On the surface, sociology is the study of society and human behavior; yet
looking deeper, it is the study of humans in groups and how they interact with
one another. Sociologists look at these groups by means of the sociological perspective. This involves looking at a certain behavior like it has never been looked at it before. When done right one can come to a deeper level of understanding about behavior.
Using your sociological imagination you are able conceptualize how a person’s macro level, which consists of the larger aspects of life such as family and government, and their micro level, (which is the individual itself) combine in order form the person they are. Using my sociological imagination I decided to observe the library through the use of symbolic interactionism, one of four sociological perspectives. The others included are the conflict theory, ethno methodology, feminism and structural functionalist.
Symbolic interactionism tends to observe things by paying full attention to the micro level of sociology. Instead of focusing on broader aspects you look at things depending upon the individual and their interactions in society. Through the use of symbols we are able to assign meaning to people and things and then develop our own interpretations of those symbols.
The library, like many symbols signifies silence, thought and work. You would not walk into a library expecting to be served drinks, and to see people dancing on bookshelves. The library evokes an image of peacefulness, in which people are diligently working; yet a closer examination reveals the not so serene value of a library visit.
The Saint Michael’s Library is not a mystery; it is like every other library in which I have even been. There are lots of books, computers and places for people to do work. There are round tables, square tables, rectangular tables, titled tables and flat tables. There are cubicles and small individual rooms known as ‘ masturbation closets’. The layout of the library is pretty standard and doesn’t need much explaining. There are three floors. The basement had one small room of books and the rest is study areas. The first floor is a mix of computer labs, books, magazines and more study areas. The third floor is mostly books and of course more places to study.
Leah and I walked through the...
... middle of paper ...
...ry, it is easy to notice how people need different things, and require alternate ways of studying. You notice people’s emotions and how they react to their surroundings. Some people need silence, some need music, some need space, some need distraction and some people just do it to look good.
When a sociologist studies behavior their concentration is based upon
the interaction the individual itself and how they interact within their surroundings. Through symbolic interactionalism you look at things and what they mean, and then determine the effects they have. There are many hand signs, both good and bad, that people exchange, as well as facial expressions in reaction to an event or statement that a symbolic interactionalist would look at. My observation period in the library allowed me to glimpse into the life of a sociologist. I realized that you could learn a lot about someone by just watching him or her. Their behavior is highly representative of the person they are; yet one cannot assume what specific reactions imply. Through the use of your sociological imagination you are able to gain a deeper understanding of behavior and how behavior is influenced by society.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- As human beings we react towards things depending on the meaning it gives us as an individual or a society. ‘For interactionsists, what marks human beings off from all other animals is their elaborate semiotics: a symbol-producing capacity which enables them to produce a history, a culture, and very intricate webs of ambiguous communications’ (Turner, B. 200). Death is a sociological issue that affects everybody from different cultures, religions, and areas of the world, each viewing the meaning of death differently.... [tags: Sociology]
2361 words (6.7 pages)
- Gender inequality refers to the inequality between men and women, or the unequal treatment or perception of a person based on his or her gender. Gender inequality is almost always prominent towards a female rather than towards a male. Women are seen as inferior to men in every country in the world. This form of society is called patriarchal and is one of this biggest issues in American society today. Patriarchy means that the country has a primarily male dominated society. Does anyone realize what gender inequality is doing to our country as a whole.... [tags: sociological analysis]
861 words (2.5 pages)
Symbolic Interactionism Theory and the Ground of Routine Activities: Ethnomethodology as Portrayed by Harold Garfinkel and Herbert Blumer
- ... He recognizes four main central conceptions about symbolic interactionism crucial to understanding his propositions. People, individually or collectively, are prepared to act based on meanings of objects comprising their world (Blumer, 1969, p. 67). The interactions of persons usually occur in processes where they make indications to one another and interpret each other’s indications. Social actions both individual and collective are constructed through a process in which actors note, assess, and interpret the situations confronting them.... [tags: Interactionism, Psychology]
675 words (1.9 pages)
- Applications of Symbolic Interactionism Theory George Herbert Mead begins his discussion of symbolic interactionism (talking with others) by defining three core principles that deal with meaning, language, and thought. The theory states that meaning is the construction of social reality. Humans act toward people or things on the basis of the meanings they assign to those people or things. The second principle of symbolic interactionism is language, which is the source of meaning. Meaning is negotiated through the use of language.... [tags: Sociology Communication Essays]
692 words (2 pages)
- Herbert Blumer's Symbolic Interactionism THE THEORY Symbolic Interactionism as thought of by Herbert Blumer, is the process of interaction in the formation of meanings for individuals. Blumer was a devotee of George H. Mead, and was influenced by John Dewey. Dewey insisted that human beings are best understood in relation to their environment (Society for More Creative Speech, 1996). With this as his inspiration, Herbert Blumer outlined Symbolic Interactionism, a study of human group life and conduct.... [tags: Essays Papers]
1318 words (3.8 pages)
- Symbolic Interactionism On the surface, sociology is the study of society and human behavior; yet looking deeper, it is the study of humans in groups and how they interact with one another. Sociologists look at these groups by means of the sociological perspective. This involves looking at a certain behavior like it has never been looked at it before. When done right one can come to a deeper level of understanding about behavior. Using your sociological imagination you are able conceptualize how a person’s macro level, which consists of the larger aspects of life such as family and government, and their micro level, (which is the individual itself) combine in order form the per... [tags: Sociological Perspective Sociology Essays]
1371 words (3.9 pages)
- Symbolic Interactionism Theory George Herbert Mead studied and used an interactionist approach for many years. He was a philosophy professor at the university of Chicago. Mead thought that the true test to any theory is whether or not it is useful in solving complex social problems (EM Griffin, p.83). So Mead decided to study the procedures of communicating, specifically with symbols, the theory was titled Symbolic Interactionism. Mead declared that our gift of language, our ability to manipulate and interpret abstract symbols, was what separated human beings from the other animals.... [tags: George Herbert Mead Psychology Essays]
1032 words (2.9 pages)
- Social Control and Symbolic Interactionism in Literature The way in which social order is achieved has been the subject of many theories presented by respectable sociologists such as Emile Durkheim, Thomas Hobbes, George Herbert Mead, and Karl Marx. Among the most prominent of these theories are Hobbes’ “Social Control” theory and Meads’ “Symbolic Interactionism” theory. Through these two theories, it is possible to gain a better understanding of how social order can be achieved. The social control theory of Thomas Hobbes has five basic premises to it.... [tags: Papers]
974 words (2.8 pages)
- The Social Action Theory and Symbolic Interactionism Max Weber believed that individuals were the key to society. He developed social action theory, the purpose of which was to find out why individuals function in certain ways. He thought that every social action performed by an individual had a meaning attached to it. Social actions are the result of conscious thought processes that take into consideration the reactions of other individuals. Weber identified four types of social action which include, reason (an instrumentally rational or calculated action), value or rational action (determined by belief), emotion or effectual action (dependent upon the feelings... [tags: Papers]
932 words (2.7 pages)
- Deviance is any behavior, belief, or condition that violates significant social norms in the society or group in which it occurs (Kendall, 2012). Our experiment will study the behavioral deviance of a social norm. Sociologists use symbolic interactionism to study face-to-face interactions. We are expected to follow these certain unwritten rules of behavior telling us the way that we should act in certain situations. The social norm or folkway I chose to break was that of invading an individual’s personal space.... [tags: symbolic interactionism, sociological analysis]
617 words (1.8 pages)