Sexual Meanings Systems : Symbolic Interaction Theory Essay
Human beings define situations based upon their own life experiences. Individuals are social beings, playing roles and learning from each other and the environment. Two people can be engaged in the same relationship; however, the interpretation of their sexual relationship could be substantially different. Based upon a partner’s past experience, each individual in the couple may have differing impressions of the relationship status. Symbolic Interaction, a micro-level theory, analyzes everyday behavior of individuals and its multiple meanings (Smith & Hamon, 2012).
Our world is socially constructed. Individuals are born asocial, then socialized through interactions with others, including family, friends, teachers, and society itself. Each encounter has an effect on behavior, adding to the social make-up of individuals. The interactions with one another aide human beings to decide what is salient to their character (Smith & Hamon, 2012). In turn, it influences future connections with others, based on the individual’s behaviors and beliefs. Expectations regarding how one behaves in a given situation are identified as social norms (Smith & Hamon, 2012). A set of social norms for a specific situation or part becomes the role one takes on in their environment. The most salient, or relevant in time, roles become part of one’s identity (Smith & Hamon, 2012).
Relationships are effected by external social roles and…