Social Interaction : A Sociological Imagination

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Social interaction occurs between all individuals in society and can be studied through the use of the sociological imagination. A sociological imagination allows one to link their everyday activities and situations to society as a whole. I can study my own personal social interactions and the situations I encounter by applying concepts, theories, and perspectives that sociologists have developed for analyzing society and social situations. Although I encounter situations on a day-to-day basis, one notable example would be when I volunteered at the soup kitchen, where I had to control my emotions and play a specific role as part of my volunteer position. During my time at the soup kitchen, I had to utilize emotion management when dealing with people and situations in which it would have been inappropriate for me to react in the way that I would otherwise have wanted to. Emotion management is the act of obeying “feeling rules” and responding appropriately to situations (Brym and Lie 2012:77). For example, when a homeless man came into the soup kitchen and started to dance and shout instead of calmly sitting down and eating his meal, I courteously asked him to sit down and to try not to disturb the other guests of the establishment. Regardless of any initial emotions of fear, annoyance, or confusion, I had to respond appropriately to the situation by controlling my emotions and engaging in acceptable behavior. I especially had to utilize emotion labor, which is distinguished
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