Erving Goffman's Theory Of Social Interactionism

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Social Interaction
When studying sociology social interaction is defined as the dynamic sequence, which occurs in social actions between groups or individuals, which alter their actions and reactions based on the actions of their interaction partner. Erving Goffman created social interaction; it is also known as microsociology. Simply stated social interaction is the process through which people react to the people in their environment. Social interaction involves the people’s acts and their responses. For instance, a quick chat with a friend seems moderately trivial.
From the above it can be said that a social exchange between people is social interaction. Social interactions form the foundation for social structures, thus being integral to
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Interactionism argues that both society and individuals cannot be completely detached from each other because of two reasons. One is that both people and society are developed by social interaction. Secondly is that to understand their dynamics one needs to appreciate that they both rely on each other. Interactionism begets ethnomethodology, which raises questions on how interaction can bring about an impression of mutual social order despite not comprehending each other completely and having opposing perceptions.
While Goffman was studying social interaction he postulated that there are seemingly irrelevant types of social interaction, which are majorly important and should not be snubbed in sociology. Social interaction comprises of a vast number of behaviors, which necessitate that social interaction be broken down into categories. The types of social interaction include: competition, coercion, exchange, conflict, accommodation and cooperation.
Types of social
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Similar to other social phenomena norms are the unintended and unexpected result of social interaction. Norms specify what is acceptable in a society and what is not acceptable. Context refers to the immediate social or physical setting in which something occurs or where people live. There are three aspects, which define context in social interaction physical setting, social milieu and activities encompassing the interaction.
During social interaction people evaluate interrelated events in their surrounding based on norms and context. Norms provide individuals with important cues, which they apply to determine appropriate behaviors while interacting. Context gives individuals a model that they can use to evaluate behavior. Particularly, context gives majority of information, which individuals actively integrate and use while interacting socially. Context and norms provide situational knowledge, which entails understanding the environments social qualities including people, location, time, values, and

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