Symbolic Interactionism Analytical Essay by Nicky

Symbolic Interactionism
Looks at symbolic interactionism, a micro-sociological approach focusing on the subjective experience of a person
# 147683 | 1,135 words | 7 sources | MLA | 2011 | US
Published on Jun 12, 2011 in Sociology (Theory)

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This paper explains that symbolic interactionism, a term coined by Herbert Blumer, studies the subjective aspects of people's social lives as they constantly adjust their behavior to the actions of other people. Next, the author reviews the intellectual history of this theory including the works of Max Weber, George Herbert Mead, John Dewey, Charles Horton Cooley, Erving Goffman and Herbert Blumer, who developed the most useful theoretical perspective. In addition to its application to research about individuals, the paper states that symbolic interactionism has a wide range of application including organizational behavior, consumer analysis and understanding the family.

From the Paper:

"George Herbert Mead's ideas on Symbolic Interactionism were also influenced by the work of Charles Horton Cooley. Charles Cooley's contribution to the evolution of the Symbolic Interactionism perspective was through his concept of the looking-glass self. The looking-glass self illustrates how people grown through their interaction with others. In the looking-glass self it is believed that people's activities become part of their self-identity. A person's self-identity springs from other people's perception in society and the perception of others about a person."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Bandy, Rachel, Foley, Allison, Hatch, Ali, Sirles, Katy, and Snook, Jennifer. Symbolic Interactionism. April 2003. University of Colorado, Boulder. 3 April 2009. <>.
  • Bartle, Phil. Max Weber. 8 February 2007. Seattle Community Network. 3 April 2009. <>
  • Canfield, Allan. Symbolic Interaction and Nonverbal Communication Making Sense of Symbolic Interaction. 3 April 2009. < >
  • "Definitions and Basic Assumptions of Symbolic Interactionism." University of Colorado web site. April 2009. <>.
  • McClelland, Kent. Symbolic Interactionism. 21 February 2000. Grinnell College. 3 April 2009. <>.

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