India Stewart
Material Type:
Community College / Lower Division
  • Economic Systems
  • Roles
  • Social Construction
  • Social Interaction
  • Status
    Creative Commons Attribution
    Media Formats:
    Text/HTML, Video

    Module 3: Social Structure, Interaction, and the Economy


    Textbook, slide presentations, and class activities related to social structure and interaction, and the economy. Primary text: OpenStax Introduction to Sociology 2e

    Social Structure, Interaction, and the Economy: Learning Objectives

    Summarize changes in economic systems from preindustrial to postindustrial societies and describe trends in inequality associated with each

    Identify elements of the social structure (culture, class, status, roles, groups, and institutions) and analyze how they influence our behavior

    Identify various statuses we occupy and roles we play within the social structure

    Compare and contrast achieved, ascribed, and master statuses

    Compare and contrast organic versus mechanical solidarity

    Compare and contrast capitalist and socialist economic systems and their critiques

    Describe globalization and its impacts on consumers, labor, cultures, and other institutions (politics, families, etc.)

    Social Structure, Interaction, and the Economy: Video Resources

    The attached slides provide a useful review of concepts from chapters 4 and 18 in your textbook.





    Social Structure, Interaction, and the Economy: Class Activities

    Activity 9: Societies and Social Interaction—Check Yourself

    Learning Objective: Demonstrate your knowledge and understanding of key concepts by explaining them to others. Evaluate your level of knowledge and understanding and identify areas in need of review.

    Instructions: Read each question individually and mark how well you think you know the answer on a scale of 1—10 (1= no idea, 10= very confident). Then work with your group to answer your assigned  questions on a separate piece of paper in your own words.

    1. What are the three types of societies? Identify and describe key characteristics of each type of society.   


    1. Explain the difference between mechanical and organic solidarity? Where or when would you be more likely to find each?


    1. What is anomie? Explain the concept and provide an example of when or where an individual would be likely to experience anomie?


    1. What is alienation? Describe the 4 types of alienation as outlined by Marx.


    1. Who or what is the bourgeoisie? Who or what is the proletariat?


    1. Explain the Thomas theorem in your own words.


    1. Explain the difference between statuses and roles. Provide an example of each.


    1. What is the difference between an ascribed status and an achieved status? Provide examples of each.


    1. Provide an example of a role strain and a role conflict.  Explain the difference between these two concepts.


    1. Explain Cooley’s “looking glass self” concept and provide an example.  



    Activity 10: Roles and Status Mind Map

    (Refrer to Attached Resource: Roles and Status Mind Map)


    Activity 11: Welcome to Xelportem

    You and your group are responsible for setting up an economic system for the newly independent country of Xelportem. To do so, you must compare and contrast capitalism and socialism based on your reading of Chapter 18. Although it is a small island nation with roughly the same size and demographic profile as the DFW Metroplex, Xelportem suffers from many social problems (poverty, violence, inequality) and has been plagued by political and economic instability.

    1. Make a list of pros and cons for each type of economic system and select one to implement in Xelportem. Why is the one you have selected the most appropriate?


    1. Which economic system do you think would best address the problems in Xelportem in the short term?  Why? Would this economic system be stable over the long term, or would you consider a transition to a different type of economy after the country stabilizes?  Be prepared to defend your choices.