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Precis 1 - influenced by cultural and social processes and...

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Sara Steinberg Precis 1 The Symbolic Interaction Theory, originated by George Mead, is centered on the relationship between symbols and interactions. The theory tries to explain how and why people act and react based on symbols and the way that they interpret the meaning behind these symbols. To understand human behavior we must interpret the meaning behind the behavior. The three assumptions behind this theme state that we act based on the meaning others have set up for us, that interaction between people creates meaning, and that meaning in itself is modified through our interpretations. A second theme of the SI Theory is the importance of an individuals personal set of perceptions. This theme carries the assumptions that interaction with others is what develops one’s self-concept and that self-concepts may suggest why one behaves in a particular fashion. The third and final theme of the SI Theory involves the relationship between the individual and society. Two assumptions of this statement are that people and groups are
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Unformatted text preview: influenced by cultural and social processes and that social structure is worked out through social interaction. As the themes of the SI Theory indicates, mind, self, and society are three key concepts to the theory of Symbolic Interaction. Each theme and assumption of the SI Theory relates to one another. You can not communicate accurately without having an understanding of all three. In order to communicate we must create an understanding of our own personal meanings of symbols, as well as the meanings of others and of society’s. It is important to keep an open mind as it will affect the way we communicate in a major way. Because symbols can be abstract, ambiguous, and arbitrary, we use the perceptions of others and of society to help guide and shape our own behavior. Through the process of communication—not just with others but also with oneself, we develop a much clearer understanding of behavior in the world today....
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