Smoking, race, gender and interpersonal relationships can all function within the framework of symbolic interactionism. Indeed, symbolic interaction theory suggests that all behaviors function as a part of social construction developed as an individual creates meaning through his interactions. Symbolic interaction consists of three parts: meaning; language, the symbols through which human beings communicate meaning; and thought, each individual's interpretation of symbols, an inner dialogue.Know More
Excluding the symbolic interaction – the subjective meaning a human places on an action – whether to smoke or not has a simple answer: no. The objective health consequences would prevent anyone with no symbolic interaction attached to smoking from doing so. However, through symbolic interaction, a person may find a social meaning behind smoking, a meaning communicated through the language of a media or peer group that glamorizes smoking. That person may then think, or interpret the symbols surrounding smoking, and find in his inner dialogue that the social meaning behind smoking outweighs the objective health consequences. In other words, smoking is cool despite being unhealthy.
Race and gender, and people's perceptions thereof, also develop by symbolic interaction. From a young age, children learn to define themselves by external characteristics. By age 3, they are expected to know if they are a boy or a girl. They then develop what it means to be a boy or a girl by their interactions with adults, toys and other external influences. Being a boy or being a girl is socially constructed through the language provided to children. Their innate desire to please drives an inner dialogue about how to behave in that socially constructed manner.Learn more in Social Sciences
In gender stereotyping, people make inaccurate, overly simplistic generalizations of others based upon their gender. These assumptions are untrue because they do not take into account that everyone is an individual with unique thoughts, feelings and aspirations.Full Answer >
Gender equality refers to ensuring everyone gets the same resources regardless of gender, whereas gender equity aims to understand the needs of each gender and provide them with what they need to succeed in a given activity or sector. The terms are sometimes used interchangeably, but there are significant distinctions between them.Full Answer >
The sociology term ascribed status means the position a person holds in society, assigned on the basis of factors such as gender, race and age. It is the opposite of achieved status, where a person's position is based on accomplishments.Full Answer >
The primary way that gender affects participation in sports is that there are significantly more opportunities available for male athletes than female athletes, as of 2014. Although Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972 guarantees equal opportunity for genders, many school sports programs do not comply with this legislation.Full Answer >