Identity and RealityThe Thomas TheoremWhat is the “real” reality? Is buying a pet expensive food the right thing to do or a waste of money? According to sociologist W. I. Thomas, “if a person perceives a situation as real, it is real in its consequences.” This statement is also known as the Thomas Theorem.In other words, our behavior depends not on the objective reality of a situation but on our subjective interpretation of reality. The consequences and results of behavior make it real. For example, a teenager who is defined as deviant might begin to act deviant. He makes his label real.People perceive reality differently, and when they decide how they are going to view a person or a situation, they act accordingly. Since we all perceive reality differently, our reactions differ. Our definition of a situation as good or bad, to be embraced or avoided, dictates our response to it.EthnomethodologyEthnomethodology, as founded by sociologist Harold Garfinkel, is a theory that looks at how we make sense of everyday situations. Though we may view a situation differently from those
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