Wednesday, 21 July 2010


In sociology, interactionism is a theoretical perspective that derives social processes (such as conflict, cooperation, identity formation) from human interaction. It is the study of individuals and how they act within society. Interactionist theory has grown in the latter half of the twentieth century and has become one of the dominant sociological perspectives in the world today.


Interactionism is micro-sociological and believes that meaning is produced through the interactions of individuals.
The social interaction is a face-to-face process consisting of actions, reactions, and mutual adaptation between two or more individuals. The interaction includes all language (including body language) and mannerisms. The goal of the social interaction is to communicate with others. If the interaction is in danger of ending before one intends it to, it can be conserved by conforming to the others' expectations, by ignoring certain incidents or by solving apparent problems. Erving Goffman underlines the importance of control in the interaction. One must attempt to control the others' behaviour during the interaction, in order to attain the information one is seeking and in order to control the perception of one's own image. Important concepts in the field of interactionism include the "social role" and Goffman's "presentation of self".

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