Symbolic Interactionism Theory Essay

1490 Words 6 Pages
College is an exciting time for many young adults. It is the first step towards adulthood and for a majority of students it’s the first time they experience independence. “Alcohol consumption in humans is the third leading preventable cause of death in the United States (McGinnis & Foege, 1993). A common abuse pattern called binge drinking contributes to a substantial portion of alcohol-related deaths (Chikritzhs, Jonas, Stockwell, Heale, & Dietze, 2001)”.Though with freedom comes responsibility. If not handled properly freedom can lead to bad decisions and the biggest mistake university students make are usually related to alcohol. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, “Four out of every five college students …show more content…
In Hilmi Sungu’s research paper, titled, Attitudes towards substance addiction, Baron and Bryne stated that“ Attitude is an essential concept in social studies. Social studies focus on attitude and related concepts since attitudes are believed to influence individuals’ thoughts, feelings and behaviors (Baron and Bryne, 1977; Allport, 1935). If someone internalizes and starts to believe what society labels them the problem will escalate. The sociological theory that proves this is, the symbolic interactionist perspective. The theory emerged in the mid-twentieth century from the American philosopher, George Herbert Mead. The theory emerged as a direct result of the mainstream perspectives of society that dominated society and sociology at that time. The theory at that time tended to look at society from the ‘top down’ and focused more heavily on macro institutions. Thus the symbolic interactionist theory was developed to examine society from the ‘bottom up’ and shifted to a micro focus. If we as a society change the negative view we have of alcohol and drug abusers, we could start to decrease the “negative” impact labeling has. In class, we have discussed a multitude of different sociological theories that allow us to better understand social problems on a holistic level. On the surface a majority of social problems seem to be he result of an individual’s actions/choices. When we start to take into account theories, such as the symbolic interactionist perspective, we then begin to truly understand how alcohol abuse is an addictive disease that goes far beyond the individual. The reason we don 't hear of alcohol abuse in high school as often is simply because society has implemented this idea that alcohol consumption legal or not is okay in college. Universities have created a culture/persona that makes students believe that alcohol consumption in excess is acceptable or

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