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Social Action, Types of

  • By: Marifran Mattson
  • In: Encyclopedia of Health Communication
  • Edited by: Teresa L. Thompson
  • Subject:Public Health Education & Health Promotion, Health Psychology, Health Communication

The types of social action seen today stem from the theory of social action that was developed primarily by the German philosopher and social theorist Max Weber. In contrast to positivism, which searches for objective truths to explain behavior, Weber proposed that humans vary their actions according to the social situations and the reactions of others to their behaviors. In other words, humans are active agents who interpret the meaning of social actions and attribute causal explanations for the way actions proceed and the effects these actions produce. If the reaction received is undesirable, behaviors are modified. Actions may be basic behaviors, which contain intended or attributed meaning, or actions may be performed in reaction to other actors or actions. Action also can occur in ...

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