Symbolic Interactionism. George Herbert Mead Erving Goffman Arlie Russell-Hochschild. Outline. Principles of Symbolic Interactionism The Chicago School The Ideas of George Herbert Mead Erving Goffman and Dramaturgy Arlie Russell Hochschild on Emotion. Symbolic Interaction Theories.
George Herbert Mead
- Symbolic interaction theories focus on the interpretation (social meaning) that is given to behaviour, and on the way such interpretation helps to construct the social world, the identities of people, and, ultimately how they behave.
- All interaction theories are concerned with the way in which meaning is constructed.
1. Humans have capacity for thought.
2. Thought is shaped by social interaction.
3. Through interaction, people learn symbols and meanings that allow them to think.
4. Meanings and symbols allow for human action.
5. People can interpret a situation and modify their action or interaction.
6. People can create own meanings.
7. Groups and societies are made up of patterns of action and interaction.
“If men define situations as real, they are real in their consequences…”
“The looking glass self”
Identity consists of three elements:
1. How actors imagine they appear.
2. How actors belief others judge their appearance.
3. How actors develop feelings of shame or pride, feelings that become an inner guide to behaviour.
The social self was the cause of social behaviour.
The social self is composed of an active “I” that is independent of particular situations and a receptive “Me” that is situated and responsive.
The shape of “Me” is composed of the messages we receive by using others as mirrors of the self.
Randall Collins: Goffman “contributed the most to intellectual progress” in U.S. sociology
Best Known Works:
Presentation of Self in Everyday Life (1959)
Interaction Ritual (1967)
Gender Advertisements (1976)
Dramaturgical theory makes use of concepts that parallel those of stage performances: roles, props, scenes, etc.
People project images of themselves on the social stage to be seen in particular ways and to achieve particular ends.