Presentation on theme: "A High Level Sociological Theory Interactionism: 1. A theoretical position assuming that the individual is not only influenced by his/her environment,"— Presentation transcript:
Interactionism: 1. A theoretical position assuming that the individual is not only influenced by his/her environment, but that s/he also influences his/her environment. The emphasis is on the person taking an active, or constructive, part in his/her development
2. Interactionism is a social- psychological theory that the self is formed by interacting with others and that social life depends on the ability to imagine ourselves in other social roles.
Interactions take place between two or more individuals, and include all uses of language, exchange, confrontation, and working with others. The goal of all such interactions is communication. Through their interactions, people become active participants in creating their social world.
For social interactionists, people negotiate their social world by adapting to different situations. These situations are largely considered to be the result of actions taken by others. People take purposive action toward goals and desires within the restrictive situations in which they find themselves.
Individuals interpret social actions symbolically to give meaning to their actions. (symbol =mutually understood gesture) Vocal gesture allows the speaker to reflect on the message as well as the other listeners The meaning of these symbols is itself a matter of social construction. They have meaning only in so far as people agree they do. Symbols, therefore, are said to have meaning by virtue of intersubjective agreement,or agreement between individual subjects.
Symbolic Interaction: Also known as interactionism involves two or more people Requires cooperation and shared understanding of the social object Importance of the gesture. Human behavior is interpreted as a response to the symbolic act of others. The approach focuses on creating a framework for building a theory that sees society as the product of the everyday interactions of individuals
1. Macro-Emphasizes larger units such as institutions or cultures 2. Demands of roles and social interaction are situational 3. Enforced by sanctions of the group 4. Deviance and individual difference is abnormal
1. Micro-Emphasizes individuals 2. Focus on subjective aspects of social life 3. Studies communication between individuals and groups 4. Communicates with symbols which are meaningful 5. Deviance and individual differences are more tolerated
Walter Mischel (1930- ) Max Weber (1864-1920) George Herbert Mead (1863-1931) Charles Horton Cooley (1864-1929) Harry Stack Sullivan (1892-1949) Herbert Blumer (1900-1987) Manford Kuhn (d.1963) Irving (Erving) Goffman (1922-1982)
o Cooley identified the influence of the environment on behavior. o People learn to act as society wants them to act. o Individuals modify their behaviors as the situation dictates (1864-1929)
Father of Symbolic Interactionism Called his approach social behaviourism I = self-conception Me = views of others (1863-1931)
Me is the socialized self. Me is what is learned in interaction with others. Including both knowledge about the environment/society, and who he/she is; their sense of self. I can learn who I am by observing the responses of others. The I is the unsocialized self. It is the subject of ones actions.
Coined the term symbolic interaction is based on the idea that social reality is constructed in each human interaction through the use of symbols, such as, words or gestures. Studying symbolic interaction assists us in understanding human behavior. Student of Mead (1900-1987)
Theory is vague hard to summarize Lacks clarity Differing interpretations different people have attached different meanings to the theory Some theorists overstate their case as when Mead differentiates humans from other animals Assessment may be unreliable subjective measures