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Symbolic Interactionism

Justina Zakiyy Shawn Patrick Prashiththa

Prashiththa Srikanthan

on 25 September 2012

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Transcript of Symbolic Interactionism

Justina.Jackson, Patrick Lee, Shawn Grey, Prashiththa .S , Zakiyy.Ali Symbolic Interactionism Symbolic interactionism is a psychological theory that tries to explain how individuals choose how they will act based on their perception of others.Which Basically means the way people perceive their personal experiences in their social world and how they interpret these experiences to give them meaning. What Is Symbolic
Interactionism ? A Symbolic Interactionist attempts to understand the point of view of the actor to explain the action. So What Does A Symbolic Interactionist Do ? I'm not what I think I am and I'm not what you think I am. I am what I think you think I am."
~George H. Meade An example of this If someone was to tap your shoulder , the first thing you would do is look at who tapped your shoulder right ?

Well actually , your wrong, the first thing you do when someone taps your shoulder is actually mentally process that someone has tapped your shoulder and in response, you look back to see who it was that tapped your shoulder.

When you look back, if you were to see your best friend, your brain then processes that information and you respond to it in a nice way by saying, hey , whats up . But if that same person who tapped your shoulder wasn't your best friend, you're probably going to answer in a not so nice way because you have been raised to think that its awkward to have a complete stranger touching you. These mental processes cannot be seen but the reaction after the mental processes can be seen. So in this case the action of your friend tapping your shoulder would be processed through your brain and you would be expecting friendly conversation or if it was a complete stranger , you would probably want an explanation as to why they had tapped your shoulder to begin with. The Three Concepts Of Symbolic Interactionism Concept 1
(Looking Glass Self) Concept 2
( Basis Of Human Interactionism ) Concept 3 The third concept of symbolic interactionism is when people are able to interact effectively only if they can communicate using a common language; this is shared symbols. Positive aspects of this theory and how it can be applied to society? The guy that came up with this concept. The second concept of symbolic interactionism is to be able to anticipate what the other person will do and decide how you they should respond . This is what George Mead , a philosopher and psychologist believed. This role taking is the basis of human interactionism For Example The most common use of this theory, symbolic interactionism would be in the book Men are from Mars and Woman are from Venus by John Gray(1992)

This book basically explains that men and women behave differently . They both have different interpretations and give meaning to certain actions and words differently.And because of these different interpretations relationships may go through communication problems.

John Gray generalizes that since woman and men have different symbols / don't share symbols in common , both genders should try to learn what the other sex means by their behavior . How does this theory discuss families and relationships ? How Was This Theory Developed ? By Who ? One Of the concepts of Symbolic Interactionism is the self that has two parts : The "Me" and The " I " The 'Me' part of an individual is the part that consists of objective qualities like being tall , skinny, short, male , female , student, adult, ... etc. The 'I' part of an individual is the subjective awareness of self like .... good student , shy, lonely , outgoing, friendly, ... etc. According to psychologist who created this concept , Charles Cooley, the ' I ' is based on how feedback from other people is interpreted. Which goes back to symbolic interactionism ; how individuals choose how they will act based on their perception of others. Charles Horton Cooley was an american sociologist, who was most famous for the concept of looking glass self.

He basically believed that there's an interaction between the way we see ourselves and the way other people see us.

Charles states that there are three principle elements to
this theory ...

1. The imagination of our appearance to the other person.
2. The imagination of his judgement of that appearance
3. Some sort of feeling , like pride or mortification--this is our self esteem. So basically the first concept of Social interactionism is that there are two parts of the 'self'. One is the I and the other is the Me . An Example of the Me qualities which are objective would be : Female An Example of the I which is the subjective awareness of an individual would be : Friendly If someone was to step on your shoe , and you feel it was an accident , you wouldn't feel as angry towards the person compared to if you knew that he or she had done it on purpose.

To think of what they might do after stepping on your shoe would be like to anticipate their next move. All the options being, 1. They carry on as if they didn't do anything, 2. They stare at you like it was your fault or 3. That person apologize And you think in your head if they do either of the first two, you will be angry because you expect option 3. An apology for stepping on your shoe.

The instant between you realizing someone stepping on your shoe and their response to stepping on your shoe, you probably already thought to yourself the consequences that person would go through if he or she doesn't apologize . And this is concept number 2 ,being able to think of what he or she would do and how they should respond. Language , whether it be oral , sign or body language , is the way in which an individual interprets and gives meaning to their experiences of self and others in order to interact in relationships.

Therefore, the words we say express the emotions and thoughts running through our mind and is a symbol of our thoughts. We interpret other peoples words as a symbol of something. This theory can be used for analyzing observations of individuals or small groups.

If people were to realize that everybody has their own set of interpretations of your actions and words, then people would realize that maybe the person holding the door for you and smiling at you wasn't a creepy weirdo but actually someone who was just being nice.This theory tries to explain how people perceive their personal experiences in their social world and how they interpret these experiences to give them meaning. Symbolic Interactionism is a micro level theory and has its own sets of limitations to its use.
Even though this theory can be used to analyze small groups it limits you to only so much accuracy.The researcher perceives and interprets the actions and words of the individuals during the observations , and so the researcher's self image and beliefs could influence the analysis. Is your theory a macro level or microlevel theory ? Limitations / Weaknesses of Symbolic Interactionism George Herbert Mead (1863–1931),was an americna philosophist most commonly known by many to be the father of the school of Symbolic Interactionism in sociology and social psychology. Who's George Mead ? Individuals and Families in a Diverse Society [Hardcover]
Maureen Holloway (Author), Garth Holloway (Author), Jane Witte (Author), Marvin Zuker (Author)


http://www.colorado.edu/communication/meta-discourses/Papers/App_Papers/Nelson.htm Sources
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