Architecture And Symbolic Interactionism

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Abstract Whether it is a house, apartment, bungalow or some other dwelling, homes are very important to the people who live in them. The architectural design of these homes often times can affect how we behave and how we relate to others. This study focuses on how the architectural design of houses impacts social behavior. It looks to symbolic interactionism to examine this topic further and finds that, people who live in homes that have been designed to take into consideration their personal preferences will be happier because, architecture reflects and expresses self, architectural symbols affect our environment, and designed physical buildings act as agents that invite self-reflection. To examine this topic, research of existing sources…show more content…
This idea sparks questions such as, how does architecture affect human behavior, or what style of architecture has the greatest, positive affect on human relations? Sociologists have been trying to answer similar questions for many years. However, little research has been conducted in the field of architectural sociology. “Architectural sociology is the study of how socio-cultural phenomena influence and are influenced by designed physical environment” (Smith & Bugni, 2006, p.123). There are many different types of buildings in the world and they all affect humans in different ways. For example, most prisons are designed with very few windows which causes the interior of the building to be dim and reliant on artificial light, which results in depressed moods in the prison environment. This paper focuses on how the architecture of houses impacts social behavior. This topic is sociologically significant because knowing the answers to how architecture affects human behavior and human relations will help architects make better houses for people if they know how design affects the inhabitant’s behavior. If we can better understand how architecture affects families, then this knowledge will eventually result in a better society for all people to live…show more content…
Mead is known as the founder of the Symbolic Interaction theory in sociology, which serves to explain hypothesis of this study. Symbolic Interactionism is a theory that “sees interaction and meaning as central to society and assumes that meanings are not inherent but are created through interaction” (Ferris & Stein, 2014, p.29). This sociological theory was founded mainly by the teachings of George Mead, however there are several other contributors to the theory. After Mead’s death, Herbert Blumer took over his work and gave the theory its name. Blumer summed up symbolic interactionism into three main principles: first, “we act toward things on the basis of their meanings”, second, “meanings are not inherent; rather they are negotiated through interactions with others” and third, “meanings can change or be modified through interaction” (Ferris & Stein, 2014, p.32). An example of the first principle would be that a dining room has a sense of togetherness because generally it is a place where families eat together. The second principle is illustrated by the fact that a dining room is not just for dining, but because of our consistent interaction with family in that room it has a sense of togetherness about it. An example of the third principle can be seen in the case of a family argument taking place in the dining room which would cause
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