Marriage and Symbolic Interactionism

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Mid Term Research Paper

Marriage and Symbolic Interactionism

Marriage continues to be a popular institution in the United States. Although looking at the statistics in regard to marriage today you can see how commitment to marriage is faltering. Due to over half of all marriages ending in divorce, the institution of marriage and what it represents is continually coming into question. In researching different theories in Sociology, the central idea of symbolic interactionism, and how we attach meanings to symbols, is the key to understanding how we view the world and communicate with each other. This theory was researched by sociologist Herbert Blumer. In this theory human beings respond to things based on the meanings that those things carry for them. The interpretation of what the meanings are is part of our historical social interaction. Marriage and the symbols they use to represent that commitment are lost in today’s society. Part of the reason that people don’t hold marriage to such high regard as they once did, is the symbolic interactionism that represents the sanctity and commitment of marriage has changed

When we look at what the symbolic imagery of marriage and divorce carries in today’s society we can see how the translation of different symbols carry different meanings now than what they carried 100 years ago. 100 years ago getting divorced was viewed as immoral, people actually held themselves accountable based on how others in society viewed them. Marriage has become more how you feel all the time, instead of how the commitment to the marriage itself is paramount. The changes over the past 100 years in the symbolic interactionism of marriage can be directly connected to the rise in divorce rates in today’s society. The differing viewpoints on symbols of marriage, divorce, and commitment have altered our collective thoughts in our modern society on the symbolism of marriage.

Symbolic interactionism provides a framework...
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