Just like different parts of human body are correlated functionally and cannot exist individually, similarly members of a society are interdependent for all purposes. Hence, this theory affirms that society is more important than its individual members (Rigney, 2001, p.17). However, both these theories have adopted a flawed approach towards individual and society since the relationship between the two is not one-sided. There are modern theorists like Durkheim who claim that society provides social facts to the individual based on which one’s thoughts and actions are formed (Begum & Awan, 2014, p.116). This paper discusses the theories of two sociologists - George Herbert Mead and Erving Goffman.
Symbols or signs indicate the way a person is likely to behave or act in a given circumstance and the way different incidents occur in one’s life. A person would comprise two basic elements. The initial part is the ‘I’ that may denote the “spontaneous, creative self”. This part is likely to act selfishly without thinking the way the society would react or what others believe. The other element comprises me that would represent “socially conscious part of the self that monitors and moderates the I’s impulses” (Wood, 2011, p.111). The second part would evaluate the first in the context of social norms and predefined conventions. The element I still stays indifferent to the traditions and social rules but the me would always take note of those and the way society views different aspects. One may take up an example in this backdrop. In a public place of social set up, an aggressive interaction takes place and the I element in an individual would be tempted to throw abusive words or comments at his target, yet the other part (me) would always attempt to control the I as that element is aware of the probable impact those words might have on the individual’s relationship with the particular person in the long run. Also the second component