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Comm250 Exam IISymbolic Interaction Theory (SIT)Assumption: People act based on symbolic meaning created between themConcepts and ExplanationsMind- ability to use symbols that have common social meaningsSelf- ability to reflect on ourselves from the perspective of othersSociety- the web of social relationships humans createResearchDefine CommunicationMettheoretical assumptionsEvaluationThe Coordinated Management of Meaning (CMM)ExplanationAssumptionsHierarchy of meaning- how much weight to give to a particular messageThe Coordination of MeaningTypes of RulesResearchDefine CommunicationMetatheoretical AssumptionsEvaluationCognitive Dissonance Theory (CDT)GoalAssumptionsCDT’s ConceptsExplanationsMagnitude of DissonanceWays to Reduce DissonanceComm250 Exam IISymbolic Interaction Theory (SIT)- created by George Herbert Mead, 1934o fascinated by human’s ability to interact using symbols (noverbal and verbal)Goal: To explain how humans, through interaction with one another, create symbolic worlds, and how these worlds affect behaviorAssumption: People act based on symbolic meaning created between themo Meaning is created through interaction between people (social process)o Meaning is modified through an interpretive processo Created meaning affects behaviorConcepts and ExplanationsMind- ability to use symbols that have common social meanings- meaning can be negotiated based on context, the group that is communicating- ex: little kids in school use the sign language “t” to ask to go to the bathroom, in another setting this would not be understood- Explanationo We can not interact with others until we learn language  language- shared system of verbal and nonverbal symbols organized in patterns to express thoughts and feelings language uses significant symbols (symbols with shared meaning) basically, defines mind by defining language mind is our ability to use languageo Through language we: share meanings anticipate responses of others o Mind reflects and creates society use language to learn norms of society- society creates, teaches, changes norms of society- taught by parents, teachers, siblings, classmates, law officials Change norms of society- can use language to voice opinions and try to bring about change if we see something in society that we don’t like o Mind allows thought (inner conversation) this makes the theory considered intrapersonal because it is communicating with oneself  without social interaction, we can’t think thought allows role taking (taking the perspective of others)o Role taking (taking the perspective of others) leads to: empathy the development of self**Self- ability to reflect on ourselves from the perspective of others - awareness of how others perceive you and reflecting on that- what we think other people thin about us- Explanationo Self develops from role taking (taking the perspective of others) this is part of mind  Looking-Glass Self- looking at yourself in a mirror concept; seeing yourself as others do andtrying to understand what other people think of you- through this process we internalize what other people think about us and make assessments about ourselves  Pygmalion Effect- interactions with others; live up to other peoples labels for us- ex: call daughter “crazy Alex”, she acts crazy… is she naturally crazy or is she crazy because she is acting the way people call her- ex: teacher positive reinforcement- teachers telling students how smart they are, does it make them smart or are they already smart?Society- the web of social relationships humans create- Explanationo exists prior to individualso created by individuals interactingo creates individual “selfs” particular others (significant others) generalized others (society as a whole)Research- Mind, Self, and Society- Chicago School (University of Chicago)o Mead and Blumero more qualitative- Iowa School (Univeristy of Iowa)o Manford Kuhn (20 statements test)o more empirical, qualitative, interested in the development of self - The “New” Iowa Schoolo Carl CouchDefine Communicationo correspondence- the creation of meaning between two people o human to human- symbolic actionsMettheoretical assumptions- Is humanist- Ontologicalo Humans do make real choices—we are not just reacting, we make choices on how to communicate o Human experience is basically social—symbolic INTERACTION, how meaning is created between two peopleo Human experience is contextualized—behavior will change depending on surroundings o HARD CORE HUMANIST- Epistemologicalo studied both quantitative and qualitative, but preference for qualitative- Axiologicalo theory is value freeo ontological assumptions imply acceptance for valueEvaluation- Good:o heuristic- has generated research for a long timeo parsimoniouso valid theoryo utility - Criticismo Scope- too broad  tries to explain all aspects of communicationo Precision- ignores important concepts ignores the role of emotions when evaluating self self esteem- ignores how individuals feel about themselves and their character traits - Overall, it a good theoryThe Coordinated Management of Meaning (CMM)- created by Cronen, Pearce, & HarrisGoal- to explain how people co-create meaning in conversationExplanation- People use rules to create and interpret meaning- Use different rules, get different meaning- Meaning is constantly coordinated- CMM is a rules theory- It explains:o what happens in conversation as a result of following rules  communication is a matter of choice because when we have rules we can either follow them or not, which makes the way to predict them very difficulto what happens when different rules meet people have their own individual rules for creating meaning, when they come together with others they have to understand each other we use rules to negotiate meaning Assumptions- People create systems of meaningo organize meaning hierarchicallyo temporally- People co-create a social realityo social reality- a person’s belief about how meaning and action fit within an interpersonal interactiono from current conversations between two people, a new social reality is created becausethey are arriving at the conversation from different vantage points - Behavior is not interpretable except in context of larger systemo personal meaning- meaning achieved when a person bring his or her unique experiences to an interactiono interpersonal meaning- when two people agree on


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UMD COMM 250 - Exam II

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