Good Critical Thinking About Gender From Micro Perspective
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Social interaction is the main concept on how people act and react with respect to relationships. In symbolic interactionism, it is an approach that deals with the understanding of relationships of the human beings and its society theoretically. It is a micro approach that focuses on the peoples’ interactions and interpretations and the notion that emphasizes the human actions and interactions, explicable only through the exchanges of significant communications and symbols. In the micro perspective views, the sociologists have studied the social interaction. Sociologists focus on the interactions of families and other small groups in the society. In addition, they focus on why these groups of people interact and how people interpret their interactions, social settings, and its meaning. Prominently, gender refers to the different traits, socially, culturally, and psychologically that link to its social contexts; its masculinity and femininity. Gender views on the range of the characteristics exhibited by any person, despite its biological sex. Gender guides the pattern of everyday interaction with the availability of peoples’ choices, use of space, and use of language. The concept of symbolic interactionism is still popular at present; sociologists perceive it overly as a deterministic view of thoughts and actions. It is a passive view of the group of people that inherent the perspective as derived by Durkheim, sociologically. Its theoretical frameworks of the symbolic interactionism help the sociologists to analyze and explain how actions, processes, and structures work socially. The theories emphasize the active interactions that are present in every person and provide useful frameworks for predicting and understanding the intimate relationship development in the social world.
In sociology, there are many rules that point or guide the behavior of any person in different situations every day. The more the person learns about the social interaction rules, the better he or she can play the challenges. The micro level approach focuses on the society that examines the patterns of the social interactions on a daily basis. It identifies the importance of the social structures, explains how people construct the real views of social interactions, and applies every point of it especially on gender including emotion and humor. Every member of the society relies on the social structure to create the sense of everyday situations that frame their lives. The individual and the society are inseparable and interdependent in the premise of symbolic interaction and it is constituted through shared meanings that emerged from efforts to deeply understand the social life. The significant social structures as building blocks in the everyday life are the status and role. Status is a social position that people hold; a part of the social identity that helps define the relationships. Role is a behavior that is expected from someone who holds a particular status. Specifically, when a person holds a status, he or she performs a role. The persons’ behavior is guided by its status and role. It implies that a human being has the ability to mold any events at any time. Consequently, there is a reality, a social construction of reality that identifies the process on how people creatively shape reality through the social interaction. The reality is the foundation of the symbolic interaction pattern. It demonstrates that the outcome of social interaction is the reality itself. As a result, gender plays a significant part in socialization and its performances. For example, trucks and cars are for boys, while kitchen sets and dolls are for girls, respectively.
According to Erving Goffman that the impression management can guide the social interaction in the everyday life. People interact and convey positive impressions to others whom they interact routinely. During the interaction, people tend to do their best consciously or unconsciously to manage the impressions they convey that may evoke the pleasing reactions. In the symbolic interactionism, the reflected appraisals or the looking glass self refers to the ability of a person to think about how others think about himself or herself. When Charles Horton Cooley developed the concept of the social psychology of the looking glass self, he first used it in the human nature and the social order with significant components: (1) people imagine how they must appear to others; (2) people imagine the judgment of the appearance; and (3) people develop their selves through the judgment of others. The spatial sociology justifies the renewed exploration of the different connections between space and the society. Spatial sociologist studies how society such as individuals and collectivists, transforms a natural space into a social space. For example, when the homeless people raise families in a rundown motel room, the social space where they live has behavioral effects. In addition, the spatial determinist believes that space always has the effects, automatically and indirectly. Gender has the concept of personal space to the environment that refers to the area where the person can make his claim to privacy. Typically, in Canada, person's position at some distance when they have conversations. At times, distance varies on how both speakers know each other well. On the contrary, in the Middle East, people stand closer when speaking with each other. Everywhere, men have greater social power that often intrudes women in terms of personal space. If women move into the personal space of men, women’s movement is interpreted as a sign of sexual interests.
The use of language has a great effect on the society, it closely relates to focusing on the effect of the society on the language. It also relates to the social organization of the language behavior that includes attitudes toward the language and the user. On a daily basis, people present or reveal the information to others in any situations consciously and unconsciously. Apart from verbal communication, the non-verbal communication uses the body movements, facial expression, and gestures. People use the body parts to convey information to others through body language. The most significant type of body language is the facial expression. For example, a smile shows pleasure; however, sometimes a smile means different. Another key element of a non-verbal communication is the eye contact. Generally, eye contact invites social interaction. However, the non-verbal communication is hard to control because it offers some clues of deception. Language communicates both in surface and deeper levels of meanings; it involves gender. The language defines both men and women in terms of power and value differently. Women are socialized to respond to others and they tend to be more sensitive compared to men in terms of the non-verbal communication. Gender is the main element in the personal actions with regards to its demeanor, facial expression, and touch. The clue to social power is the way people act and carry themselves called demeanor. The powerful people can enjoy more of their freedom in how they act accordingly. Every time the language retains the concept when men attach women pronoun to the car; it reflects the power of ownership. In a typical manner, English language treats as masculine with great force, significance, and value. The traditional masculine terms have a positive meaning while feminine terms can have a negative meaning. For example, for masculine terms such as king or lord; and for feminine terms such as madam or dame. Thus, language mirrors the social attitudes. In addition, language shapes reality through the direct and great attention to the masculine endeavor. The English language,, in particular, changes the social imperatives; gender remains a source of miscommunication between men and women.
Barkan, S. E. (2015). Sociology: Understanding and Changing the Social World (Brief ed., Vol. 1.1). Pennsylvania: Flat World Education, Inc. Retrieved February 7, 2015, from http://catalog.flatworldknowledge.com/bookhub/reader/4306?e=barkbrief-1.1-ch01_s03#barkbrief-1.1-chab
Boundless. (2014, December 16). The Symbolic Interactionist Perspective. Boundless Sociology. Boston, MA: Boundless Learning, Inc. Retrieved February 7, 2015, from https://www.boundless.com/sociology/textbooks/boundless-sociology-textbook/sociology-1/the-theoretical-perspectives-in-sociology-24/the-symbolic-interactionist-perspective-157-3185/
Henslin, J. M. (2013). Sociology: A Down-to-Earth Approach (12th ed.). Pearson.
Rosenbaum, T. Y. (2009, February 1). Applying theories of social exchange and symbolic interaction in the treatment of unconsummated marriage/relationship. Sexual & Relationship Therapy, 24(1), 38-46. doi:10.1080/14681990902718096
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