Symbolic Interactionism In College

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 …show more content…
It has been going on for decades and we as a society have still not come up with ways to properly tackle this issue. In the end it is a choice and society can only do so much to prevent it. I have presented facts and statistics through a multitude of journals, articles, and books, but the bottom line is that all we can do is keep making young adults aware of harms associated with excessive drinking. I chose to solely focus on the Symbolic Interactionist Theory because it is simple, yet powerful. The idea that society on an individual and whole level can create change to social issues, like binge drinking, allow us to see that change is not impossible and is somewhat in our control regardless of ones relation to excessive

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