Social Interaction Submitted to: Submitted by: Module title: Module ID: Submission date: Social Interaction in the light of Symbolic Interactionism and Ethno-methodology It has aptly been stated that the discipline of Sociology vehemently concentrates upon studying human behaviour in group life; consequently, social interaction maintains central place in Sociology…
Structural functionalism declares society as an organic whole, where a strong and integrated structure is dependent of adequate functioning of all the social institutions and organizations. Similarly, conflict theory opines struggle between the classes as the pivotal point behind all the developments and transformations taking place in group life. On the contrary, symbolic interactionism views applying of signs, gestures, expressions and body language as most important one during people’s communication with one another. Hence, words, symbols and gestures not only convey the message of one individual to others, but also determine and decide the reaction of others on the foundations of words, expressions and body language delivered during the interaction process. Inspired by renowned psychologist theorist George Herbert Mead, Herbert Blumer articulated symbolic interaction theory in 1937. Mead had first coined the doctrine of psychological behaviourism. “For Mead, the unit of study is the “act”, which comprises both overt and covert aspects of human action. Within the act, all the separated categories of the traditional, orthodox psychologies find a place. Attention, perception, imagination, reasoning, emotion and so forth, are seen as part of the act.”1 (Meltzer, 1978: quoted in Ritzer, 2007: 298) Symbolic interactionism states that all sets of social norms, cultural values, religious rituals, traditions, customs and conventions etc are actually the determined patterns of behaviour, which guide the humans to act and react according to the situation. “Symbolic interactionists, as their name implies, place enormous emphasis on the capacity of humans to create and use symbols. In contrast to other animals, whose symbolic capacities are limited or non-existent, the very essence of humans and the world that they create flows from their ability to symbolically represent each other, objects, ideas, and virtually any phase of their experience.”2 (Turner, 1978:327) Almost the same theoretical framework has been presented by Harold Garfinkel under the title ethnomethodology, where the approach seeks to “study the methods in and through which members concertedly produce and assemble the features of everyday life in any actual, concrete, and not hypothetical or theoretically depicted setting.3 (Garfinkel 1988:137) Thus, ethnomethodology maintains close affinity with symbolic interactionism, and draws out conclusions by observing the actions and expressions of he individuals engaged in one type of social interaction or the other in an empirical manner. In other words, ethnomethodology investigates the meanings and message of an act or behavior by testing its validity on various occasions in admit its status at universal or regional scale. For instance, smile and frown are universal symbols of interaction as the former is taken as a sign of goodwill, while the other is regarded as the symbol of anger and displeasure all over the world. Somehow, there exist several gestures and symbols that give different meanings to different cultural groups. For instance, males’ act of shaking hand with females is a symbol of mannerism in western societies; on the contrary, it serves as a taboo in the Gulf region. Similarly, the Japanese put off ...
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Perhaps like other new disciplines or approaches, symbolic interactionism is fundamentally a departure from deeply held principles of the time. Indeed, the principles salient in this sociological theory are very far from the traditional type of sociology known in the early period of the 20th century.
Since the theory of symbolic interaction focuses its attention on the way people interact through symbols like words and gestures, it is imperative that the research to be done should entail the observation of the participant. If the researcher wants to see the development of the meaning of things through the interaction of individuals, there is a need to be “in the group” to see through the process.
This theory focuses on the symbolic meaning that individuals create and use during social interaction. Symbolic interactionism understands society by focusing on the subjective meanings that individuals assign to behaviors, occurrences, and objects. Such subjective meanings are emphasized because it is assumed that individuals act according to their belief and not simply based on what is objectively factual.
Although I have experienced symbolic interactionism in different aspects of life, the most palpable experience came about when organizing a cloth donation campaign. My friends and I decided to form a cloth donation group to help the poor people in Senegal.
What will be found in this paper is that law enforcement works extremely hard to maintain an environment that provides a safe and social existence to allow for social interactions among each other and all adjoining cultures in society. Also, without law enforcement, this literature has evidenced that there would not be the improved balance that there is in life today as compared to decades ago.
Enough books and research papers were coming out frequently. And these helped students trying to know about mind much more to advance in their field of study also. But in my view, along with bookish knowledge keen observation is must for understanding mind.
At the heart of the critique was the claim that the dominant theoretical tradition-notably, structural functionalism-portrayed human society as a natural object independent of and controlling human behaviour. This, it was argued, contradicted the nature of human social action, as well as serving to support the status quo by implying that people could not change society.
This means these study face to face interaction for their observations. This also throws light on the contributions of various academicians and intellectuals in the study of the Symbolic Interaction and Ethnomethodology. Ethnomethodology is
The author states that structural functionalism declares society as an organic whole, where a strong and integrated structure is dependent on the adequate functioning of all the social institutions and organizations. Similarly, conflict theory opines struggle between the classes as the pivotal point behind all the developments.
The meanings are derivatives of social interaction and may be modified through interpretation. A situation or event only has real consequences when people define it as real. The definition and attribution of reality are based on the expression of language that
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