Symbolic Interactionism Functions And Three Main Ideas Essay

2129 Words Dec 2nd, 2016 9 Pages
Symbolic interactionism functions with three main ideas, the first being: “Humans act towards things on the basis of the meanings that these things have for them” (Blumer, 1969, p.2). People will react to different types of things based on their own experiences with them. It is completely objective, depending on the person’s own personal feelings. Everyone’s meaning attached to a symbol can be different. The example of different symbol meanings that Blumer provides the reader with is a tree. For example a tree means something different to an arborist than to a child. To an arborist the tree would be a symbol of money, because it is how they make their living, whereas to a child it could be seen as a playhouse for climbing. (Blumer, 1969). Once a meaning is set for an individual; the way, in which a person sees the object, acts towards the object, and the way in which they are ready to talk about the object are all affected. People will act towards an object based on their own understanding and experiences with the object.
The second idea is that the: “meanings of things are learned through a social process” (Blumer, 1969, p.2). The way that humans are able to learn is through social interactions, and the entire development of interacting with different symbols is a learning process. We are not born knowing that green means go and red means stop, we have to learn it from somewhere. We can learn from watching how others interact with different symbols or it can be taught to…

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