Since the beginning of Symbolic Interactionsim, when George Herbert Mead coined the theory, despite its lack of official information, anyone who studies the theory can see how it relates and is true to most, if not all human beings and the culture that they derive from. In this paper, it will discuss the theory; provide examples from people who have studied this specific theory more in depth, as well as my personal opinions about the view on this theory as well as the results that have come from it. This paper will also, if more than anything, will show more insight into despite the actual facts and testing on Symbolic Interactionism, it is more focused on how human beings are naturally wired and how it affects their thought process and moods.
Symbolic Interactionism A Review of the Literature
When George Mead invented the Symbolic Interactionism Theory, he coined it with three specific that made up “the core” of what Symbolic Interactionism was: Meaning, Language, and Thought. Professor Duncan, who is an author of a book called Symbols and Social Theory acknowledges Mead as probably doing the “best job at explaining social as an action”. Duncan also goes to say that because of the issue of environment and the ways in which actions and events happen, it is also worthy of considering for an arguable spot in the form of Symbolic Interactionism.
In the same article, the discussion of our meanings behind our actions in our society also comes into play. Hewitt in Self and Society presents that between social and individual objects, there is indeed a difference. He claims that an important aspect as to recognizing the difference is to always keep in mind that during interactions, people are indeed a social object. They feed off of interaction from other human beings as also feeding off of their “Looking Glass Self” that is also discussed in the overview for the Symbolic Theory.
In this specific theory, meaning is everything. As discussed by Herbert Blumer, one of Mead’s students, there are three basic points behind the emphasis of meanings. 1) Humans act toward things on the basis of the meanings that things have for them. 2) The meanings of things derive from social interaction, and 3) these meanings are dependent on, and modified by, an interpretive process of the people who interact with one another. The whole emphasis on meanings with the Symbolic Interactionism Theory, in retrospect, all goes back to the “cause and effect” motion. Any cause relates to an effect, thus any meaning has an action and thought behind that action; which is why some people take different meanings differently than others because some interactions cause different meanings and understanding to different people.
The environment in which someone is in also affects the way someone responds to meanings or the signs behind them. Mead’s view of “The Generalized Other” also has a part to play in this. In Mead’s “Generalized Other”, he defines it as the composite mental image of the way we form the community. In different cities, states, even countries, every society and culture is a little different. The two composites of this has to do with how we view ourselves, and the expectancy of the society we live in and how they expect us to be. As F. Scott Christopher puts it, who wrote about symbolic interactionism and how it affects the opposite sex, he says, “Culture is the world of objects in which human beings live”.
Aside from symbolic interactionism focusing on human beings in general or just specific individual people, this theory has also been tested on families as well. With families being a core unit and knowing each...
Cited: "Interactionism, Symbolic." International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences. 2008. Encyclopedia.com. (October 30, 2013
Manning, Philip and D
Theory Paper/ Symbolic Interactionism
October 29, 2013
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