Social Norms And Social Interaction Essay

Social Norms And Social Interaction Essay

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Social norms are the rules of behavior that are acceptable within members of a society. They are acceptable expectations that must be followed by a group or society. Some social norms are flexible according to the environment or situation. These norms also vary within different cultures, social groups, and social classes. Interactions provide the social setting for appropriate behavior and is the basis for the social roles that individuals play as a member of a social group. As each social role is portrayed, a proper behavior must manifest to fit the expectations of that role. These basic terms of social norms, interactions, and roles are associated with the Symbolic Interactionism Theory, which focuses on the actions of an individual and the social interaction that individual contributes to. The framework of the theory is dependent upon the social interactions between individuals and the meaning that is given to their actions.
The media example that I chose was an episode of Modern Family because the show is an example of current family dynamics. The show is a reflection of how family’s expectations define our social roles and norms. Socialization is reinforced through character roles and portrayals of the media’s views of today’s society. The specific episode that I chose was from Season 8 and it is called “A Stereotypical Day.” In the episode, Jay, his wife, Gloria, their son, Joe, and Manny, Gloria’s son from a previous marriage, are in the kitchen discussing social injustice and Joe’s desire to live outside. Jay is the patriarch of the family and is a wealthy businessman who owns his own closet company. Jay is on his second marriage to Gloria, who is much younger and from Colombia. She assumes the traditional housewife role...


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...contemporary family households because it portrays common perceptions of gender roles in addition to structural family diversity. The salient roles in the show help us understand social norms and expectations according to the actor’s behavior for that role. George Herbert Mead, the theory’s main contributor, believed that the development of an individual was based on the interactions with others and by assigning meaning to these interactions individuals are better equipped to know how to act. Through this social process of interactions with one another is how symbolic interaction theory explains social order and change. The basis of the show incorporates these concepts that reflect how individuals communicate, how they interact with each other, and the individual’s inner dialogue which interprets meaning to symbols and how to socially behave in a constructed manner.

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