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Interactionism and Reflexivity - Essay Example

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Interactionism and Reflexivity

(" Interactionism")
There are two philosophical roots of Interactionism: one is Phenomenology and the second is Ethnography. Phenomenology is study of the construction of experience or consciousness. It is the study of "Phenomena". It explains why things appear, as they are, what role they play in our lives or how we experience them and finally how experiences influence us. It includes all our sensory powers and capabilities of hearing, seeing, touching and everything that make up an "experience". This may include all animate and inanimate objects. It studies the entire structure of an experience, starting from a thought or intention and finally translating into action. The intermediate processes, from thought to action are all studied by Phenomenology. This includes, foremost, how we perceive things, what thoughts and imagination they provoke in our mind and memory, what emotions are aroused, how will towards that task, and finally, how the action is taken or executed. Edmund Husserl was among the pioneers of the Phenomenology when it was first launched in early 20th century. He believed that the center of all experience is intention. It is not what final experience will bring about that decides how an individual will perceive or what individual will learn from it. It is what individual intend to get from experience that decides the meaning of the experience for the individual. (Smith, 2003)
Ethnography on the other hand, is the collection of writings based on qualitative and quantitative details of human social phenomena. It is derived from fieldwork and includes study of traveling and office records. It takes into account all aspects of research, because it believes that the components of system don't exist separately and therefore cannot be studied independently of each other. The influence of one part on the other has to be taken into consideration. For a successful ethnography to take place, it is important that ethnographer lives among his subjects of study for a year or so, while at the same time do not involve or attach himself to any subject that might color his studies. But that the same time it is important for him to develop good relationships with his subjects, as they will eventually help him in his learning. In order to improve the quality of the results, they might go on to learn the language, live in their style, wear their clothes etc to get a better feel of the place and culture. (" Ethnography")
Ervin Goffman, a Canadian-born sociologist, has made one of the greatest contributions to sociological social psychology. He introduced to us, what is known as micro-sociology or the face-to -face interactions. He also explained in detail the"dramaturgical approach" to human interaction. Goffman believed that there was no single truth with a capital T, but infact each individual had a different idea of what is truth which he held as right and real. He also argued that humans did not act in a similar fashion at all times. Time, people involved, context, event, importance of event are among some of determinants of how we will act in a certain situation. Thus an individual or the self is the collection of his behaviors in different situations. The reason why individuals act differently in different situations is because they r desirable of audience's approval. A successful perfomance is one in which the audience ...Show more


Interactionism refers to the way the people relate to society. There are many subtopics that add up to form what is known as Interactionism. Phenomenology, ethnography, symbolic interaction and social construction are four areas that our covered by Interactionism…
Author : yreynolds
Interactionism and Reflexivity
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