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Symbolic Interactionist Perspective of Crime and Deviance

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Sociology
Wordcount: 2341 words Published: 18th May 2020

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Symbolic Interactionist Perspective

Sociologists use a variety of theoretical perspectives to make sense of the world. These perspectives or theories provide a outline for understanding annotations on topics such as deviance. The Symbolic Interactionist Perspective of sociology views society as a product of everyday social interactions of individuals. Symbolic interactionists also study how people use symbols to create meaning. In reviewing deviance, theorists look at how people in everyday situations define deviance, which differs between cultures and settings.

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Example: In a gang milieu, current gang members socialize on new members to norms that compete against those of the leading ethos. From the gang, these new members learn that stealing, carrying a gun, and using drugs are acceptable behaviors, whereas they were not before. In the time being, the norms they learned at home are no longer tolerable within the gangs milieu, and they must discard those norms and values to accept the new ones. Current gang members also explain to new members how to commit specific deviant acts, such as hotwiring a car or breaking into a home.

If people learn deviance from others, the people with whom we associate are of  the greatest importance. The closer the connection, the more likely someone is to be influenced. Parents who worry that their children are entertaining with an unwanted crowd have a defensible concern.

Example: If a teen-age boy/girl changes schools and his/her new peer group smokes marijuana, then he/she is more likely to smoke marijuana. On the other hand, if a student moves to a new school where no one smokes marijuana, he/she is less likely to take up the habit.

The symbolic interaction perspective, also called symbolic interactionism. It is a major framework of the sociological theory. This perception relies on the symbolic meaning that people progress and build upon the process of social interaction.

Symbolic interaction theory examines the social order by addressing the individual meanings that people enact on objects, proceedings, and performances. Subjective meanings are given preeminence because it is believed that people conduct themselves based on what they believe and not just on what is tangibly true. Therefore, society is thought to be socially created through human clarification. People construe one another’s comportment, and it is these elucidations that form the social bond. These elucidations are called the “definition of the situation.”

For example, why would young people smoke cigarettes even when all the objective medical evidence points to the dangers of doing so? The riposte is in the characterization of the circumstances that people generate. Studies show that adolescents are well-versed about the dangers of tobacco, but they also think that smoking is cool and will be safe from harm, and that smoking projects a optimistic image to their aristocracies. Consequently, the symbolic meaning of smoking supersedes the evidence concerning smoking and its risk.

Some vital facets of our societal understanding and personalities, like race and gender, can be understood through the symbolic interactionist lens. Having no biotic bases at all, both race and gender are social constructs that function based on what we believe to be true about people and given what they look like. We use socially created meanings of race and gender to help us choose who we interact with and to help us determine erroneously the meaning of a individual’s words or actions.

One horrendous example of this is how hypothetical observation plays out inside the social hypothesis of race and is recognized in the fact that many people, regardless of race, believe that lighter skinned blacks and Latinos are keener than their darker skinned counterparts. This spectacle and is called colorism. It transpires because of the bigoted stereotype that has been programmed in skin color over eras. Regarding to gender, we see the challenging way in which connotation is involved to the symbols “man” and “woman” in the chauvinist trend of college students characteristically assessing male instructors more exceedingly than female ones. Otherwise, in pay disparity based on their gender.

Criticizers of this theory claim that symbolic interactionism disdains the short-cut level of societal elucidation. In other words, symbolic interactionists may miscue the more momentous problems of society by converging too closely on the “trees” rather than the “forest.” The outlook also obtains censure for impertinent to the stimulus of social forces and foundations on different exchanges. In the case of smoking, the functionalist perception might miss the prevailing protagonist that the establishment of mass media plays in influencing acuities of smoking through marketing, and by depicting smoking in motion picture and tv. In the cases of race and gender, this viewpoint would not account for societal services like universal xenophobia or gender judgement, which strongly impacts what we be certain of what race and gender mean.

We act toward people and things built on the connotation we understand from them. For example, when we sit at a counter at a eatery, we assume that those who approach us will be workers of the establishment, and because of this, will be eager to answer queries about the carte du jour, take our orders, and to bring us nourishment and beverage.

These connotations are the manufactured article of social communiqué amongst people they are collective and social paradigms with. Continuing with the same diagram, we have come to have projections of what it means to be a purchaser in a eatery based on previous social relations in which the meaning of eatery personnel has been recognized.

Connotation, making the compassionate is a unending enlightening technique, during which the main denotation might continue the same, developing to some level, or transform completely. In performance with a server who approaches us, asks if she can help us, and then takes our order, the connotation of the waitress is recognized through that communication. If though, she notifies us that food is served buffet-style, then her connotation changes from somebody who will take our order and bring us food to someone who simply directs us in the direction of food.

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George Herbert Mead (1863–1931) is considered a founder of representational interactionism though he never printed his work on it (LaRossa and Reitzes 1993). Mead’s student, Herbert Blumer, coined the term “symbolic interactionism” and drew these rudimentary properties: humans intermingle with things founded on senses recognized to those things; the official meaning of things comes from our relations with others and civilization; the gist of things are understood by a person when dealing with things in precise situations (Blumer 1969).

Herbert Blumer established a clear classification of emblematic interactionism while learning under, and later join forces with, Mead at the University of Chicago. Illustration from Mead’s theory, Blumer created the term “symbolic interaction” in 1937. He later printed, quite figuratively, the book on this hypothetical perception, titled Symbolic Interactionism. He alleged that civilization was well-defined as “generalized social attitudes that continually emerge through the coordinated interaction between individuals and groups.” Mead makes many hypothetical contributions but two thought-provoking perceptions that he creates is the awareness of the performance and willing steps of progress of self-consciousness. He familiarizes these ideas in his work “Self” in which he discovers the interconnectedness between the self and social involvements and the use of philological in that very association.

The play stage is defined as “ the aptitude to accept the attitude of only one specific specific at a time.”  This stage is usually well-defined in a young child’s life when they are not yet fully cognizant of ‘the rules of the game’. These rubrics are erudite as the child becomes older which leads into the second stage. The second stage is the game stage which is demarcated is when “ the child is able to move elsewhere simply by taking the role of specific others and accept the roles of numerous others concurrently.”

In examining the roles of children in both the play and game stage at the same time it offers an thought-provoking understanding using the lens of Meads theories. It is ostensible in examining the social communication of young children that they do not yet have a full cognizance of the attitude of others. They focus more on their schedules with little regard or mindful thought in how their actions would disturb others or the significances they hold.

 In rapports of ‘the rules of the game’ they are still erudition the rubrics and the suitable behavior that is essential when interrelating with others. This is most obviously is seen when they are asked to play a game or play with others which encompasses sharing. In the first, it is problematic to have the children play a joint game because they don’t fully comprehend the perception of rules and how imperative they are to fully complete the game in an systematized means. In terms of playing with others, they have a inadequate perception of sharing; while they recognize it is required for them to share they are still at the stage where they can’t put themselves in the insolence of the other. But in the alteration to the examining group of older children it is a extreme transformation in the way they intermingle and the choices they chose to make. They are more aware of others and most are able to take the brashness of the other and make choices built not only about them but founded on the others around them. The rubrics of the game is so fascinating because you can see the way the older group of children observes to these rules and how these rules form a completely diverse self-motivated of communication. But as children growing up we never intentionally think of these ‘rules of the game’ but instead they are academic performances over time and they play a bigger part in our communications then we really think about.

Societal researchers who apply symbolic-interactionist thinking look for outlines of collaboration between people. Their studies often include observation of one-on-one relations. For instance, while a conflict philosopher reviewing a partisan protest might emphasize on class variance, a representative interactionist would be more concerned in how persons in the protesting group intermingle, as well as the cryptograms and cypher activists use to connect their memorandum. The attention on the status of cyphers in building a society led sociologists like Erving Goffman (1922–1982) to progress a method called dramaturgical examination. Goffman used theater as an equivalence for social collaboration and recognized that people’s relations showed outlines of cultural “scripts.” Because it can be undistinguishable what part a person may play in a given state of affairs, he or she has to extemporize his or her role as the situation unfolds (Goffman 1958).

Revisions that use the symbolic interactionist viewpoint are more likely to use qualitative examination approaches, such as in-depth consultations or participant opinion, because they seek to comprehend the representational of all God’s creatures in which exploration of subjects live.

Constructivism is an allowance of representative interface concept which suggests that genuineness is what humans cognitively paradigm it to be. We progress social paradigms based on connections with others, and those paradigms that last over time are those that have connotations which are extensively agreed-upon or usually acknowledged by most within the social order. This process is often used to comprehend what’s well-defined as divergent within a civilization. There is no absolute explanation of aberration, and different civilizations have made different connotations for aberration, as well as correlating different performances with aberration. One condition that exemplifies this is what you believe you’re to do if you find a wallet in the street. In the United States, turning the wallet in to local authorities would be considered the proper action, and to keep the wallet would be seen as aberrant. In contrast, many Eastern societies would consider it much more suitable to keep the wallet and search for the owner yourself; turning it over to someone else, even the authorities, would be considered deviant behavior.



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