The need to understand human behaviour has been there for a long time. Many theories have been developed as tools to analyse, interpret, understand, and explain human behaviour. Symbolic interactionism is a sociological theory that seeks to understand human behaviour in terms of how people react to other people’s actions…
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The need to understand human behaviour has been there for a long time. Many theories have been developed as tools to analyse, interpret, understand, and explain human behaviour. Symbolic interactionism is a sociological theory that seeks to understand human behaviour in terms of how people react to other people’s actions. This theory postulates that in a social situation, people are likely to react to others based on what they think the counter reaction of the person will be. For instance, if a person says something to a person, that person will answer based on what he or she thinks the other person wants them to answer. This is important because it affects everyday lives. For instance, as Giacalone (1989) says, the way people in the organisation behaves affects the way a customer precipices the quality of the service. These two theories are not only similar, but they are also highly useful in understanding human behaviour. Although the two theories have received much of criticisms, they are necessary in that they are based on natural understanding of the human behaviour. Dramaturgy for instance started with William Shakespeare who was a stage script writer and who claimed that the whole world is a stage. In this regard, Shakespeare argues that people are always acting out, just like people in a theatre and there are a number of implications of these two theories. People’s behaviour can be accurately predicated The first implication of the dramaturgy theory and the symbolic interactionism theory is that they both postulate human behaviour as highly and accurately predictable. If people act in certain ways in order to produce certain results, it s easy to predict the way a person will behave, if only what their motives can be predicated. This applies for both the dramaturgy and the symbolic interactionism theories. For instance, in the case of dramaturgy, if people are going to act in a manner that they will get the best results of what they want, it will be possible to for the other individual to be able to predict how they will act and react. This is both truth and untrue in some ways, because if this was to be the case, then two people reacting to each other would be unable to reach a point where their relations would be sustained. While dramaturgy explains human behaviour, it fails to appreciate that there are deeper issues and interaction factors between people. To begin with, dramaturgy assumes that people will be acting from the same stage; yet, due to social-class differences and power distance, there are more complex interaction factors that affect the way people relate and interact (Lewis et al, 2010). There are however some instances where dramaturgy can be seen in a highly clear way. For instance, at work, people are likely to act in order to seem to be busier and impress the manager. The more the manager seems to be observant of them, the more they are likely to act. In a classroom environment, a student is likely to behave in a manner that leads the teachers and the other students to believe that they are busier than they are. The same issue of actions and faking can be seen in terms of symbolic interactionism. In symbolic interactionism, two things become necessary in the way the people relate among each other. For example is in an interview where an interviewee who is applying for work is asked a question and is likely to answer in the way they think will most impress the interviewer or the panel interviewing him or her. These two examples of how dramaturgy and symbolic interactionism do not give a full account of the how people interact. For instance, although
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