Summary: The Symbolic Interactionism Theory

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The symbolic interactionism theory is an important sociological paradigm. When applied to a social event that happened mid-August, the symbolic interactionism theory provides clarity as to why the event may have happened.
According to CNN.com, two police officers were fatally shot by Everett Glenn Miller Friday evening, on August 19, 2017 about 20 miles south of Orlando. The incident occurred when Officer Baxter approached Miller and two other men who were in an area known for drug activity. Sargent Sam Howard followed as backup. As stated by Police Chief Jeff O’Dell, there was a scuffle that led to Sargent Howard and Officer Baxter shot during their line of duty (Chavez). Miller was caught carrying a 9mm pistol and a .22-caliber revolver
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However, our thoughts are shaped and molded by social interaction. From symbolic interaction is where people determine symbolic meanings that allow them to use their ability to think. A strength of this particular theory is that those symbolic meanings are not specifically defined in stone; therefore, it can be modified given a situation and an interpretation. The symbolic interpretation theory has the weakness that it ignores socioeconomic backgrounds and class structures, which may play an important part in social interaction. It also excludes influences outside of social …show more content…
For example, in a study conducted by Harold Garfinkel shows the steps Agnes, a transgender woman, takes to be perceived by others as a woman. She changed her dress, posture, and demeanor. There are other times where individuals and to show off the fact they are deviant. Gang members use certain slang words, dress a certain way, and even act a specific way to show off they are part of that gang (Ritzer 132). When considering deviance, the symbolic interactionism theory has a variety that is useful. The labeling theory requires two things in order for deviance to occur: a symbol, and an interaction. A symbol is also known as a “label.” According to the text, a number of labels are particularly powerful negative symbols like alcoholic, drug addict, pedophile, adulterer, and so on. Those who label others are known as “social control agents.” In reality, those agents are police, psychiatrists, friends, family and even the media. With the labeling theory, a deviant is someone to whom a deviant label has been successfully applied (Ritzer 132). The way the person labeled as deviant is affected by the label as well. This person can accept the label or resist it. According to the textbook, some people and some forms of behaviors are more commonly labeled as deviant such as murderers and murder (Ritzer 132). That is evident in this specific social

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