institutional domain in a society.
Obviously, culture is much more robust than this simple list of categories, but for my purposes in developing a set of abstract principles on microdynamics, this attenuated conceptualization is sufficient. These societal-level elements of culture arise from institutional domains and stratification systems, but once in place, they constrain the options and actions of actors at all levels of social reality.
The notion of generalized symbolic media is rather under-theorized in sociology by all but a few theorists Parsons a, b; Parsons and Smelser ; Luhmann ; Turner a, b, b, c , and although I have tried to extend the conceptualization of these media for macro-level social processes, I have not fully developed the idea very much beyond the efforts of others. Yet, symbolic media are critical to understanding social processes at all levels of social organization because, as noted above, they are the terms of discourse, the valued resources distributed unequally, the resources exchanged among actors within and between domains, and the basis for ideological formation as well as the construction of meta-ideologies.
To illustrate, money is the medium of exchange within the economy of complex societies and between the economy and other institutional domains. For instance, family members provide loyalty to come to work in exchange for wages. Moreover, money is the valued resource unequally distributed by corporate units in the economy proper and corporate units in other domains where money along with the symbolic medium unique to a domain is distributed unequally. In any societal system, some institutions are more dominant than others; as a result, when the ideologies of all domains are combined into a metaideology, the premises of these dominant institutional domains will be more prominent in the meta-ideology.
This meta-ideology feeds into highly abstract value premises of a society, often changing values and, yet, at the same time being constrained by these values. Furthermore, the meta-ideology of a society is typically employed to legitimate its stratification system and to create standards of moral worth that are employed to evaluate not only class as a categoric unit but all other categoric units possessing shares of valued resources.
Values, ideologies, and meta-ideologies not only provide the moral premises for actions by individual and collective actors, they also constrain the formation of norms in corporate and categoric units. Within an institutional domain, there are broad institutional norms about how individuals and corporate actors are to behave; and these are constrained by the moral premises of values and meta-ideologies as well as the specific ideology of a given domain.
In turn, the norms within the divisions of labor in corporate units are delimited not only by the structural properties of a corporate units but also by the ideologies of a domain and the values as well as metaideologies of the more inclusive society and, at times, inter-societal system. Within the stratification system, there are moral premises provided by values, meta-ideologies, and specific institutional ideologies that legitimate the stratification system as a whole while, at the same time, constraining the formation of normative expectations for individuals and corporate units like families at each differentiated point in the stratification system.
And, if categoric units, such as ethnicity and religious affiliation, are also correlated with locations in the stratification system, the expectations for behaviors of individuals in these categoric units will also be heavily infused with the moral premises of the stratification system. For example, if particular categories of persons, such as members of an ethnic subpopulation, are over-represented in the lower social classes of the stratification system, expectations for their behaviors will not only follow from their ethnic heritage but be heavily weighted toward devaluation of their moral worth because of their position in the class structure of a society.
The normative expectations on members of categoric units or expectation states for diffuse status characteristics are, then, almost always constrained by the moral codes that have been used to justify inequality and stratification. The Structure and Culture of Meso-level Reality Encounters are generally embedded in corporate units, typically groups and organizations but also communities. Corporate units determine the organization of physical space — offices, buildings, walkways, streets, parks, and other dimensions of ecology — that constrain what can occur in both focused and unfocused encounters.
This ecological constraint, coupled with divisions of labor, also determines interpersonal demography: the number of individuals co-present, their density of arrangement, the positions they hold in relevant corporate units, and the distribution of members in various categoric units. Along with the ecology and division of labor of corporate units, categoric units determine how many persons in which categories are co-present and, most importantly, the salience or relevance of categoric unit membership for focused and unfocused encounters.
Turner builds on first principles he locates in the work of Mead, Freud, Schutz, Durkheim, and Goffman. After brief overviews of previous work on the embeddedness of social interaction in sociocultural systems and in human biology, each chapter presents elements of the microdynamics involved in encounters: emotions, motivations transactional needs , culture normative conventions , role processes, status, demographics, and ecology.
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