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Socialization (Mod2Case) - Essay Example

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Sociological Theories Name: Institution: Q1 Symbolic Interactionism is a theoretical approach of understanding the way humans look at the world. It postulates that humans, unlike animals do not just respond to the abstract worlds, but rather respond to the meanings they have given the objects in their environment (Denzin, 2008)…
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Download file to see previous pages As Becker and McCall (999) says, the bottom-line of the Symbolic Interactionism theory is that human attach various meanings to objects in their environment and respond to these meanings. These meanings are developed usually as a result of the interactions between humans. For example, a new car can be seen to mean success. People may attach the meaning “success” to the new car because they believe that to be able to buy a new car is an indication that one has surplus income and that their lives are good and settled. To the individual person, the car will have meaning because of the social meanings that has been attached to the car by the other members of the society. That is, of course, if the individual cares to be seen as successful and as having a good life. In this regard, the meaning of the car goes beyond its primary functions of transporting the owner and is given a meaning which is above this functional meaning. Q2 Role theory is a sociological theory that has been developed to understand social interactions in a society. Role theory posits that people always act in response to standard expectations both from self and from others. According to Biddle and Thomas (1979), this theory assumes people as acting within specific social groups where each and every member has their positions and they have various roles to play. Each person has to act in accordance with the roles associated with the positions they hold within these groups. The society places and defines various roles for each individual in the society and these individuals have to be able to fulfil these expectations. Role theory can be seen to have the following important tenets. There are social norms expected for each and every member of the society. These expectations for each and every individual are based on the various attributes of an individual such as gender, marital status, education level, career path social economical class they come from etc. It also assumes that individuals will conform to the various roles they have been given by the society or the group to which they belong. Role theory assumes that individuals will automatically want to conform in order to meet the expectations placed on them by the society. It also assumes that individuals are always seeking to build a certain image for themselves in the society which leads to them acting in a specific way so as to build this image. The group to which the individual belongs develop certain norms. These norms are accompanied by the rewards that the individual may get from the group if they perform their roles in accordance to the expectations of the groups. At the same time, there are punishments to be expected if the person fails to perform and fails to conform to the expectations of the group. The rewards may be in the form of respect, acceptance by the group members etc. On the other hand, the punishment may be in the form of rejection, ridicule, being despised etc. Each of the members of the groups act as the guardian of the rules and expectations set by the group and in this case looks at each other to ensure that each individual is conforming to the expectations and that they are performing their rules. The crowning part of the role theory is the argument that each and every individual, whether they are conformists to the norms set by the society, are always trying to manage the impressions ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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