Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Symbolic Interactionism Essays

Symbolic Interactionism Essays Symbolic Interactionism Paper Symbolic Interactionism Paper Symbolic Interactionism is and American branch of Sociology and its founder is George Herbert Mead. Symbolic interactionsim explains social actions in terms of the meanings that individuals give to them. They tend to focus on small-scale interactions rather than large-scale. Mead divided his studies into three core elements of symbolic interactionsim; the symbol, the self and the interaction. Symbols In Meads view, anything which humans do is essentially social and this owes to the fact that humans interact through a number of symbols, most of which are contained in a language. A symbol can define objects and events in a particular way and indicates a response to them. Symbols impose specific meanings to objects/events to avoid confusion. For example the chair can be of metal or wood, it can be used to sit or assault someone but its name it will still be chair even though it is different in each case. Symbols provide a way through which humans can interact with their natural and social environment. They are human-made and they refer to the ways in which people perceive them. Symbols are necessary to guide human interactions and behaviours. Therefore people classify the world around them so as to define both the stimuli and their response to them. Role-Taking Symbols are only useful when they are shared amongst many members of a society otherwise communication is impossible. In order to accomplish human interaction, the people must interpret the meanings and intentions of others. This is possible through common symbols and what Mead called role-taking. This process involves one person imaginatively placing themselves in the position of the person with whom they are interacting so as to understand that persons intentions. On the basis of this interpretation they will make response to the action of the other. For example when a person waves his hand, the second person interprets this gesture as a greeting or a goodbye wave so he/she waves back. Therefore human interaction can be seen as a continuous process of interpretation, with each person taking the role of the other. The Self Mead argued that through the process of role-taking individuals develop a concept of self. By placing themselves in the position of others they are able to look back upon themselves. Symbolic Interactionism How Social Order, Is Possible According To George Herbert Mead’s Symbolic Interactionism Perspective To achieve social order in society, individuals assume that they understand the modes of interactions made by other people so they conduct themselves in a calm way. People assume that they know how other people expect to be treated for instance. This in turn provides a kind of regulation of how people should behave. On a large scale, this translates to order in the society since possible conflicts are now avoided due to that mutual understanding that the other person expects me to treat him or her in a certain way for me to get the same type of treatment from them. There are certain symbols that everyone in the society relates to that connect us to other people. Language as one of these symbols enhances communication among people. Communication is a vital element of conflict resolution and in turn contributes to social order. According to Mead’s theory of Symbolic Interactionism, there are several ascribed meanings that human beings relate to irrespective of their background. There are concepts and objects that have some ascribed meanings connecting all people. An example of these is liberty. Liberty is an ideal that advocates for the freedom of people across all origins. When people from different backgrounds meet for example, they could relate to this concept as a way of identifying the similarity in their culture. This in turn contributes to social order. A merger of individual interpretations of distinct concepts and ideals also contributes to social harmony. When people gather and share their views of certain things, their minds are opened to new things that they had not thought of before. People also share their experiences of how they learnt of something the hard way and use this to advise others against doing some things. These kinds of interactions lead to understanding between people lead ing to peace and order in the society (Ridener, 2007). The Concepts of â€Å"The Self, Self-Interaction, the Development of the Self, And Symbolic Meaning Mead says that there is a special connection between the ‘self’ and the mind of any individual. During our interactions with others, we are socially developed and we give others the first impression of who we really are. Similarly, we also make first impressions of the people we talk to everyday. It is through our interactions with others that we get to understand ourselves and create an impression of ourselves. While creating an impression of ourselves, we also get to know how other people perceive us. These two perceptions of ourselves make us behave in an expected way that in turn enhances our interactions with others. Enhanced interaction leads to peace and harmony in the society (Ridener, 2007). Self-interaction refers to the way we connect what we perceive of ourselves to what other people perceive of us. We should be in a position to reconcile the two in cases where they differ from what we expect. Once an individual is at ease with what others perceive of him and what he perceives of himself, he is in a better position to be at peace with others since there is no point of conflict between him and the others. The symbolic meaning refers to the perceptions of particular concepts or objects that are shared by many people. These meanings bind people together towards a common course for example peace and cooperation. This collective nature of understanding contributes to harmony in the society. References Ridener, L. R. (2007). George Hebert Mead. In Pfeiffer.edu. Retrieved from http://media.pfeiffer.edu/lridener/dss/Mead/MINDSELF.HTML

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