It is when persons or groups of persons do such things as work or play or talk together with common end, or when they compete or quarrel with each other that group life, properly speaking, exists.
Thus, it can be said that interaction is the basic social process, the broadest term for describ¬ing dynamic social relationships. Social interaction is the dynamic element in society, while statuses and norms represent its static element. It is true that life is stable, confined and defined by traditional systems, norms and patterned ways.
It is also true that life is fast-moving, dynamic and changing, breaking out at the weak point [or where conflict is greatest]. People are on the move. They are striving, competing, conflicting, cooperating, appeasing, adjusting, reconciling and then challeng¬ing again. This action element or functional element itself represents social interaction.
1. Eldredge and Merrill:
‘Social interaction is the general process whereby two or more per¬sons are in meaningful contact as a result of which their behaviour is modified however slightly.’
2. Drawson and Gettys:
‘Social interaction is a process whereby men interpenetrate the minds of each other’.
3. Gish, N.P.:
‘Social interaction is the reciprocal influence human beings exert on each other through interstimulation and response’.
Two Conditions of Interaction:
Park and Burgess are of the opinion that contact and communication are the two main condi-tions of social interaction.
Contact is the first stage of interaction. Contact means simply a coming together of independent social units [individuals]. It