DRAWING ON THE WORK OF MEAD AND BULMER, OUTLINE THE CORE COMPONENTS OF SYMBOLIC INTERACTIONISM. WHAT DOES THIS TELL US ABOUT SOCIAL ORDER? Institution’s name: Symbolic interactionism perspective explicates how people develop complicated set of symbols which grant meaning to the environment…
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Additionally, the manner in which human interacts with the existing social processes and structures determines their behaviours and actions. According to symbolic interaction theory, it is only through social interaction that people learns and understand specific self concepts as well as larger social structural concepts. In this regard, societies influence human behaviour through societal values and norms. The main contributors of symbolic interactionism are Mead and Bulmer (Lindsey 1998, p. 2). According to Herbert Bulmer, symbolic interactionism theory entails interaction process in the creation of meaning to an individual. Bulmer work was influenced by the work of John Dewey and Mead. In his study, Bulmer based his theory on three basic principles (thought, language, and meaning). These common principles facilitated his conclusion on the development of person’s self and interaction based on the entire community (Stryker 2000, p. 45). The symbolic interactionism theory by Bulmer offers a base to comprehend the establishment of meaning to societal objects and activities. The theory has creative meaning. It also has free will in which human being can change meaning to objects at any time. Individuals are free to search for their own meaning to objects and it uses ethnology to get meaning (Stryker 2000, p. 45). According to the principle of meaning, human beings take action in reference to people connotation on their action. The society has the responsibility of giving meanings to people actions and objects. In regard to this, symbolic interactionism theory holds that, the meaning attached to an object or action determines human behaviour in any social setting. As stated by Bulmer, language gives meaning to symbols. Human beings negotiate meaning of symbols through language. Naming of objects in any society is based on the existing knowledge and experiences. Human beings identify meanings, naming, and develop disclosure through engagement in communication activities. Thought on the other hand helps in the interpretation of symbols common in any society. Meaning attached to different symbols in a society is based on society members’ thoughts. According to Bulmer, thoughts that are based on language constitute mental conversation that calls for role taking (Stryker 2000, p. 45). As observed by Mead in his symbolic interactionism, society shapes individual social interaction. Symbolic interactionism theory aims at explaining how people interact with each other in social context through symbols such as roles, gestures, words, and rules. The theory also explains how people give meaning and interact with the surroundings (Stryker 2000, p. 46). According to Mead, meaning comes from gestures used in different interactions. Language is used to share meanings and ideas in social setting. In his theory, Mead also explained his study through three main principles (thought, meaning, and language). As observed by Mead, meaning attached to objects is not inherent to the object. Human being acts in accordance to the meaning attached to the existing objects. Meanings of symbols come up as a result of interaction between people in a relationship such as in community or family setting. Meanings are also modified and handled through interpretive process employed by society members when dealing with various encountered
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