Symbolic Interactionism

Symbolic interactionism is a theoretical approach to understanding the relationship between human beings and society. Human action and interaction can only be understood through the exchange of meaningful communication or symbols. Symbolic interactionism and its methodological position tend to be considered a generic theoretical and methodological framework for all sociological areas of inquiry and types of research questions. Some key topic areas studied by symbolic interactionists include interpretations of meaning and symbols, socialization, identity, development of self, power in race relations, group threat with regard to prejudice, gender relations, emotions, framing in social movements, group commitment, “mob rule” in crowd behavior, and criminology. Thus, researchers have used symbolic interactionism to understand many different contexts and/or relationships in which people interact, including organizations, health care settings, ...

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