The Symbolic Interaction Theory Of Race And Gender

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In this sense, society relies on the reciprocal relations of humans. Society is derived from these reciprocal interactions and does not precede them. Society operates through our refraction and manifests through our actions. (Simmel) Building off a traditional Hobbesian view, human society is distinct from a ‘personal’ phase, rather it is deeply socially constructed. Society consists of interrelated activities in which humans can act in accordance with each other as well as against each other. Society is not a collection of individual humans nor a system of institutions. For Weber, society is in the interactions, not in the institutions. Society generates norms and values which influence human conduct, which is constantly being built through interaction. From the symbolic interaction perspective, there is no moral judgment placed on interaction. Consequently, fundamental aspects of our social experience and identities, like race and gender, can be readily understood through the symbolic interactionist lens. Because both race and gender have no biological basis whatsoever, both race and gender can be understood as social constructs that function based on what we believe to be true about people, given what they look like. We use socially constructed meanings of race and gender to help us decide who to interact with, how to do so, and to help us determine, sometimes inaccurately, the meaning of a person's words or actions. Symbolic interaction perspective is a useful
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