Symbolic Interactionism Essay

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Sylvia Solomon 09/10/12 Sociology 101 Discussion Paper #1 SYMBOLIC INTERACTIONISM Symbolic interactionism is interested in people’s subjective reactions to their environment. We are not born with certain meanings attached to objects, but rather learn such meanings through our social interactions with others and their reactions both to us and to objects and the environments. Hence, none of us truly react objectively to the situations around us, but to our learned interpretations of them. Since cave man days, the position of women has been, barring a discussion of Amazon women warriors, one of being at home caring for their young while the men ventured outside the home as hunters and protectors. These roles, with some variations, remained fairly consistent for thousands of years. But, there have always been certain individuals who march to a different drummer and refuse to accept the roles and interpretations given to them by others in their culture. Women’s suffrage opened the floodgates to the idea that women had something to offer other than a nurturing role. Then, with the advent of WWII, with so many men being called to fight and die on the battlefields, women were needed to manufacture the machinery of war. For many, it was the first time they had worked outside the home and did so only from a sense of patriotic duty. After the war, some women continued to work, but many returned to the role of homemaker and nurturer. However, one by one, women saw other women finding satisfaction in outside work, enjoying the financial gains and still being able to maintain a home. Each time a woman made the decision to work outside the home and acted upon it, it opened the consciousness of other women to that role until now women are such an important part of the
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