It is not initially there at birth, but arises in the process of social experienced activity” (Crossman). Individuals use this theory to develop their subjective views of the world and to communicate with one another. To illustrate this point, the word “cow” in Spanish is “la vaca” and in French it is “vache.” All three words are symbols used to describe the same thing, based on their respective languages. May 14, 2020 - Symbolic interactionism (SI) is a sociological perspective that developed in the US in the mid-20th century. They sometimes hope to influence others to partake in their society and their norms. Within the subgroups, individuals define themselves and their place in society. Read also A Comparison of the African-American and Asian-American Racism Experience. “Charles Horton Cooley.” 2012. http://www.asanet.org. They may also feel like the outside society is dysfunctional and chaotic. Meaning: Humans act toward people or things on the basis of the meanings they assign to those people or things. 3. There are several sociological perspectives including functionalism, conflict, social exchange, and sociological imagination. We will have some assumptions about these people and our behavior towards them will be based on these assumptions … Taking the example of the selfie today, we can say that "I" take a selfie and share it in order to make "me" available to the world. This is what Charles Horton Cooley termed as the “looking glass self.” Such is the ability to imagine our appearance to another individual. This helps to maintain a status quo. Every interaction has an effect on individuals; each individual goes into each interaction with their own perspectives. His quick glance at you in the doorway of his office seems full of annoyance. For example, the word "cat" does not have meaning in and of itself. In our society women were traditionally assigned the role of caretaker. For instance, in American culture it is considered respectful to make eye contact while engaging in conversation. Charles Horton Cooley’s single idea of the development of one’s sense of self alone provided the foundation for symbolic interactionism. When you are in public, do you ever catch yourself changing your stance, adjusting your look, or the way you speak based on how you think other people are looking at you? Thought: An individual’s interpretation of symbols is modified by his or her own thought processes. When people who are accustomed to these norms step outside their society, they may feel social disorder, unwanted, anxiety, or just feel out of place. Another early American sociologist, Charles Horton Cooley, wrote about "me" as "the looking-glass self," and in doing so, also made important contributions to symbolic interactionism. 2013. We use cookies to give you the best experience possible. Symbolic interaction consists of three parts: meaning; language, the symbols through … This can apply to adults as well, since being able to make sense of our world is greatly dependent on our ability to articulate it. Women have since moved from their original role in the household to the workplace. It is only when people understand and use a common language, whether it is words, gestures, or roles, that social life and communication is possible. To illustrate the aforementioned concepts of Mead’s idea of “self,” perhaps one may picture an individual that belongs to social group “A,” he or she has adapted to the generalized attitude of that group, unaware of “me” side. also offered here. Symbolic interaction theory describes the family as a unit of interacting personalities and focuses attention on the way people interact through symbols. Symbolic interaction Theory and family provides an individual with the symbolic guidelines of norms and values that can be applied to the outside world. Self-Monitoring in Psychology: Definition, Theory & Examples, Freud’s Stages of Psychosexual Development, Metaphysical Poetry: Definition, Characteristics & Examples, Social Interaction Theory, Social Roles & the Presentation of Self, Bacterial Transformation: Definition, Process and Genetic Engineering of E. coli, Rational Function: Definition, Equation & Examples, How to Estimate with Decimals to Solve Math Problems, Editing for Content: Definition & Concept, Allosteric Regulation of Enzymes: Definition & Significance. Symbolic interaction focuses on how people communicate with one another through everyday interactions, and how people perceive and define events. What meaning will they be able to create if not through the interaction of others?