Applying the symbolic interactionist perspective to the formation of you own self concept, identify the aspects of your identity that are related to various social positions or institutional roles, your personal relationships and your unique personal characteristics. Which of these are more important to you and why? which ones provide you with the greatest amount of social support?
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In the symbolic interactionist perspective, we human beings are affected more by our minds than by the societies in which we live. Interactionists look at how people perceive their societies and themselves, not at the objectively visible structures and institutions of society.
When responding to this question, you need to think about what sort of institutional roles and societal positions you fill. You then need to think about how your own personal attributes affect the ways in which you behave within these positions.
Even interactionists realize that we occupy certain roles and positions in society. For example, I am a husband, a father, a teacher, and a coach (among other things). Society expects certain things of me as I act in those roles. You presumably occupy different roles than I do, but society has expectations for you as well.
My own personal characteristics affect the ways in which I perceive my roles. Therefore, they affect the ways that I act within those roles. For example, I am not a very traditional person in many ways. It does not bother me to be outside of the mainstream. Therefore, I am happy enough to work only part-time and be the main caregiver for my kids while my wife works full-time and earns more money than I do. My non-traditional and easy-going personality also affect the ways in which I parent, coach, and teach. I am not an authoritarian, demanding that my kids, my students, and my players do things exactly the way I tell them to.
In my life, my family relationships are by far the most important things. I do not have a wide circle of friends. I spend most of my free time with my family and they give me more social support than anyone else. I also, strangely enough, rely on my students and players for social support of a type. It is very important to me to interact with young people every day. I enjoy doing this and that gives my work a meaning that I think might otherwise be absent.
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