The Symbolic Interaction theory refers to ways in which a family or with the goal to maximize benefits and minimize costs (Newman, , p). Basically the theory refers to a give and take relationship where there needs. family perspectives today, symbolic interac- reality--a shared set of goals, values, beliefs, and norms)? How . al relationships, symbolic interactionism, with its. family: A group of people related by blood, marriage, law or custom. Nuclear Family: Structural functionalism also took on the argument that the basic building block of society is the . Describe the goals of first and second-wave feminism.
For the person talking to me, the tree is a breeding ground for creepy crawlies, and they are going to avoid it. But I'm quite happy with my seat in the shade, and I haven't been bothered by any ants. So I'm content just to sit. We have different views of the tree, and so we act differently. As I'm sitting there talking to this lovely person, I feel something tickle my shoulder. And suddenly I jump up as something bites my back. Turns out the tree was infested with ants.
Now that I've been bitten under a tree, I might not sit under the next one I find because it might also be infested with ants. Bloomer's third tenet was that the meaning we give something is not permanent. It can change due to everyday life. The meaning I give to trees has changed after my interaction with the infested tree. A big tree now means shade on a hot day with a potential for getting bit.
So let's sum up the three central ideas of symbolic interactionism. They are that action depends on meaning, that different people assign different meanings of things, and that the meaning of something can change. But there are some criticisms to symbolic interactionism as a theory because it doesn't ask the same questions as the large scale sociology theories do.
It is sometimes considered as supplemental, rather than a full theory, because it is restricted to studying small interactions between individuals. While this is true, symbolic interactionism gives a different perspective to sociology that is necessary for fully understanding a society.
It is capable of explaining how aspects of society can change as they are created and re-created by social interactions. It examines society on a small scale and gives the individual the same importance as the society as a whole and is a necessary view when studying a society.
A general description of Mead's compositions portray how outside social structuresclassesand power and abuse affect the advancement of self, personality for gatherings verifiably denied of the ability to characterize themselves.
Given that Blumer was the first to use symbolic interaction as a term, he is known as the founder of symbolic interaction. According to behaviorismDarwinismpragmatismas well as Max Weberaction theory contributed significantly to the formation of social interactionism as a theoretical perspective in communication studies. People thus do not respond to this reality directly, but rather to the social understanding of reality ; i.
This means that humans exist not in the physical space composed of realities, but in the "world" composed only of "objects". Three assumptions frame symbolic interactionism: Self-concept is a motivation for behavior. A unique relationship exists between the individual and society.
Having defined some of the underlying assumptions of symbolic interactionism, it is necessary to address the premises that each assumption supports. According to Blumer, there are three premises that can be derived from the assumptions above. Essentially, individuals behave towards objects and others based on the personal meanings that the individual has already given these items. Blumer was trying to put emphasis on the meaning behind individual behaviors, specifically speaking, psychological and sociological explanations for those actions and behaviors.
Blumer, following Mead, claimed people interact with each other by interpreting or defining each other's actions instead of merely reacting to each other's actions.
Their "response" is not made directly to the actions of one another but instead is based on the meaning which they attach to such actions. Thus, human interaction is mediated by the use of symbols and significationby interpretationor by ascertaining the meaning of one another's actions.
Symbolic interactionists describe thinking as an inner conversation. These meanings are handled in, and modified through, an interpretive process  used by the person in dealing with the things he encounters. We naturally talk to ourselves in order to sort out the meaning of a difficult situation.
But first, we need language. Before we can think, we must be able to interact symbolically. Role-taking is a key mechanism that permits people to see another person's perspective to understand what an action might mean to another person.
Role-taking is a part of our lives at an early age, for instance, playing house and pretending to be someone else.
There is an improvisational quality to roles; however, actors often take on a script that they follow. Because of the uncertainty of roles in social contexts, the burden of role-making is on the person in the situation.
In this sense, we are proactive participants in our environment. Participant observation allows researchers to access symbols and meanings, as in Howard S.Symbolic Interactionism - Family Communication
Because of this close contact, interactions cannot remain completely liberated of value commitments. In most cases, they make use of their values in choosing what to study; however, they seek to be objective in how they conduct the research. Therefore, the symbolic-interaction approach is a micro-level orientation focusing on human interaction in specific situations.
Five central ideas[ edit ] There are five central ideas to symbolic interactionism according to Joel M. It is the constant search for social interaction that leads us to do what we do.
Instead of focusing on the individual and his or her personality, or on how the society or social situation causes human behavior, symbolic interactionism focuses on the activities that take place between actors.
Interaction is the basic unit of study. Individuals are created through interaction; society too is created through social interaction. What we do depends on interaction with others earlier in our lifetimes, and it depends on our interaction right now.
Symbolic interactionism - Wikipedia
Social interaction is central to what we do. If we want to understand cause, focus on social interaction. The human being must be understood as a thinking being. Human action is not only interaction among individuals but also interaction within the individual. It is not our ideas or attitudes or values that are as important as the constant active ongoing process of thinking.
We are not simply conditioned, we are not simply beings who are influenced by those around us, we are not simply products of society. We are, to our very core, thinking animals, always conversing with ourselves as we interact with others. If we want to understand cause, focus on human thinking. Humans do not sense their environment directly, instead, humans define the situation they are in.
An environment may actually exist, but it is our definition of it that is important. Definition does not simply randomly happen; instead, it results from ongoing social interaction and thinking. The cause of human action is the result of what is occurring in our present situation. Cause unfolds in the present social interaction, present thinking, and present definition. It is not society's encounters with us in our past, that causes action nor is it our own past experience that does.
It is, instead, social interaction, thinking, definition of the situation that takes place in the present. Our past enters into our actions primarily because we think about it and apply it to the definition of the present situation.
Human beings are described as active beings in relation to their environment. Words such as conditioning, responding, controlled, imprisoned, and formed are not used to describe the human being in symbolic interaction.
In contrast to other social-scientific perspectives humans are not thought of as being passive in relation to their surroundings, but actively involved in what they do.
Keeping Blumer's earlier work in mind David A. Snowprofessor of sociology at the University of California, Irvinesuggests four broader and even more basic orienting principles: Snow uses these four principles as the thematic bases for identifying and discussing contributions to the study of social movements. Human agency Human agency emphasizes the active, willful, goal-seeking character of human actors. The emphasis on agency focuses attention on those actions, events, and moments in social life in which agentic action is especially palpable.
Interactive determination Interactive determination specifies that understanding of focal objects of analysis, whether they are self-concepts, identities, roles, practices, or even social movements. Basically this means, neither individual, society, self, or others exist only in relation to each other and therefore can be fully understood only in terms of their interaction.
Symbolization Symbolization highlights the processes through which events and conditions, artifacts, people, and other environmental features that take on particular meanings, becoming nearly only objects of orientation. Human behavior is partly contingent on what the object of orientation symbolizes or means.