Symbolic Interactionism--- Define: Symbolic Interactionism values the meanings that we give to events, places, etc. more than the mechanics of interactions. It examines how these meanings affect how we relate to each other and work together. Solidarity can be formed among a group when these symbolic meanings are recognized and fostered. A community can grow together around common goals and ideals (Phillips and Pitman, p. 26-27). Apply: Community development can use symbolic interactionism to help bring people together to create a common understanding and shared goals. When a developer takes time to learn the different aspects of the community that are considered important to the people involved, he or she can assist them in establishing goals for change. Adapt: A professional in the field of international affairs could use symbolic interactionism in their work. When travelling to other parts of the world to do business or address politics, an international affairs professional would benefit from understanding which values, traditions and people the host country assigns importance to and how to interact with individuals according to these accepted standards.
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