Symbolic interactionism symbolic interactionism is a theoretical approach that can be used to explain how societies and or social groups come to view behaviors as deviant or conventional labeling theory differential association social disorganization theory and control theory fall within the realm of symbolic interactionism. Sociologist edwin sutherland studied deviance from the symbolic interactionist perspective the basic tenet of his theory of differential association is that deviance is a learned behavior people learn it from the different groups with which they associate his theory counters arguments that deviant behavior is biological or due to personality. This highly successful reader presents the interactionist approach to the study of deviance examining deviance as a phenomenon that is constituted through social interpretations and the reactions of persons caught up in this social process there are 9 new readings in the tenth edition of this popular reader fecal matters. The symbolic interactionist perspective of sociology views society as a product of everyday social interactions of individuals symbolic interactionists also study how people use symbols to create meaning in reviewing deviance theorists look at how people in everyday situations define deviance which differs between cultures and settings
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