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Social and Community Psychology Assignment

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What Resources (in Terms of This Course) are Important Here for Understanding that the Tusband and Wife Seem to Ignore One Another Most of the Time?

If not to mention tangible resources, paying more attention to revealing the non-obvious ones, one may see that wife behaves in such a way, in order to get a respect from her husband's parents and relatives. It seems that parents are at the first place, not even her husband, since they are the people who influence strongly their son, form his beliefs and preferences. By gaining respect and support from her husband's parents, the wife will also get a trust from her beloved one. Besides this, such conduct can result in mutual love and gratitude from her husband. Obedience will bring her reputation of a good wife, daughter and sister-in-law, plus the acceptance of the whole family.

Meanwhile, by ignoring his wife at the social gatherings and in public, the husband will get a respect from his friends and relatives, since he will seem to be well-mannered and polite, because he would be showing the interest only towards them.

Question 2 (2%)

Who Are the Main Populations/Audiences (in Terms of this Course) Involved?

From the first sight, one might see that a wife, a husband and his relatives are the main people involved. If looking deeply into the situation, one may also notice some other participants. This manner of behavior as a tradition was created by their ancestors and maintained by many generations till now. The friends of the family, as well as remote kinsmen and husband's coworkers are playing their roles in the observance of the custom. A wife would not talk or pay any special attention to her husband, who in his turn will be ignoring his spouse, if there are neighbors, relatives, friends or even strangers involved in a particular situation.

Question 3 (2%)

Give Two Examples of Secrecy, Spelling out the Resources that Are Contingent on the Secrecy

Kin-based relations often do not like secrecy between the family members (Guerin, 2012), but in this case, even if the husband loves his wife, he pretends that he does not think or notice her in order to pay more attention to other family members to prove that he is a good son and brother. He must spend more time with his relatives than with his spouse, in order to win their approval and peace within the family.

Meanwhile the wife keeps her feelings inside on the social gatherings, in order not to distract his attention from other people, especially if they might be very important for her husband's career or social status. By doing so, the wife gets gratitude, trust and love.

Secrecy can also be done with language, e.g. by avoiding talking about the wife, or using other topics to call attention.

Question 4 (2%)

Give Two Examples of Monitoring

A wife is monitoring her husband's mother in order to learn her role model, so she could use it lately towards her spouse. By doing so, the young wife will learn habits, tastes and even character of her beloved one. Imitation of mother-in-law's behavior in most cases will help her to build the strong relations with family members and her husband.

Neighbors, elder people and even strangers monitor a couple to make their own judgments about the young family, the good breeding of both partners and how well the ancient traditions and values are preserved. If something inappropriate happens, they could inform the parents, so those, in their turn, could warn the young people from doing something wrong.

Question 5 (2%)

Give an Example of a Mixed-Motive Game/Strategy and Say How It Is Mixed-Motive

A wife will get some compliments and praise from her mother-in-law, help from her new sisters in the evening, so she could spend more with her husband if she was helping her sisters-in-law the whole day and followed the orders of her mother-in-law. This situation corresponds to the statement “what you get depends upon what the other person does and vice versa” (Guerin, 2012).

Question 6 (5%)

What Features in the Passage are Relevant to Each of These Five Contexts When Trying to Understand This Social Behavior? Mention Examples from this Passage and Justify your Possibilities and Why They Are Relevant:

Social contexts

Environmental contexts (opportunities)

Cultural contexts

Economic contexts

Historical contexts

To better understand the behavior of all the family members, in my opinion, one should start from the historical and cultural contexts. Taking into account historical context, in a Chinese old-fashion family, traditions are highly valued and preserved. Supposing, the future wife and husband were raised in traditional families, where wives were expected to show their obedience, please her husband and treat his family like the highest treasure. That is why they will bring the same beliefs and traditions into their new family. This cultural context leaves nothing more for the wife than to follow the same manner of behavior, because in case she breaks the custom, the blame and total disrespect will be given to her.

Hundred years ago, women were not highly regarded. Birth of an heir in the family was considered to be happiness. Meanwhile, the birth of a daughter brought some burden on the family, since the dowry should be prepared and, thus, given out to her future husband. Here, one can also see the economic context. For the couple one of the possible opportunities to spend more time together would be owing their own house, so no other people would be involved and dictate the behavior. But this would be possible if the economic context allowed.

Being placed in the social context among people who follow the rule that woman should be quiet and obedient, and who will influence the future family life, the young wife interprets the tradition as the one that should be followed without any arguments. The opportunity she gets from her social context is that she can learn how to became a good wife and mother, since she's monitoring the behavior of her mother-in-law.  However, in modern Chinese families, a wife would stand against such rules, since her social context is different. Perhaps, even couple from a traditional old-fashion family would act differently for some time if they went to a big city for a weekend.

Environmental context brings different types of behavior, and if a young couple stays in a room without other people watching them, a husband and a wife will behave in totally different ways, than if they were in public place. They would not ignore each other most of the time.

Question 7 (2%)

What Resources (in Terms of This Course) Are Important Here for Understanding the Wearing of Aprons?

Wearing aprons allows women to have a short and sweet conversation without spending more time than it is needed to greet each other. It is like a shield that helps them to wear a mask of politeness and avoid any explanations of why they cannot stay and talk. By protecting themselves from undesirable conversation, women save their time and what is more important, their spotless reputation.

Question 8 (2%)

Who Are the Main People Involved?

In this situation, the main people involved are housewives, who go out to run their errands. Besides them, there are the people in community, like neighbors, friends and relatives, shopkeepers and even husbands that also play their role by watching women's behavior, manners and making their own judgments.

Question 9 (2%)

Give Two Examples of Secrecy, Spelling out the Resources that Are Contingent on the Secrecy

The housewives try to be silent and unnoticeable to avoid any meeting with other women. As it has been already mentioned, it will help them to save time and remain bien famé. If a woman still meets someone, her good manners will not allow her to ignore them, since this will be interpreted as an offense and will stain her good name. By wearing an apron, they restrict the access to the information (like family circumstances etc. and keep in secret why they really do not want to talk. Besides this, a woman can act like she would eagerly stop and have some conversation, so the other woman would feel pleased. In this way, both of them avoid gossips and remain on speaking terms. Here, one may observe the conditions of ambivalence and ambiguity, according to Bernard Guerin (Guerin, 2012).

Question 10 (2%)

Give Two Examples of Monitoring

Taking into account the side-effects of monitoring, which is that the monitored person becomes more apprehensive and superficial in what he/she does (Guerin, 2012), it seems like in this case, women are not affected, because they play their role perfectly. Nevertheless, they are watched by their neighbors, especially elder people and, actually, by any member of their small community. It is performed by the spectators to monitor women's behavior, maintain peace in the community and avoid any rumors. Who knows where the prejudice that women gossip came from?

On the other hand, men are also monitored, but the purpose of this watch is to prove that men have rich social life, keep together with their friends, etc. What is the most interesting, that women and men are judged differently for the same actions.

Question 11 (2%)

Give One Example of a Mixed-Motive Game/ Strategy and Say how It Is Mixed-motive

Supposing, a woman A is in good relations with woman B, they happened to meet while both were running for their errands, so it is necessary to greet each other and probably exchange a few words. However, how this should be done if this meeting takes place in front of many people, including neighbors that are not on speaking terms with woman A, but are next of kin to a woman B? Most probably, both ladies will choose cooperation strategy, will be polite but short-spoken, will not talk longer than it is acceptable, but meet each other lately in the less crowded place.

Question 12 (5%)

What Features in thePpassage Are Relevant to Each of These Five Contexts When Trying to Understand this Social Behavior? Give Examples from This Passage and Justify Your Possibilities:

Social contexts

Environmental contexts (opportunities)

Cultural contexts

Economic contexts

Historical contexts

The conditions for the belief that if women are talking, they must be gossiping were arranged a long while ago. Historical context helps one understand that most probably there were some valid reasons to think, that most of the time women do not discuss their business matters, at least in Valloire village. Once (because of certain historical reasons), the villagers considered such behavior to be inappropriate and started judging those who were talking too much. Here, an apron comes for help to those who want to stay polite and well-mannered and save their reputation at the same time. These housewives could try to break the stereotypes of their culture, but no one knows what consequences could be. The apron comes from the past and still remains the part of the cultural context. As an opportunity here, housewives get time for running their own affairs. Though there is a chance that often women do want to talk to each other, especially with their close friend or kin-sister, but there's no such possibility to do it in public places, if they value their reputation.

If these housewives found themselves in different social context, somewhere in Paris, among other Parisian women, not in a conservative Valloire, they would enjoy having conversation and it would not matter to them who could be watching. Wearing an apron would be unnecessary and weird, yet an apron still plays an important role in environmental context. If a housewife is really in a hurry and she leaves her apron at home, she will not have any excuses for not being willing to chat. In this case, the conversation might be long-lasting, which is time-consuming for the housewife and disadvantageous in economic context.

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