SOC 2760 Lecture Notes - Lecture 4: Symbolic Interactionism, Labeling Theory

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Can be summed up in that deviance is in the eye of the beholder. What makes it deviant is the meaning we bring to it. Norms and values that make up social system pre-exist you learn to interact via symbolic communication (esp. lang) Meaning and sense of self are a product of symbolic communication/ exchange. Where you fit in the social system is where you start to develop. Sense of self is dependant on types of interactions you have with the people around you reality becomes meaningful through symbolic communication. E. g. raising a chid, reading a book. Meaning can change through symbolic communication sense of self is defined through symbolic communication. Meaning and sense of self are eventually taken for granted. Shared understanding creates a sense of flow labelling theory. Meaning and self are a product of social interaction. Deviant is anything labelled as such via symbolic communication. You have to ask what are the effects.

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