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Социология COMPREHENSION EXERCISES
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I. Reread the text and answer the following questions.

1) How can you prove that social interaction and social structure are central to sociological study? 2) Why do we have to reconstruct, redefine and sometimes reshape social reality? 3) Why is it important to understand that negotiations are not merely an aspect of social interaction? 4) What elements make up the social structure of a society? 5) How can you account for the fact that a person may hold several statuses? 6) Why are social roles a significant component of social structure? 7) Why do groups play a vital part in a society's structure too? 8) What social institutions are described in this text? 9) Why has it become fashionable to attack the social institutions in recent years?

II. Define the following key terms and memorize the definitions:

social interaction, social structure, negotiation, status, ascribed status, achieved status, master status, social role, social group, social institutions.

III. Speak on social interaction, social reality and the elements of social structure in brief and illustrate your reports withsituations and examples of your own.

IV. Speak about the status and its kinds, the social role and the social group using your own experience to illustrate these sociological terms.

V. Speak about the social institutions and different perspectives used by sociologists to view them. Which of these perspectives do you share and accept? Why?

VI. Comment on the table given in the text and develop the ideas introduced in it.

VII. Comment on the following statements and give your reasons for or against them:

1) We can add negotiations to our list of cultural universals. 2) Race and gender are given such importance in our society that they often dominate one's life. 3) Social roles contribute to a society's stability. 4) Much of our social interaction and behavior is influenced and conditioned by the social groups we belong to. 5) The present organization of social institutions is no accident and the outcome of this organization is not necessarily efficient and desirable because it often permits and promotes the inequality of a society's members. 6) We should not forget that people depend on social institutions for stability and guarantees from chaos.

VIII. Speak about the social reality and the social structure of the Russian society. Have they any distinctive characteristics that differ our society from the others? Can you suggest any changes that we should negotiate toreshape our reality? How do the Russian social institutions affect our dailylife? Do they help any members of our society (whom?) to maintain their privileges (which ones?) and do they contribute to the powerlessness of others?


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