Symbolic Interactionism

Symbolic Interactionism

Definition of Symbolic Interactionism

The Canada social science dictionary [1] provides the following meaning of Symbolic Interactionism: A sociological perspective that stresses the way societies are created through the interactions of individuals. Unlike both the consensus (structural functionalist) and conflict perspectives, it does not stress the idea of a social system possessing structure and regularity, but focuses on the way that individuals, through their interpretations of social situations and behavioural negotiation with others, give meaning to social interaction. George H. Mead (1863-1931), a founder of symbolic interactionism, saw interaction as creating and recreating the patterns and structures that bring society to life, but more recently there has been a tendency to argue that society has no objective reality aside from individual interaction. This latter view has been criticized for ignoring the role of culture and social structure in giving shape, direction and meaning to social interaction. See: MICRO-PERSPECTIVE in this legal dictionary and in the world encyclopedia of law.

Symbolic Interactionism: Resources

Notes and References

  • Drislane, R., & Parkinson, G. (2016). (Concept of) Symbolic Interactionism. Online dictionary of the social sciences. Open University of Canada

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