Sociologists 's View On Social Interaction

995 Words4 Pages
Sociologists view society in different ways. Sociologists use three major theories: symbolic interactionism, functional analysis, and conflict theory. The symbolic interactionist perspective, also known as symbolic interactionism, directs sociologists to consider the symbols and details of everyday life, what these symbols mean, and how people interact with each other (Cliff). Some examples of symbolic interactionism are the meaning of marriage, the meaning of divorce, the meaning of parenthood, and the meaning of love. Symbols may include wedding bands, vows of life‐long commitment, a white bridal dress, a wedding cake, a Church ceremony, and flowers and music. American society attaches general meanings to these symbols, but individuals also maintain their own perceptions of what these and other symbols mean (Cliff). Symbols have a shared social meaning that is understood by all members of society. Symbolical interactionism is analyzed at a micro-sociological level. It examines small-scale patterns of social interaction. It focuses mainly on face-to-face interaction and how people use symbols to create a social life. Functional analysis also called functionalism examines large-scale patterns of society. Functionalism interprets each part of society in terms of how it contributes to the stability of the whole society. Society is more than the sum of its parts; rather, each part of society is functional for the stability of the whole society (socabout). This basic approach can be applied to any social group, whether an entire society, a college, or even a group as small as a family. Functionalists believe that society is held together by social consensus, or cohesion, in which members of the society agree upon and work t... ... middle of paper ... ... will be left will an enhanced feeling of self-worth from the positive attributes or even the negative characteristics of those being viewed thus justifying their own behaviors (inform). Media becomes a reference group: a group that influences an individual and to which an individual compares himself, and by which we judge our successes and failures (CNX). However many people that tune in will modify their own activities based on the perceived reality of the television appearance. No matter which approach a sociologist may take, it is evident that television is an intricate component of our society. Communities and individuals are constantly bombarded with messages from a plurality of sources including TV, billboards, and magazines. These messages promote not just merchandise, but moods, attitudes, and a sense of what is and is not important in our cultivation.
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