Symbolic Interactionism Essay

1367 words - 5 pages

Symbolic Interactionism

     On the surface, sociology is the study of society and human behavior; yet
looking deeper, it is the study of humans in groups and how they interact with
one another. Sociologists look at these groups by means of the sociological perspective. This involves looking at a certain behavior like it has never been looked at it before. When done right one can come to a deeper level of understanding about behavior.

      Using your sociological imagination you are able conceptualize how a person’s macro level, which consists of the larger aspects of life such as family and government, and their micro level, (which is the individual itself) combine in order form the person they are. Using my sociological imagination I decided to observe the library through the use of symbolic interactionism, one of four sociological perspectives. The others included are the conflict theory, ethno methodology, feminism and structural functionalist.

     Symbolic interactionism tends to observe things by paying full attention to the micro level of sociology. Instead of focusing on broader aspects you look at things depending upon the individual and their interactions in society. Through the use of symbols we are able to assign meaning to people and things and then develop our own interpretations of those symbols.

     The library, like many symbols signifies silence, thought and work. You would not walk into a library expecting to be served drinks, and to see people dancing on bookshelves. The library evokes an image of peacefulness, in which people are diligently working; yet a closer examination reveals the not so serene value of a library visit.
The Saint Michael’s Library is not a mystery; it is like every other library in which I have even been. There are lots of books, computers and places for people to do work. There are round tables, square tables, rectangular tables, titled tables and flat tables. There are cubicles and small individual rooms known as ‘ masturbation closets’. The layout of the library is pretty standard and doesn’t need much explaining. There are three floors. The basement had one small room of books and the rest is study areas. The first floor is a mix of computer labs, books, magazines and more study areas. The third floor is mostly books and of course more places to study.

     Leah and I walked through the library doors, shortly after nine. We trudged up the stair anticipating the extreme pleasures of homework. We chose a small square table on the first floor. To our left was a table of four girls, to our right was two guys and next to them was two small individual cubicles occupied by a male and a female.

     Leah and I began to unload our work; as she tries to get work done I began my observations. Each one of the four girls is diligently working almost as if the others do not exist. The two boys appear far from humorless as they read through magazines, laughing and making jokes about...

Find Another Essay On Symbolic Interactionism

Applications of Symbolic Interactionism Theory Essay

683 words - 3 pages Applications of Symbolic Interactionism Theory George Herbert Mead begins his discussion of symbolic interactionism (talking with others) by defining three core principles that deal with meaning, language, and thought. The theory states that meaning is the construction of social reality. Humans act toward people or things on the basis of the meanings they assign to those people or things. The second principle of symbolic interactionism

Social Control and Symbolic Interactionism in Literature

1351 words - 5 pages Social Control and Symbolic Interactionism in Literature The way in which social order is achieved has been the subject of many theories presented by respectable sociologists such as Emile Durkheim, Thomas Hobbes, George Herbert Mead, and Karl Marx. Among the most prominent of these theories are Hobbes’ “Social Control” theory and Meads’ “Symbolic Interactionism” theory. Through these two theories, it is possible to gain a better

The Social Action Theory and Symbolic Interactionism

1302 words - 5 pages The Social Action Theory and Symbolic Interactionism Max Weber believed that individuals were the key to society. He developed social action theory, the purpose of which was to find out why individuals function in certain ways. He thought that every social action performed by an individual had a meaning attached to it. Social actions are the result of conscious thought processes that take into consideration the

Structural Funcionalism, Conflict Theory, and Symbolic Interactionism

1640 words - 7 pages some conflict theories and theorists, this flux is typically in the form of small changes in the societal environment that does not include total social revolution. Symbolic Interactionism The symbolic interactionist perspective is a micro-sociological school of thought that focuses in on the actors that make up society, with those actors being human beings. It is very closely related to social psychology due to the fact that it is one of the

Theories of Symbolic Interactionism Exchange Theory and Rational Choice Theory

1073 words - 4 pages Theories of Symbolic Interactionism Exchange Theory and Rational Choice Theory This essay will address actions of individuals and the contribution individual actions make to the social structure, how society flows to the actor via the “Me” and is constructed or reconstructed by the “I,” giving the “I” a place in creating society. I will further analyze the theories and explore the impact of norms and values on the decisions by the actors

A Critical outline of the main features of Functionalism, Symbolic Interactionism And Marxism

1397 words - 6 pages primarily determined or influenced by the economic system, the means of production, such as the land, factories and offices necessary to produce societies goods. (Cited; Browne.K 'Introducing Sociology' 2002) This approach rejects the idea of society as a consensus but instead sees it based on the constant changing outcomes of conflicts between different groups. This type of approach is known as 'conflict theory'. Symbolic Interactionism is a social

Sociological Accounts on Individuals Acquiring Their Identities

850 words - 3 pages : Functionalism, Symbolic Interactionism, Marxism, Feminism and Giddens' concept of structuration. Functionalism ------------- Functionalism is too deterministic. It emphasizes the roles and identities to relatively passive human are shaped by the needs of the social system. It tends to see all the identities as passive identities (e.g., class identity) and give no choice to individuals about how they behave

Reversing the Culture of Greed

1158 words - 5 pages In the article entitled “Reversing the Culture of Greed,” Jung-kyu Kim gives us the opportunity to explore current America’s societal breakdown, which we attempt to view through the eyes of George Herbert Mead and James S. Coleman. We will focus on James S. Coleman’s Rational Choice Theory and its ramifications on present-day society and explore George Herbert Mead’s theory of Symbolic Interactionism as a solution to these ramifications

Research on Transgender Identification in Youth or Adulthood

1082 words - 5 pages Research on Transgender Identification in Youth or Adulthood The question at hand is whether or not it is more beneficial for a person with gender dysphoria to be able to express the gender for which they identify with at a young age, or later, in adulthood. In regards to sociology, symbolic interactionism is ideal for examining the way in which sociological theory relates to transgender issues. This is because symbolic interactionism is the

Health From a Social Perspective

2533 words - 10 pages explore with my client for this theory. Symbolic-Interaction approach to Health The term “Symbolic Interactionism” (SI), a study of human group life and conduct was outlined by Herbert Blumer (1969). SI asserts that human individuals develop their personalities through interaction with others, by exchanging meaningful symbols with each other for the purpose of defining themselves. Blumer was a student of George H. Mead and influenced

Sociology in Prejudice

779 words - 4 pages There are three types of sociological perspectives: functionalism, conflict theory, and symbolic interactionism (Henslin, 2012). Functionalism is viewed as how a different people of society have different jobs, but altogether they make up the societal equilibrium (Henslin, 2012). The conflict theory is where different groups are competing for different resources (Henslin, 2012). Symbolic interactionism uses symbols and uses them to interact with

Similar Essays

Herbert Blumer's Symbolic Interactionism Essay

1302 words - 5 pages Herbert Blumer's Symbolic Interactionism THE THEORY Symbolic Interactionism as thought of by Herbert Blumer, is the process of interaction in the formation of meanings for individuals. Blumer was a devotee of George H. Mead, and was influenced by John Dewey. Dewey insisted that human beings are best understood in relation to their environment (Society for More Creative Speech, 1996). With this as his inspiration, Herbert Blumer outlined

Semiotics And Symbolic Interactionism Essay

1647 words - 7 pages Semiotics and Symbolic Interactionism in TV's Urban Comedies When you watch the modern urban situation comedies on television, what stereotypes or depictions come to mind? Well whatever you just thought up in your head and much more was all written in the Journal of Popular Film and Television. They analyzed the modern day and early urban and suburban sitcoms that the American public has enjoyed over the years. The article confronted all the

Symbolic Interactionism And You Essay

1731 words - 7 pages sociological theory of symbolic interactionism, where society and individual social interaction provides a subjective meaning to deviant behavior. Many social definitions change for the better, however some change for the worse. One such example was once viewed as normal, with no second thoughts given to it, but now is seen as an actual social problem affecting some groups aversely. This is the topic of homosexuality, a subject that has been on the

Mead And Symbolic Interactionism Essay

2569 words - 10 pages the customer wants and try to look untroubled by obnoxious requests. The barista wishes to convey to the customer that she is willing to meet the customer's needs. However, as soon as the customer leaves, the barista might deride the customer to coworkers. This shows how individuals are constantly attuned to audience and will alter their behaviors accordingly.Dramaturgy is a sociological perspective that is a component of symbolic interactionism