Buy term paper: Symbolic Interaction

In this paper the question of symbolic interaction will be examined. The main aim of this project is to define a term ‘symbolic interactionism’ and address main aspects connected with it.
Defining the term ‘symbolic interactionism’ we see that it focuses on the analysis of the symbolic aspects of social interactions. According to Blumer “symbolic interactionism is a major sociological perspective that places emphasis on micro-scale social interaction, which is particularly important in subfields such as urban sociology and social psychology.” (Blumer, 1969). The term ‘symbolic interactionism’ was formulated by Herbert Blumer and he used it to mark a general type of methods, research and theory carried out by different researchers and scholars not only in sociology, but also in social psychology, as it was previously stated. In historical context Blumer was a devotee of George H. Mead (a great sociologist and social psychologist, a true founder of symbolic interactionism) and was influenced by John Dewey. Griffin stated that “Blumer came up with three core principles to his theory. They are meaning, language, and thought. These core principles lead to conclusions about the creation of a person’s self and socialization into a larger community.” (Griffin, 1997)
Early thinkers in Sociology who interested in the theory of symbolic interactionism were Cooley, Thomas and Znaniecki, Park and Burgess. The main problems that troubled interactionists were how the interaction between the individuals forms the social structure and how these social structures, acting as a network of interactions that form an individual.
The theory of symbolic interactionism focuses its attention on the way how people understand, interact and interpret their environment through such symbols as words, looks, gestures, roles and rules.
Thinking about the way how people interpret symbols and interact one on one, we see that the basic principle of interactionism is that an individual perceives (estimates) own behavior in accordance with estimates of the other, i.e. a person looks at own behavior through the prism of other people reaction on certain actions, words and roles in society. Symbolic interactionists are united not with a rigorous theory, but with a common vision of social process, treated as a process of development and changing social values, a constant definition and redefinition of situations, the interaction of their participants. In the course of this redefinition was found changing objective (in terms of interacting individuals) reality of social activities, because the world, on presentation of interactionists, has completely social origin. Different groups develop different worlds, which vary in the process of changing the values in the course of social interaction.
According to Blumer we see that the underlying premises of the symbolic interaction theory are:
 “Human beings act toward things on the basis of the meaning they have;
 The meaning attributed to those things arises out of social interaction with others;
 These meanings are modified through an interpretive process.” (Blumer, 1969)
It is possible to consider that the most interesting moment in this theory is understanding that individuals are greatly influenced by surrounding people through symbols. This fact allows to say that “since people are symbolic creatures, they can interpret and talk about their inner experiences, such as their thoughts or desires, thus enhancing communication and interactions with others” (Griffin, 1997).
Interpreting current social event in the news through the theory of symbolic interaction we see that people do not react to outside influence automatically. They are unraveling the meaning of symbols: gestures, actions, etc., before they are going to answer them. Interaction between people is possible due to a similar understanding of specific symbols.
Thus, basing on the above stated information it is possible to conclude that own past experience, knowledge of sign language and the ability to put oneself in different situations and take the role of other person help people understand the intentions of others. Interacting with others, we are constantly looking for clues what type of behavior is appropriate in the context and how to interpret the intentions of others. In conclusion, symbolic interactionism draws our attention to the details of interpersonal interaction and the manner in which these details tell the meaning of what was said or done by others.

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