Symbolic Interactionism

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Symbolic Interactionism



At the end of the 19th century, there is a change in the interests of social theorists. The large-scale social structures and processes that Marx, Spencer and the Social Darwinists studied with the creation of concepts such as class struggle, social evolution and social organization were no longer the main analysis. At the beginning of this century, social thinkers had started turning their attention away from large-scale social structures to the complexities of human-relationships. The interactive nature of the social human being was considered more from the point of view of the ‘individual among social institutions’ than from the point of view of social institutions. Meaning is called symbol.

If you call a person near you with a hand gesture, then he comes near you after understanding the meaning of the hand gesture. It is symbolic interaction. This type of interaction is identical because both persons have the mind to understand the symbols. There is understanding. The mind belongs to the person or is with the person, or rather, the mind is the person. If man did not have a mind of his own, would interaction be possible? Are social processes really just processes in the mind of the individual? All these questions are very complicated.


The Chicago School within symbolic interactionism. Will discuss the dramatic vision-form of the Iowa School and Erwin Goffman. According to the symbolic interactionist approach, not structures, individuals behave, and when individuals behave, their consciousness, which is a form of meaning. works. Classes do not struggle, individuals struggle. The officer does not follow the system, but the officer (person) follows the rules. Not the nation, the citizen wakes up. Individual is also at the root of organized behavior. Symbolic interactionists ignore the fact that people present themselves as ‘nations’ or ‘groups’ to serve a purpose. one person from other persons. Many people interact with many people. Effects are generated from mutual actions, results emerge, which can be called society, called group. Call it structure, but all these have no existence apart from the person. Hence, the unit of analysis is the individual, his consciousness in the individual as well as the ‘self’ arising from the mutual relations between consciousness and society.

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Hkk’kk ,oa ‘kCn izrhdksa dh gh O;oLFkk gS fd fdl ’kCn dk D;k eryc gksxk ;g lekt gh r; djrk gS vUr% fØ;k ds nkSjku gh ladsrksa ;k izrhdksa dk fuekZ.k gksrk gS vkSj izrhd gh vUr% fØ;k dh izfØ;k dks lEHko cukrs gSa] bl izdkj ;s nksuksa ijLij ,d&nwljs ds iwjd gSaA vr% izrhdkRed vUr% fØ;kckn ds izrhd ,oa vUr%fØ;k nksuksa ds v/;;u ij cy fn;k tkrk gSA mnkgj.k ds rkSj ij vxj ge lekt ds fdlh O;fDr dks dgrs gSa fd f’k {kk izkIr djus fd fy, dye] dkWih ,oa iqLrd dh vko’;drk gksrh gS rks ;gkW dye] dkWih ,oa iqLrd ,d gh Hkk’kk ;k izrhd gSaA ftudk fo’ks’k vFkZ gS tks lkekftd vUr %fØ;k }kjk lekt us fu/kkZfjr fd;k gSA

Assumptions of symbolic interactionist theory

(1) Symbolic interactionism considers social organization as an organic process.
(2) Social structures and interactions are essentially organic and dynamic in nature.
(3) The social life of a person is basically the result of interpretation, evaluation, definition and mapping of human activities.
(4) The study of social life interaction should be focused on several individual units (the individual himself and his symbolic behavior).
(5) Human interaction and its evolved social organization can be understood by focusing on the individual’s ability to construct symbolically meaningful objects.
(6) Social organization is developed by mutual interpretations, evaluations, definitions and maps of individuals about the social world and not by the forces of the system, social needs and structural mechanism.
(7) Symbolic interactionism portrays behavior as an intentional construction of individuals.


Definitions of Interactionism

Marvin E. Olson “Symbolic theory is primarily concerned with the subjective meanings that people attach to their own and others’ actions.

“Bernard Phillips” Symbolic interactionism is a theoretical orientation that highlights the role of the situation and the individual’s definition of self-image.

Herbert Blumer “The term symbolic interactionism is related to the strange and characteristically unique interactions that occur in human beings. That is, they have accepted the interaction between human beings as its subject matter.

manis-meltzer “symbolic

Internalism is related to the internal side of human behavior. ,

type of interaction

There are three types of interactions
(i) The interaction between person and person.
(ii) The interaction between the individual and the group.
(iii) Interaction between the group and the group.

Bloomer sees society as a continuous process of interaction.


In his view, symbolic interactionism is mainly based on three central assumptions.
-1. Human society is made up of individuals, who are self-contained. Instead of reacting to external stimuli, human beings do things on the basis of the meaning they assign to them. Therefore symbolic interactionism rejects both social and determinism.

2. The person performs action, which involves the analysis of his characteristics. The way a person makes sense of events depends on the process of interaction. To some extent, meaning is created, modified, developed and changed in it, but it is within the limits of the situation of interaction. Individuals in interaction do not follow existing ideals like slaves or mechanically perform per-established roles.

3. Individuals make meaning in a given context of interaction through analytical processes, that is, through analysis actors analyze the intentions and meanings of others. Through the mechanism of self – interaction , the individual ” modifies or changes his definition of the situation . Rehearses alternatives to action and considers their possible consequences . Thus Blumer holds that the connotations that guide action are multiple . arises in the context of complex analytical processes.Blumer believes that human beings have the capacity to create new situations.

Hence defines society as an ever-running process of interaction of actors. A very difficult situation arises when human group life is compared with the function of a mechanical structure operating or balancing system.








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