Small Group Experience
The need to affiliate with others and to be accepted by them is hypothesized to be as basic to our psychological well being as hunger and thirst are to our physical well being (Raviester and Leary, 1995). (Meeting, Liking, and Becoming Acquainted, SPT Reader P. 50) One doesn’t begin to realize how important social interaction is until it is gone. Each individual seeks some sort of relationship throughout his or her lives, even as an infant. Relationships are looked as a bond between two individuals, but it is not limited between those two. People all have the need to affiliate, but not all people are the same and differ in the strength of their need for affiliation. When meeting new people in a small group experience you are faced with many different emotions, situations, and many thoughts racing through your mind.
If I viewed my small group experience through the concept of symbolic interaction theory, founded by Tom Shibutani, you begin to gain knowledge and an understanding of what is going on. The symbolic interaction theory is that people act on symbolic meanings that they find in situations. Immersing yourself into the small group allows one to create different relationships around oneself. The challenge is to then create shared and similar meanings. The meanings are then personalized by an interpretive process, and after being processed one looks to others to externally view our modifications. When doing this you develop your own self-concept of one another. When we sat down as a group we each introduced ourselves. It was awkward at first, but then we all shared a similar thought and started to interact with each other to avoid awkward silence and situation. The definition of the situation is the reactions to the shared agreements between one another and each member of the group expected one another to participate in the activity and share ideas together. Once established, we discussed the best way to meet people, what we found...
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