1-26 - SOC January 26, 2010 I. What is theory? a. An...

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SOC – January 26, 2010 I. What is theory? a. An attempt to explain the pattern of behavior II. Micro Theoretical Perspectives a. Symbolic Interactionism: i. Basic Propositions 1. People communicate symbolically a. A symbol is something that stands for something else b. We communicate verbally (words, letters, emails) or nonverbally (hand symbols, crying, body language, handshake, kiss) 2. Successful communication requires that people share the meaning of these symbols a. Ex: If you have ever been in another culture and you do not speak the language b. Ex: Hook ‘em horns symbol does not always mean a good thing in every culture 3. We respond to people and situations on the basis of the meaning that we assign to those people and situations a. Ex: New student at UT at a party talking to a girl he’s interested in, they’re talking about computers. They then go to the guy’s apartment to look at his computer. The girl assigns a different meaning than the guy does to the situation 4. The meaning that we assign to situations arises out of our interactions with other people, including the media a. Ex: The computer guy is now confused. He was not born with to think the girl wanted him like that. He picked up that meaning from his friends, movies, music, TV, family, etc. Interaction with other things helped him develop the meaning he assigned to that situation 5. These meanings are modified through an interpretive process a. Ex: Same guy goes to another party, and now he has two girls go back to his apartment to look at the same computer. After a while, with the same thing happening each time, he
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1-26 - SOC January 26, 2010 I. What is theory? a. An...

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