Symbolic Interactionism

1490 Words6 Pages
In this essay, I will discuss the key premises of symbolic interaction as well as consider the ways in which symbolic interaction promotes the view that people have agency. I will then put forth the argument that conflict theorists make with respect to schools reproducing the culture of the dominant class. In relation, I will mention in what ways this perspective promotes the view that people are constrained by social structure. Finally, I will discuss the dialectical relationship between structure and agency "Symbolic interactionism has come into use as a label for a relatively distinctive approach to the study of human group life and human conduct." (Blumer, H (1969) p. 1). According to Blumer, there are three basic premises of Symbolic interactionism. The first premise is that human beings act towards things on the basis of the meanings that things have for them. (Gasa and du Plessis p.154). This means that for every action, there is a reaction and a person 's reaction is directly influenced by the meaning something holds for them. For example, if someone had to insult a homosexual friend of mine, using the bible to justify their actions, I might fire back that the bible states that "We must love thy neighbour like we love thyself." So, in this context the bible holds a different meaning to homosexuality for me than for someone else. The second premise is the " meanings of things derive from social interaction (Gasa and du Plessis p.154). This means that meaning is
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