Study Guide 7 – Symbolic Interactionism – Mead, Blumer, Goffman
Chapter 10 -- Symbolic Interactionism – Sociological Theory – by George Ritzer
(Please remember to use your own words in all of your responses!)
1. What are some of the characteristics of pragmatism?
2. According to Blumer, what were some of the main problems with behaviorism?
3. What did Blumer say about meaning and why did he consider meaning important?
4. What is Mead's view of the self (in your own words) and how does this offer a starting
point for symbolic interactionism?
5. What are the basic principles of symbolic interactionism as outlined by Ritzer?
(Again, please present these principles in your own words.)
6. What did Mead mean by the term “the generalized other” and how is this related to
7. What did Mead see as the difference between covert and overt behavior and why is this
distinction important for symbolic interactionism?
8. Why is the issue of making choices important from a symbolic interactionist
9. What does the statement by W. I. Thomas and Dorothy Thomas regarding perceptions
of reality have to do with symbolic interactionism?
10. What do social scientists mean when they refer to “the looking glass self?”
11. What did Goffman mean by “impression management?”
12. What is the front-stage / back-stage distinction in Goffman’s work?
13. How is it possible for teams to be involved in a performance, according to Goffman?
14. What are “frames” and what is “frame analysis?”
15. What did Blumer see as the relationship between the individual and social forces?