Last semester was a busy semester for me. I worked 40 hours as a fulltime instructional designer and 20 hours a week as a graduate assistant. I am mom to a fifteen year old daughter. If you’re counting, that is 60 hours a week plus being mom. I got up at 4 am and was going until 10 or 11 pm, most nights.
During that time, I occupied the statuses: employee, student, and mom. A status is a social position, that means a status or social position is related to , connected to other people.
As a an employee I am connected to my employer, coworkers, clients As a student I am connected to instructors, deans, other students As a mom I am connected to my daughter, teachers, and coaches, to name a few
Here are some statuses you might occupy. Take a minute and write down all the statuses (social positions) you have. All of those statuses, taken together, compose your status set.
Attached to those statuses or social positions are expected behaviors for the statuses. As a an employee there are behaviors expected of me, some behaviors include punctuality, completing work tasks competently, assisting coworkers. As a student I am expected to go to class regularly, complete assignments on time, and participate in professional organizations. As a mom I am expected to provide food and shelter, take daughter to extracurricular activities, and provide emotional support
Would someone like to share one of their statues and some behaviors expected
Think of the chaos that would result if individuals occupied statuses but there was no guidance on what the expected behaviors are for the statuses. What happens when a child is born to a mother and father who do not know the behaviors expected of a mom and dad? What happens to a college student who does not know the behaviors expected of a college student, the amount of time to devote to study, the importance of developing and maintaining social connections, and so on.
How do all the social relationships, the connections between people in various statuses exists peacefully, orderly? Social structure. It is social structure which provides names for statuses and outlines the behaviors associated with the statuses.
Remember about the process by which individuals learn to optimally participate in society, that is socialization. We learn how to think, believe, and behave via the lifelong process of socialization. Social structure facilitates socialization, first via the designation of statuses or social positons then by the designation of behaviors which are expected from individuals who occupy certain statuses.
Social structure which includes statuses and roles imposes order in society so that each person knows what they are expected to do (their role) in the social position they occupy (their status). Structure is imposed on society through the designation of statuses (social positions) and roles (behaviors expected of those in social positions). It is through socialization that people learn of the social positions and the corresponding roles associated with them. People learn both how to be in a social positon or status and what to expect of individuals who occupy social status, this promotes order and predictability in society.
Stay tuned, next time we will talk about when statuses conflict and when there are competing behaviors within a particular status
What happens when your room, office space, closet is unorganized? How do you feel? How does it affect your workflow or ability to get things done?
You may feel stressed because something in not in its place so you have to hunt for it. It may take you longer to get things done because things aren’t where they are supposed to be.
Things run so much more smoothly, more efficiently when we organize our environments by imposing structure, arranging the parts of that closet, room, desk so that everything is in its place when we need it, everything where we expect it to be. No wasted time looking through a stack of paper for an item that should be in its file, or looking for a shoe underneath the bed that should be in its shoe house.
Emile Durkheim, one of the fathers of sociology, wrote “The individual can maintain himself in a society definitely organized only through possessing an equally definite mental and moral constitution. “In other words an individual can only function well socially, in an organized society, if the individual is organized and balanced on the inside. Here Durkheim underscores the inextricable relationship between internal psychology of an individual and the social aspect of an individual’s life.
Here is a quote from Mary Wollstonecraft that speaks to the importance of organization in society
Just as organization in our personal lives, for example organizing a garage, a desk, a closet, a pantry promotes order ,organization in social life promotes a peaceful orderly society. The way organization in social life is attained is through social structure.
Just as structure is imposed on a closet to make it more orderly, all shoes in shoe boxes, all skirts in one section, short sleeves shirts in another and so on; structure is imposed on society. We all occupy positions in society that are related to other people, these are social positions or statuses. I am an instructor which is related to other people, students. I am a mother, that status or social position is related to another person my daughter. All social positions or statuses are related to other people.