Modern interventionists Sociology Help

Modern interventionists

Modern interventionists such as Erving Goffman (1959] and Herbert Blumer [1962] emphasize that people do not respond to other people directly; instead, they respond to whatever they imagine other people to be. In human behavior, "reality" is not something that is just "out there" like the curbs and sidewalks along the street; "reality" is constructed in peoples' minds as they size one another tip and guess at the feelings and impulses of one another. Whether a person is a friend, an enemy, or a stranger is not a
characteristic of the person; that person is, to me, whatever I perceive him as being, at least until I change my perception. Whether he is good or bad is measured by my perception of him.

Thus, I create reality about him in my own mind, and then I react to this reality that I have constructed. This "social construction of reality" proceeds continuously as people define the feelings and intentions of others. Thus the "people" with whom we interact are, to some extent, creatures of our own imagination. Whenever two groups, such as workers and management, arrive at sets of firmly held opinions about each other, such a "social construction of reality" has taken place. In like manner, situations are defined by us, and become part of the "reality" to which we respond. Whether a new rule is a protection or an oppression is measured by our definition of it. This does not mean that all reality is subjective- that it exists only in the mind.

There are objective facts in the universe. The sun, moon, and stars are real, and still would be "out there" even if there were no humans to see them. Human beings are real they get some and they die they take actions -which have consequences. But a fact has no meaning of itself. Meanings are given to facts and to human actions by human beings. The symbolic interventionist perspective concentrates upon what meanings people find in other people's actions, how these meanings are derived, and how others respond to them. The interventionist perspective has brought a great deal of insight into personality development and human behavior. It has been less helpful in the study of large groups and social institutions.

Posted on September 3, 2014 in SOCIAL ORDER AND SOCIAL CONTROL

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