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.
This analysis will include the concepts and theories of symbolic interactionism, exchange theory and rational choice theory, through the works of Mead, Blau, Homans, and Ritzer.
Mead was a pragmatist, and felt that reality does not exist but is created through actions; this demonstrates the need for interactions between the actor and the world. People, base their actions on what they remember being useful to them, and finally people have the ability to interpret the social world and act based upon the meaning of events to them rather than directly to events. (Ritzer 2000).
The theory of symbolic interactionism grew from the understanding the mind was not a thing or structure, but was a process of thinking (Ritzer, 2000). This process comprised of three stages, which includes defining objects in the social world, outlining possible modes of conduct and seeing the consequences of alternative actions and elimination of unlikely possibilities allowing a focus on selecting the most optimal course of action (Ritzer, 2000), this process allows the “self” the ability to adjust with interactions with others. (Ritzer, 2000)
Mead used the term society to mean the ongoing process that precedes both the mind and self (Ritzer, 2000) Clearly defined by Mead, society represents an organized set of responses accepted by the individual, giving the form of me. (Ritzer, 2000) Society is constantly changing based upon the interpretation and actions or responses of the actor. I feel that Mead failed to take a macro approach to this, by not examining in depth the factors that may influence the interpretation of the event by the actor.
To better understand Mead, it is important to look at the “Act,” in which Mead borders on the behaviorist approach on stimulus and response. Mead said, we conceive of the stimuli as an occasion or opportunity for the act, not as a compulsion or a mandate”(Ritzer, 2000). This is where I feel he needed a more focused approach on the stimuli, and that the individual can be influenced or react to the stimuli in a predetermined way. If you agree the response is based upon the meaning or interpretation of the act, under Mead’s philosophy you would then agree that society is fluid and constantly open to change. To further understand this one may look at Mead’s four- stage dialectical model used to define the act. The model comprised of impulse, perception, manipulation, and consummation, action or reaction is based on the interpretation of one person or actor (Ritzer, 2000).

Find Another Essay On Theories of Symbolic Interactionism Exchange Theory and Rational Choice Theory

Rational Choice Theory Essay

670 words - 3 pages decision to traded later. She chose profit and her 50/50 probability resulted in the worst-case scenario. Rational Choice Theory is best when used based on situation and not in all circumstances. Works Cited Scott, J. (2000). Rational choice theory. In G. Browning, A. Halcli, & F. Webster (Eds.), Understanding contemporary society: Theories of the present. (pp. 126-139). London: SAGE Publications Ltd. doi: political science. (2014). In Encyclopaedia Britannica. Retrieved from

Rational Choice Theory Essay

1292 words - 5 pages of rational choice theory is to explain all types of crime (Cornish and Clarke, 1986). However, it does not propose that there is an underlying unity between different types of crime like other theories. Instead, these diverse elements are important in explaining why such events occur. Also, it incorporates factors that lead to crime, emphasizes the pattern of decisions throughout a criminal career, and accounts for situational variables of

Comparison of the Social Exchange Theory and the Symbolic Interaction Theory

2133 words - 9 pages ., O'Brien, J., & Faye, H. (2008). Introduction: The limits of rationality. In K. Cook & M. Levi (Eds.), The Limits of Rationality (pp. 02-47). Retrieved from exchange and rational choice theory definition McCall. (2006). Symbolic interaction theory. In P. Burke (Ed.), Contemporary Social Psychological Theories (pp. 1-12). Retrieved from

Rational Choice Theory, rational choice approach to crime causation,rational choice theory and deterrence theory's impact on crime prevention strategies

529 words - 2 pages The rational choice approach to crime causation is composed of several different concepts. According to this theory, criminal behavior is the product of careful thought and planning. Offenders choose crime after considering both personal factors-money, revenge, thrills, entertainment- and situational factors, such as target availability, security measures, and police presence (Siegel, 2008). Once the decision has been made to commit a specific

Rational Choice Theory and Swordfish A Development of Theory and Character

1785 words - 7 pages Swordfish is a dark counter-espionage action thriller about power, money, sacrifice and 21st-century breaking and entering. Over the course of this paper characters will be introduced and then systematically compared to the rational choice theory and categorized by their actions. First, a review of the movie must be completed. Second, a thorough examination of the rational choice theory will be conducted. Lastly, the selected characters will

Rational Choice and Deterrence Theories

977 words - 4 pages Krohn 2009). There can be a problem with this idea, are those who commit illegal acts rational thinkers? The theorem for deterrence and rational choice consists of the following: the guarantee of punishment could lower criminal behavior, the severity of consequences will also reduce criminal acts, and swift discipline will avert further criminal behavior from offenders (Kubrin, Stucky, and Krohn 2009). Actions such as pro arrest policies or

Classical and Rational Theory

962 words - 4 pages , because many people repeatedly commit crimes. So, while this explains a portion of the criminals it did not explain the majority of criminals (career burglars, bank robbers, rapist etc). This led to a paradigm shift which began to focus more on criminal behavior and why people commit crimes.One of the paradigm changes was the rational theory. This paradigm hinged on the fact that human had free will. This paradigm also includes routine theory and

Rational Choice Theory in Political Science

4419 words - 18 pages assumptions of rational choice theory when actually used in explanatory frameworks. As Donald Green and Ian Shapiro argue, the weaknesses of rational choice scholarship are rooted in the aspiration of rational choice theorists to come up with universal theories of politics, “which leads many rational choice theorists to pursue even more subtle forms of theory elaboration, with little attention to how these theories might be operationalized and tested—even

Cartesian Interactionism Theory

785 words - 4 pages Cartesian Interactionism paper Cartesian Interactionism is the theory that we are composed of two kinds of things. Both the Religious argument and the Knowledge argument suggest and agree that we are made up of more than just a physical shell, that we have an immortal part of us. Yet, the Mind-Body problem and the Overdetermination argument argues that this is certainly not possible. The Cartesian Interactionism belief is a plausible view of the

Criminalogical theories: An exploration of social disorganization, differential association, anomie and rational theory

1147 words - 5 pages There are many theories of crime some are similar and some are not. In the case of social disorganization, anomie, differential association, and rational theories, there are many similarities as well as, subtle differences. The first theory to look at is social disorganization theory.The Social Disorganization Theory provides that if relationships in the family and friendship groupings are good, neighborhoods are stable and cohesive, and people

The Rational Choice and Biological Trait Theories

2003 words - 8 pages , they should use a couple of criminology theories to help them with certain cases that are more difficult than the rest. The theories that the justice departments should use in their systems are the rational choice and biological theories of criminology. The rational choice theory comes from the classical theory which is based off of personal choice towards criminal behavior. Criminal behavior under the rational choice theory has been due to the

Similar Essays

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

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

Routine Activity Theory And Rational Choice Theory

1396 words - 6 pages The study of criminology is why individuals commit crimes and why they behave in certain situations. When you understand why someone might commit a crime, you can come up with ways to prevent or control the crime. There are several different theories in criminology, in this paper I will be discussing Routine Activity Theory and Rational Choice theory. I will be comparing and contrasting as well between the two of these theories. Routine