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Symbolic Interactionism

Symbolic interactionism is a major theoretical framework of sociology. It relies on the symbolic meanings that people develop and interpret throughout their social interactions. These interpretations are built and rebuilt throughout people’s lives and dictate how people interact with the world.

The origins of symbolic interactionism lie with Max Weber’s assertion that individuals act according to the interpretation of the meaning of their world. George Herbert Mead  actually coined the concept in the 1920s.(1)

Symbolic interactionism analyzes society by addressing subjective meanings that people impose on their worlds. People behave based on these meanings and what they believe, not just on what is objectively true.

Symbolic interactionists visualize society as constructed through human interpretation. Major components of this framework include the W. I Thomas’ ‘definition of the situation,’ which is a sort of collective agreement between people on the characteristics of situations and how to react to them. Human agency, interactive determination and symbolization are also important concepts.

Criticisms of this framework include that it neglects the macro-level orientation necessary for understanding the big picture. Symbolic interactionists may also over exaggerate the influence that social forces have on individual interactions.

http://sociology.about.com/od/Sociological-Theory/a/Symbolic-Interaction-Theory.htm (1)

Stereotype Threat

1) Intelligence is hard to define. The traditional approach to intelligence is the psychometric approach. Briefly explain what it is and what does the psychometric approach measures and focuses on? 2) Explain what the term "Stereotype Threat" that happens to an individual of a different cultural when they are trying to take a

Overcoming Stereotypes

How do we get beyond the stereotypes? Before answering this, please read the commencement speech found at http://www.uakron.edu/president/co_12_13_03PM.php . When faced with a personal bias about people from cultures other than those to which you belong (including ethnic, age, gender, profession, religion, education, etc.), w

Internal Social Scripts

Scripts or books do help build a better attitude for ourselves and others. We need scripts to exist in society, and they do have a strong influence on our internal scripts. I think we do this because this is our coping mechanisms and this helps us to explain things (Schank, & Abelson, 2013). We also rely on past experiences to h