Written Concept Essay Assignment Essay Samples

Type of paper: Essay

Topic: Family, Marriage, Love, Symbolism, Social Issues, Relationships, Perspective, Sociology

Pages: 3

Words: 825

Published: 2023/04/10

There are various theories in Sociology that narrate the various aspects and the importance of family and the institution of marriage. Family and married life constitute very crucial elements of the society and are viewed differently according to the ideology of the perspectives that deal with the topic individually. Social theories are meant to define the institutions chosen for evaluating their significance and determining their relevance to everyday life. Hence, for the purpose of exploring the aspect of family life and marriage, the symbolic interactionist perspective is a resourceful one. This is because this method explains the changing meanings associated with marriage and family and how or why this change evolves over a period of time. (Encyclopedia.com, 2016).
According to this perspective or theory, marriage and family, both are a negotiated bond where every person or people involved know their roles and they are directly and indirectly working towards making this bond stronger and significant in various ways. The meaning is negotiated which means that even if there is not enough willingness at one end, there will be the means of negotiation in order to make things work for the family or the marriage so that a certain order is maintained. (LaRossa et al., n.d). Families usually do so by practicing certain habits like having a fixed time for family meals, arranging family meetings or celebrating the holidays together. In marriage, a couple might engage in an extravagant, ceremonious honeymoon and might go to one multiple times only to strengthen their bond of wedlock or to eradicate any misunderstandings and work on a gap in their relation. In other cases, there can be the case of the workload shared by the two partners in a home or the duties that they assign to one another and how this negotiation in maintaining order in the home is celebrated by the family. (Fields et al., 2006, p.158).
Symbolic Interactionism explains that a family or people in a marriage work towards understanding one another and getting through to each other by having a certain kind of ‘shared understanding’ between them which helps them through their life. (Blumer, 1969, p.66). As far as the domain of marriage is concerned, it is mostly about how a husband and wife communicate with one another and what understanding they are able to establish through this communication. The extent of communication between the two was classically determined by the social status and wealth of the family, and that would eventually indicate whether the husband and wife negotiated or not. It was a more common practice amongst the blue collar or working class families where the wives were more vocal, and they talked to their husbands more frequently about the problems they had as compared to the husbands who were not so vocal. As compared to this class, the interactionist perspective observes that the better educated middle-class husbands were emotionally and educationally more advanced than the working class hence, they communicated better and their lives were much more satisfactory. When it came to the perspective differences in approach towards who thought their husband was better, the working class wife would think that an alcoholic husband who doesn’t complain much and would simply work every day. This changed when it came to the middle class because that wife would consider it much better if her husband would communicate with her and discuss his feelings with her which could make him the ideal husband for her. (Blumer, 1969, p.72).
Similarly, when it came to family, the Symbolic Interactionist perspective dictates that whenever there are any problems or arguments in a family, they result from some kind of misunderstanding accompanied by rigidity in comprehending the other person’s perspective which further makes them cut off from one another. (General Sociology, 2016).
Divorces and separations are resultants of the misconceptions that are never cleared between spouses and families that are broken only because the marriage could not last longer. Therefore, the understanding and aspect of mutual negotiation are a major one when it comes to marriage and family, according to this theory. (Sussman et al., 1999, p.175).
Analyzing this aspect, it can be told that it is a crucial component in any close or intimate relationship that the people involved must have a means of bonding or a certain connection between them in order to maintain that bond. Once that bond is weakened or broken, it is certainly very difficult to replace or repair it. There is no overtly, spoken or obvious way in which the love or connection with a family can be shown. Therefore, it can be expressed symbolically, and even communication is a ‘symbol’ of communication and is a link between a family and a married couple. (Fields et al., 2006, p.162). Things in a family are usually done symbolically, and it can be observed through the attention and care that is given by the mother and father and in return, the children return this favor by acting responsibly or obeying the rules of the house. In the same way, a married couple would show their love and care or understanding of caring for the demands and requests of the spouse and, usually, the couples that are more understanding and cooperative fight less and live peacefully. As opposed to this, couples that are always bickering and unwilling to bend to one another’s demands usually end up divorced leaving behind broken families. (Encyclopedia.com, 2016). The broken family then it becomes a symbol of a lack of negotiated understanding in a family and married couple. The best way to judge the efficacy of the communication is to check the amount of understanding and communication carried out on a daily basis and how far the family members can stretch their limits to fulfill their obligations.


Blumer, Herbert. (1969). “Symbolic Interactionism: Perspective and Method.” University of
California Press. pp 61-78. Retrieved from https://books.google.com.pk/books?hl=en&lr=&id=HVuognZFofoC&oi=fnd&pg=PA1&dq=family+and+symbolic+interactionist+perspective+&ots=4mTdD2EW7D&sig=i2aIUptQCQumQFOqVlZ7qVQoxR4#v=onepage&q=family%20and%20symbolic%20interactionist%20perspective&f=false
Sussman, B.Marvin, Steinmetz, K. Suzanne, Peterson, W. Gary. (1999). “Handbook of marriage
and the family.” Library of Congress. pp 175-187. Retrieved from https://books.google.com.pk/books?id=0GjmBwAAQBAJ&pg=PA247&dq=symbolic+interactionist+perspective+on+marriage+journal+articles&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjV4O-e35PKAhXMGI4KHXn7CE0Q6AEIHzAB#v=onepage&q=symbolic%20interactionist%20perspective%20on%20marriage%20journal%20articles&f=false
Fields, Jessica, Copp, Martha, Kleinmann, Sherryl. (2006). “Symbolic Interactionism, Inequality,
and Emotions.” pp 155-175. Retrieved from https://campus.fsu.edu/bbcswebdav/institution/academic/social_sciences/sociology/Reading%20Lists/Social%20Psych%20Prelim%20Readings/IV.%20Structures%20and%20Inequalities/2006%20Fields%20et%20al%20-%20Symbolic%20Interactionism,%20Inequality,%20and%20Emotion.pdf
LaRossa, Ralph, Reitzes, C. Donalds. (n.d). “Symbolic Interactionism and Family Studies.”
Sourcebook of family theories and methods. Springer Link. pp. 135-166. Retrieved from http://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-0-387-85764-0_6
Articles from the Web
Encyclopedia.com. (2016). “Symbolic Interactionism.” Retrieved from
http://www.encyclopedia.com/topic/Symbolic_Interactionism.aspxGeneral Sociology. (2016). “Micro versus Macro- The Individual within social institutions.”
Retrieved from https://new.edu/resources/sociological-perspectives-on-the-family

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