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Sociology 101 Essay

643 words - 3 pages

Symbolic interactionism is based upon the premises that people develop based on their social interaction. The meaning of objects, events, and behaviors comes from the interpretation people give them. These interpretations are based largely on their social constructs. Mead was a symbolic interactionist with his "looking glass self" theory. The theory consists of three core priniciples that give us our "self"; meaning, language, and thought.
Functionalist theory states that each aspect of society is dependent on the next, and that they all work together to comprise society as a whole. Social cohesion happens because all of the members of a society work together to benefit the whole. Robert Merton was a functionalist who divided functions into latent functions, which are unintentional and not obvious, and manifest functions which are intentional and obvious.
While Symbolic Interactionism and Functionalism are based upon the positive effects of society ...view middle of the document...

Normative Perspective uses macro analysis, it states that social order is necessary for survival. Interpretive says that social interaction is how the social world is created and is an ongoing process. How we relate to each other as individuals is focusing on a micro-level. The Conflict perspective uses both micro and macro analysis. Micro analysis says that people give meaning to events and objects by their daily interactions, and without these interactions there is no meaning. Macro analysis states that social structure was laid out before we were born, and that social structure guides our behavior.

The seven aspects of nom-material culture are Gestures, Language, Values, Norms, Sanctions, Folkways, and Mores. Gestures are body movements used to communicate, for example waving hello to someone. Language is a combination of symbols to communicate through. Values are peoples ideas of what is desireable in life. Norms are the rules that follow from a combination of one groups values. Like, shoplifting does not conform to the norms or the values of society. Sanctions are the reactions to those who don't follow the norms. For example, you get arrested for shoplifting. Folkways are norms that are not enforces in society, some folkways may include moving to the right and passing on the left, when walking down a sidewalk. Moires are strictly enforced norms. For example there are legal ramifications for murder or rape.

Agents of socialization are institutions and other sources of socialization such as families, schools, peers, the mass media, and religion. I think there are a few significant agents of socialization in the US today. First of all is family. I think it is clear by the rising divorce, and dissolution of the nuclear family, how very important family isl. Statistics clearly show the rising crime rates, growing gang involvement, increase in suicides all can be tied to the breakdown of the nuclear family, and how important they are in shaping individuals and societies. Mass media is also a huge factor because they are responsible for nearly all of our knowlege in the outside world. They decide what is news and what is important to us and a resposible for most of our popular culture as well. The web, popular music, tv shows and the news shape our political beleifs and our views.

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