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Symbolic Interaction Essay

1251 words - 6 pages

Symbolic interaction is the process of how dynamic involvement in the life of groups affects the social development of an individual. It is a theory of interaction in which the goal of interactions is to create a shared meaning. Social structure is the arrangements of societies where human beings live to interact with each other. Self is the subject the individual experiences in connections to emotions. It occurs through the interactions of others. In Chapter 11, Mead, Blumer, and Goffman critiqued symbolic interaction as a theory of society and also discussed the differences between symbolic interaction and social structure.
George Herbert Mead asserts that people have to manage with the ...view middle of the document...

Furthermore, Mead also argued, “He can act toward himself as he might act towards others” (300). This demonstrates the game stage, in which identifies that the individual is capable of putting themselves in the role of others and are able to understand the distinctions between the two roles. George Mead and Max Weber are similar because they view that sociology is a concern for individuals.
Erving Goffman focuses on the individual as active and reflective; Individual determines how the self should be presented in social situations.. He discusses how stigma is marked as a dishonor and disgrace to a society. As a result, individuals in a society would not have lack social acceptance and their self-identity is negatively affected by the label. For example, after the attack on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, Muslims and Arabs were looked at as destructive individuals, and as a consequence, most of them were alienated by other individuals in today’s society.. Another concept that Goffman believed in was the concept of dramaturgy. He believed that social interactions are like a stage where humans are actors performing for audiences it and has an element of impression management. This theory means a performer or an individual need to have the certain attributes in order to successfully stage a character. These stages are divided into two regions: the front and back region. The front region is the place where the performance is given where the actor perform their role to the audience. The back region is a place that is relative to a given performance. According to Goffman, he stated, “The dramaturgical perspective, like each of the other four, can be employed as the end-point of analysis, as a final way of ordering facts” (308). This illustrates the ideas that individuals must choose the method in which they behave and interact with others.
Herbert Blumer emphasizes on the explanation of three core principles that dealt with symbolic interaction which are meaning, language, and thought. Meaning is how we act towards people or things with regards to the best definition we give to it. Therefore, meaning is mostly assigned through the person’s language, which gives individuals a way to negotiate meaning through symbols. Blumer views symbolic interpretation as a way for humans to interpret things around us. In accordance to Blumer, he argued, “For humans to interact, they must be able to understand the meaning of the remarks and the actions of the others and shape an appropriate response” (297). He believes that a human’s act based on meaning which is derived from social interactions. During encounters with other individuals, meanings are modified and changed through an interpretive process.
Arlie Hochschild focused on how emotion is biological...

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