Interaction in Sociology

Posted On By Lucy

For community interaction consists of people interacting with each other. To understand society we must understand social interactions.

Charles Horton Cooley is one of the founders of what sociologists call the interaction perspective. In Cooley’s view, we are not born with ourselves, nor do we arise just because we are biologically mature. On the contrary, self is a social product. It develops through our interactions with other people. According to Cooley, an important dimension of this interaction involves people’s ideas about how others perceive them or their behavior.

What is interaction in sociology?

He coined the term self-viewing to refer to the process by which we develop a sense of ourselves based on how others react to ourselves or our actions. There are, Cooley maintained, three basic steps in the “seeing-glass” process. First, we imagine how ourselves or our behavior appear to others. We may take pride in imagining good evaluations or embarrassment if we think they are bad. We are involved in this process continuously. So whenever we notice someone reacting to us in any way as smart or stupid, either or means that person reinforces or contradicts our concept of ourselves. In this way, our self-concept is developed and then maintained or changed.

Types of Social Interaction

Cooley reasons that some elements of our self-concept, such as our sexual identity and our sense of self-worth, are formed during childhood and remain fairly stable throughout life. For such elements self-development is more important in childhood than at any other time in our life. However, Cooley emphasized that the looking-glass process functions throughout the life span. Every time we enter a new social situation, develop new social relationships, or take on a new status, the reactions of others affect our self-concept.

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