Symbolic interactionist view on poverty

These symbols can include but are not limited to modes of dress, language, symbols, gestures, and images.

Symbolic interactionist view on poverty

Downloading prezi...

Describe the assumptions of the functionalist and conflict views of stratification and of poverty. Explain the focus of symbolic interactionist work on poverty. Understand the difference between the individualist and structural explanations of poverty.

Why does poverty exist, and why and how do poor people end up being poor? We review what these perspectives say generally about social stratification rankings of people based on wealth and other resources a society values before turning to explanations focusing specifically on poverty.

In general, the functionalist perspective and conflict perspective both try to explain why social stratification exists and endures, while the symbolic interactionist perspective discusses the differences that stratification produces for everyday interaction. For this reason, stratification is necessary and inevitable.

Conflict theory Stratification results from lack of opportunity and from discrimination and prejudice against the poor, women, and people of color. It is neither necessary nor inevitable. In line with this view, functionalist theorists in sociology assume that stratification exists because it also serves important functions for society.

When applied to American society, their assumptions would be as follows: Some jobs are more important than other jobs. For example, the job of a brain surgeon is more important than the job of shoe shining.

Symbolic interactionist view on poverty

Some jobs require more skills and knowledge than other jobs. To stay with our example, it takes more skills and knowledge to perform brain surgery than to shine shoes. Relatively few people have the ability to acquire the skills and knowledge that are needed to do these important, highly skilled jobs.

Most of us would be able to do a decent job of shining shoes, but very few of us would be able to become brain surgeons. To encourage the people with the skills and knowledge to do the important, highly skilled jobs, society must promise them higher incomes or other rewards.

This example is very hypothetical, but please keep reading. If you decide to shine shoes, you can begin making this money at age 16, but if you decide to become a brain surgeon, you will not start making this same amount until about age 35, as you must first go to college and medical school and then acquire several more years of medical training.

Which job would you choose? Functional theory argues that the promise of very high incomes is necessary to encourage talented people to pursue important careers such as surgery. If physicians and shoe shiners made the same high income, would enough people decide to become physicians?

Public Domain Images — CC0 public domain. As this example suggests, many people might not choose to become brain surgeons unless considerable financial and other rewards awaited them. If this is true, we must have stratification. And if we must have stratification, then that means some people will have much less money than other people.

If stratification is inevitable, then, poverty is also inevitable. The functionalist view further implies that if people are poor, it is because they do not have the ability to acquire the skills and knowledge necessary for the important, high-paying jobs. The functionalist view sounds very logical, but a few years after Davis and Moore published their theory, other sociologists pointed out some serious problems in their argument Tumin, ; Wrong, First, it is difficult to compare the importance of many types of jobs.

For example, which is more important, doing brain surgery or mining coal? Although you might be tempted to answer with brain surgery, if no coal were mined then much of our society could not function.

In another example, which job is more important, attorney or professor?Symbolic interaction theory, or symbolic interactionism, is one of the most important perspectives in the field of sociology, providing a key theoretical foundation for much of the research conducted by central principle of the interactionist perspective is that the meaning we derive from and attribute to the world around us is a social construction produced by everyday social.

Check our answers to ‘What is the symbolic interaction of poverty?’ - we found 23 replies and comments relevant to this matter. The best answers are submitted by users of, Yahoo!

Quick academic help

Answers and Symbolic Interactionist View On Poverty Free Essays. This is “Explaining Poverty”, section from the book A Primer on Social Problems (v.

). Explain the focus of symbolic interactionist work on poverty. The individualistic view attributes poverty to individual failings of poor people themselves, while the structural view attributes poverty to problems in the larger society.

The symbolic interactionist perspective of work and unemployment is most likely to be concerned with explaining Relative Poverty ____ poverty refers to a deficiency of material and economic resources compared with some other population. Reading: Symbolic Interactionist Theory on Education. The labeling with which symbolic interactionists concern themselves extends to the very degrees that symbolize completion of education.

Which sociological theory best describes your view of education? Explain why. The symbolic interaction perspective, also called symbolic interactionism, is a major framework of sociological theory. This perspective relies on the symbolic meaning that people develop and rely upon in the process of social interaction.

Poverty by Jessica Richardson on Prezi