Sociology And Social Activity : How Individual Actors Interpret Social Situations

Sociology And Social Activity : How Individual Actors Interpret Social Situations

Length: 1714 words (4.9 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

INTRODUCTION
A vital element of the study of sociology and social activity is the study of how individual actors interpret social situations. Deep within the discussion of how individual actors understand and react to social situations, there is an underlying dualism similar to that of ‘nature versus nurture’. Individuals understand and act in social situations based on both individual interpretation, as well as large underlying structural forces. The micro interpretation of this concept can be critically examined with theories such as interpretivist sociology and symbolic interactionism (Scott 2009:16, 24). This perspective sees the understanding of how to act in situations as deriving from previous experiences and individual interpretation. The macro explanation of understanding social situations can be examined with theories such as structural functionalism. This understanding of social situation focuses large structures and common understandings in society that influences individuals’ behaviour through mass consent (Scott 2009:14-20). These influential social forces give individuals a sense of how to behave in a society. The last component of this process is the person’s actions. Once a social actor has interpreted how to act in a social situation, they then take on a role based on what they can interpret (Scott 2009:14). Individual actors understand situations from applying experience to recursive social practices and through structural forces deeply embedded in society. Actors used their knowledge to constantly define their situation and adapt their role to the social setting, counter-role, and their understood typification of the situation so they may smoothly interact with others. This is significant to the study micro-so...


... middle of paper ...


...heir life without conscious interpretation (Ibid:14,20,24). The free will lies in how individuals present themselves to society. The actors consider elements such as role, setting, props, and the type of situation, so they may determine how to operate easily (Goffman 1959:22). While these forces seem to ‘rule’ ones life, it is important to realize that all of these structure and processes are socially constructed. The fact that we allow situations in our life to be defining the way they are (greetings, meetings, interviews etc.) enables them to be real (Scott 2009:21). While this may cause one to feel socially repressed by society, it should be noted that without structure, and definition, interaction would be chaotic and tiresome. It is important to understand the existence of these structures so that one may have a full, rich understanding of social life and order.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Social Bonds: Aboriginal Gang Formation in Canada Essay example

- ... In particular, since they have invested heavily in conforming these individuals have more to lose than those who have not invested in their future in a conforming fashion. (Reginald et al, 1995). Third, is involvement, which Hirschi utilized in order to illustrate that when large amounts of structured time are invested in socially approved activities, such as sports or work, the time for available deviance is drastically reduced (Reginald et al, 1995). Specifically, active engagement in conventional endeavors acts as a powerful protective factor against delinquency (Huebner and Betts, 2002)....   [tags: social control theory]

Better Essays
2849 words (8.1 pages)

Brand Communities on Social Networks and Consumer Behavior Essay

- Introduction: The relevance of brand of communities is steadily increasing for the past many years. Ahonen and Moore (2005) said that community activity “is the biggest change in business in 100 years”. The recent changes in marketing and consumer behavior stress the need for understanding the relationship between the brand and consumer behavior in terms of their identity, attachment, culture and societal influence. One of the recent concepts in consumer behavior that explains the connection between one consumer and other is brand community....   [tags: marketing, social relations]

Better Essays
1963 words (5.6 pages)

The Public Market - Company Managers Should be Public Actors Rather than Private Agents

- The Public Market - Company Managers Should be Public Actors Rather than Private Agents ABSTRACT: The marketplace as an institution enjoys widespread popularity today. Many economists hold that most of society’s problems could be best solved by applying the market mechanism to them. Government, by contrast, is widely considered to be a problem rather than a solution. Some would like to see the government restructured along market lines so that policies would follow voter choice, as products follow that of consumers....   [tags: Public Administration Economics]

Free Essays
5657 words (16.2 pages)

Relationship Between the Society and the Individual Explored in Ceremony and Into the Wild

- The society and the individual have a strong and close relationship. It has been noted that an individual is formed and shaped in relation to the society in which he or she grows in. The society provides the individual with the necessities of life and it is the duty of the individual to use these necessities in the most reasonable way without exploitation. The society provides economic, political, cultural and social structures that help the individual carry out his or her daily duties effectively....   [tags: Into the Wild Essays]

Better Essays
1584 words (4.5 pages)

Characteristics Of Conformity And Compliance Based Studies And Experiments By Social Psychologist Dillard, Milgram And Asch

- Have you ever felt the need to be a part of a group to be popular. But realized you don’t meet their standards. In society there comes a point when people are placed in certain situations where they have to conform and comply, in order to feel accepted. Even though, many people have different views, opinions and ideas compliance and conformity are always the two main key factors in an individual’s performance. Social psychologists conducted many experiments to understand compliance and conformity on individuals....   [tags: Conformity, Social psychology]

Better Essays
1113 words (3.2 pages)

Social Facts Versus Social Action Essay example

- ... This incorporates the idea that consideration should always be given to context. Durkheim also believed that social facts had motives, whether they were apparent of underlying ambitions, there was motive. Lastly, he believed the facts of a particular society were, in fact, representations of the values and beliefs of that society. Durkheim argued that facts maintain an independent existence more significant than the individual’s intentions. Being able to maintain existence outside the individual, social facts have the ability to exercise power, to a certain degree, over aspects of societal life....   [tags: interactions, motives, sociology]

Better Essays
719 words (2.1 pages)

The Social Construction Of Gender And Sexuality Essay

- The terms sex, gender and sexuality relate with one another, however, sociologists had to distinguish these terms because it has it’s own individual meaning. Sex is the biological identity of a person when they are first born, like being a male or female. Gender is the socially learned behaviors and expectations associated with men and women like being masculine or feminine. Gender can differentiate like being a man, woman, transgender, intersex, etcetera. Sexuality refers to desire, sexual preference, and sexual identity and behavior (1)....   [tags: Gender, Sociology, Racism, Gender identity]

Better Essays
1833 words (5.2 pages)

Goffman, The And Social Sciences Essay

- Erving Goffman was a Canadian-born, extremely influential, sociologist and one of the most cited authors in the humanities and social sciences. Goffman is probably best-known for his study of symbolic interactionism. This theory was explained through a famous dramaturgical analysis, from his 1959 book, The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life. Goffman is also known for his research on total institution shown in his work, Asylums (1961). A major area of Goffman’s study included the sociology of everyday life, social interaction, the social construction of self, moving away from macro sociological studies such as that of Marx and many other significant sociologists....   [tags: Sociology, Erving Goffman, Total institution]

Better Essays
1229 words (3.5 pages)

Social Media And Its Impact On Society Essay

- Social Media Importance The success of a business depends on how it reaches out to the people, and it has been found out that the social media provide a great platform for promoting business products and services. According to Pew Research Center, it noted that in 65% of adults now use social networking sites (Perrin Andrew, 2015). On another report, it stated that eight-in-one online American 79% now use Facebook (Shannon Greenwood, Andrew Perrin, and Maeve Duggan, 2016). However, it has been observed that the social media may also provide a platform for the down fall of a business, especially when a negative review goes viral....   [tags: Internet, MySpace, World Wide Web, Copyright]

Better Essays
838 words (2.4 pages)

The Social Context Shapes Popular Culture Essay

- This chapter focuses on how the immediate social context shapes popular culture. This includes artists, animators, television writers/actors, and musicians (to name a few) who actually create popular culture and how the context of their work doesn’t always govern what they produce. Within popular culture, there are three realities to consider: the technological constraints, the organizational apparatus, and the legal system. With technological constraints, it deals with the production and manufacturing of popular culture....   [tags: Culture, Popular culture, High culture]

Better Essays
862 words (2.5 pages)