Explain the interactionist perspectives on social interactions that originated with Max Weber and other sociologists.

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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To symbolic interactionists, social interactions between people are what create our society.  At the same time, these interactions change our society constantly.

Interactionists argue that what we call society is really a set of interactions between people.  These interactions have patterns to them because there are certain norms that govern how we perceive ourselves and others.  For example, the interactions between husbands and wives tend to take on similar patterns because we have societal ideas about what the relationship between husbands and wives should be.

At the same time, these interactions can change society.  We constantly adapt our interactions as we come to perceive situations differently.  Using our example of married couples, the interactions between husbands and wives have changed gradually over the years as people have come to see their roles differently.  Husbands and wives now interact on a much different basis than they did thirty years ago.  


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