Symbolic Interactionism Case Study

1062 Words 5 Pages
Almost everyone has a personal problem, or knows someone with such a problem that can be connected to society as a whole and therefore categorized as a social problem. For example, my sister Leah is perpetually dealing with the consequences and problems that come with teenage pregnancy. Leah had her child at the age of seventeen, in the prime of her teenage years. Although on the surface her situation is looked as a personal trouble by the population, it is actually one small example of a large social complex that happens to a multitude of people in our society today.
A large percentage of people place the entire responsibility of the problem solely on the young adult’s shoulders and turn a blind eye to the other, social, contributing factors
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These assumptions can range from discrediting the girl’s education, status, promiscuity, sense of responsibility, and the house hold from which she came, for example. Some may even turn the situation into a racial issue, for example, targeting Hispanics as a whole for teenage pregnancy for seeing one Hispanic teen mother. It is interesting to note as well that the population will only interpret symbolic meaning of the mother’s appearance, but very rarely will judge the father, who is just as responsible. Behavior towards the mother will change due to symbolic interactionism in society.
The Symbolic interactionism theory also helps bring light on how teenage mothers respond to such negative behavior from the community. If the population treats her badly, she may begin to devalue herself as a person, and may cause rash reactions. The reaction of a teen mother can also be applied to pre-pregnancy as well, such as the displayed interest of a boy in her. If a boy that the girl likes begins to show interest, they may acknowledge those symbols as personal values, and begin to feel pressured into promiscuity to “impress” or keep the boy
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It has given me the tools in which to assess patterns in behavior and interactions of those involved in such matters, and those that surround them. For example, I was able to establish how such an issue like teen pregnancy is created; it is not solely the young adults fault, factors from the overlaying society contribute it in a substantial way. For teenage pregnancy to be virtually resolved, or “repaired”, society as a whole must take a step back and turn their eyes to the actual problem; itself. To start improving the rates of teenage pregnancy, society needs to give young woman the tools they need to be well informed of their actions and the consequences they come with. Without such initiative, the cycle of teenage exploitation by factors such as their education and the media will constantly

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