They depend on factors like the culture, the social group, etc. Symbolic interactionism as a theory to understand the micro-level phenomenon of the society was given by George Herbert Mead, though he did not do much work on this. It is a sociological theory, also known as a symbolic interaction perspective. For example, why would young people smoke cigarettes even when all objective medical evidence points to the dangers of doing so? The answer is in the definition of the situation that people create. Equity vs. We aim at providing virtual guidance to the ones taking their first steps into the world of Social Science, either through formal education or because of their never-ending quest for learning. We use socially constructed meanings of race and gender to help us decide who to interact with, how to do so, and to help us determine, sometimes inaccurately, the meaning of a person's words or actions. Ours is a youth-led virtual learning platform with dedicated social scientists and students. eval(ez_write_tag([[300,250],'sociologygroup_com-medrectangle-4','ezslot_3',196,'0','0']));The second premise will explain that these meanings are derived from social interaction. The symbolic interaction perspective, also called symbolic interactionism, is a major framework of the sociological theory. What Is Multiculturalism? It is argued that the theory is not one theory, but rather, the framework for many different theories. E2100, doi:10.3390/ijerph16122100, Fundamental Aspects of Social Experience and Identities, Critics of Symbolic Interaction Perspective, Symbolic Interaction Theory: History, Development, and Examples, Studying Race and Gender with Symbolic Interaction Theory, The Major Theoretical Perspectives of Sociology. He gave three basic premises to the story; The first premise was that people carry out actions based on the meaning that they give to the world around them. And we also gain new knowledge about the same thing and in the process find that the meanings given to things differ from person to person or group to group. We also believe in the power of knowledge in making the world a better place to thrive and survive. This meaning is symbolic. So, the symbolic meaning of smoking overrides the facts regarding smoking and risk. Symbolic interactionism tends to Interactionism in sociology is a theoretical perspective in which society is thought to be a product of the everyday social interactions among millions of people. Symbolic interactionism is an anti theoretical sociological theory that refuses in principle to transcend the peculiar characteristics of social processes. Having no biological bases at all, both race and gender are social constructs that function based on what we believe to be true about people, given what they look like. E.g. If you imagine that paradigms are like lenses in a pair of eyeglasses, there are several different lens styles worn by sociologists and symbolic interactionism is one of them. Definition of Self-Fulfilling Prophecy in Sociology, Adolescent Smoking in Secondary Schools that Have Implemented Smoke-Free Policies: In-Depth Exploration of Shared Smoking Patterns. Through this Blumer emphasizes on the meaning that may be behind a particular individual behavior and its psychosocial explanations. In other words, symbolic interactionists may miss the more significant issues of society by focusing too closely on the “trees” rather than the “forest.” The perspective also receives criticism for slighting the influence of social forces and institutions on individual interactions. In the cases of race and gender, this perspective would not account for social forces like systemic racism or gender discrimination, which strongly influence what we believe race and gender mean. It is subjective in nature, such a meaning may have developed due to being a part of a certain culture or a particular group. This phenomenon, called colorism, occurs because of the racist stereotype that has been encoded in skin color over centuries. Through socialization and throughout the experience with others or with events, we give meanings to the things, these meanings are different for everyone. Sociology Group: Sociology and Other Social Sciences Blog, Learn Sociology and Other Social Sciences. Symbolic interactionism is an approach used to analyze human interactions by focusing on the meanings that individuals assign to things in the world around them, including words and objects. The basic premise of this theory lies in the fact that individuals use the process of communication to give meaning to the things around them, also others around them. Updated January 30, 2020. Critics of this theory claim that symbolic interactionism neglects the macro level of social interpretation. These interpretations are called the “definition of the situation.”. The symbolic interaction perspective, also called symbolic interactionism, is a major framework of the sociological theory. 16, no. E.g. And thus the theory cannot be tested. One shocking example of how this theoretical concept plays out within the social construct of race is manifested in the fact that many people, regardless of race, believe that lighter skinned blacks and Latinos are smarter than their darker skinned counterparts. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, vol. Though it is used in the study of communication, symbolic interactionism has been criticized for taking into to account the individual as opposed to the actions of the larger society and such experiences and actions are subjective and thus cannot form the basis of generalizations in the study of sociology and make the study less objective.