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Symbolic Interactionism Theory

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Emily Heyer

on 30 October 2016

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Transcript of Symbolic Interactionism Theory

Symbolic Interactionism Theory
Kori Andreasen and Emily Heyer

Symbolic Interactionism Theory
"People will react to something according to the meaning that that thing has for them (the meaning being created through our interactions with society, culture, and other people)"

Paradigm: Interpretive
Primary Terms
Interaction:
social behavior during which some type of communication takes place, causing each person to react to the situation and modify their behaviors.
Gestures
Mead discussed the influence of gestures in our interactions. In different countries around the world, different hand signs mean different things. This shows how our experiences determine what certain things mean to us. Watch below to see what we mean!
Critiques
- Some people find the key concepts confusing because they are difficult to define and thus difficult to test with research
George Herbert Mead
We learn about ourselves through interactions with others that are based on gestures

Play Stage:
A child tries to use gestures to practice the behaviors associated with different roles
Game Stage:
Children begin to take on the perspectives of many people at one time to see how the individual fits with that group.
Herbert Blumer
1st Tenet
Meaning is a central element of behavior
2nd Tenet
Our self-concept
3rd Tenet
We move from a discussion of the self to a discussion of society
References:
Park, J. (2016). kduncankis - Symbolic Internactionism. Kduncankis.wikispaces.com. Retrieved 27 October 2016, from http://kduncankis.wikispaces.com/Symbolic+Internactionism
What hand gestures mean in different countries - busuu blog. (2016). busuu blog. Retrieved 27 October 2016, from https://blog.busuu.com/what-hand-gestures-mean-in-different-countries/
Symbolic Interactionism - Self-concept Formation. (2016). Family.jrank.org. Retrieved 29 October 2016, from http://family.jrank.org/pages/1675/Symbolic-Interactionism-Self-Concept-Formation.html
Smith, Suzanne R., and Raeann R. Hamon. Exploring Family Theories. New York: Oxford UP, 2012. Print.

The Self
Gestures:
acts that represent something else
non-verbally
Social Norms:
expectations about
how to act in a
given situation
Rituals:
how families interact with each other during holidays and which symbols and gestures are appropriate to use during those times
Roles:
set of social norms
for a specific situation

Salience:
how important a role
is to us at a certain
time in our life
Identity:
the roles most
salient to us define
who we are
Symbols:
the products of
social interaction
- the ideas and concepts of individual scholars in this field have not been combined into one central theory
- does not give enough attention to either the importance of emotions or the role of the unconscious
- too much emphasis on the ability of individuals to create their own realities and does not pay enough
attention to the fact that we live in a world that we
do not create by ourselves
- lack of attention to biology

What is most salient to you that helps to create your identity?"
"It's not even Halloween, why are there Christmas Trees Up?!"
Example:
Starting Young
Even from infancy, we are influenced by the norms and symbols of society. For example: Boy means blue and Girl means pink.
Preparatory Stage
Children imitate the actions of those around them, without actually understanding the meaning bind the actions.
The development of a self concept enables individuals to see themselves from the perspective of another and then form a conception of themselves. This picture illustrates this development.
"I"
"Me"
Spontaneous, immediate reaction
- less concerned what other people think

Learned roles determined by our experiences with other
- more socially aware
We have a specific idea of what symbols represent which holiday. Maybe this is why when the wrong symbol appears close to the wrong holiday, this often throws us off or even makes us frustrated. There is an appropriate time and place for every ritual.
Full transcript