The theory of symbolic interactionism corresponds to the article about interracial marriages in the United States. It is one of three major theories, the other two being Conflict and Functionalist. Symbolic interactionism is a perspective in which an individual is influenced by their society. This means that there are symbols for everything and everyone. Those symbols tell the person how he or she should behave and they are defined by our society. For example, a person would look at their uncle differently from their spouse. The symbols in the example would be the aunt and spouse. So, the way in which the theory corresponds to the article is because our society use to looked down upon interracial marriages at one point. People then viewed interracial marriages as bad and steered away from the idea. It wasn’t until recent that we started seeing an up rise in non-traditional marriages. The reason being is that society began to slowly move towards the interracial marriages and began to accept it more. People now most certainly seem to be okay with the idea of people of different races getting married. If a person from forty years ago were asked about that, they would most likely be against it. If a person from now were asked the same question, they would be fine with it. It is all due to the fact that society defines how people should behave to things around them. With time, the whole concept seemed more acceptable. It explains why there was a huge jump in the interracial marriage scale. People are more comfortable breaking away from tradition. So now, that symbol of interracial marriage changed from bad to good.
There are six sociological research methods that can be used in order to gather information needed. Those six methods are surveys, participant observation, secondary analysis, documents, unobtrusive measures, and experiments. All of them are pretty much self-explanatory. Surveys are papers people fill out honestly in order to gather certain information. Participant observation is that the person conducting the research is also involved. An intrusive measure is a method in which a researcher is observing people without their knowledge. Experiments are a method that allows two or more groups to be observed but one of those groups has to be the control group. The reason why a control group is needed is because the other groups will be compared to that one group. The research methods used in this article were secondary analysis and documents. That means that the researcher is using data that has already been gathered by another researcher. The Census Bureau was the one that collected all the information concerning interracial marriages and The Associated Press is using that data on their article. They also took information from The National Center for Health Statistics. The next method used in this article was documents. They used a film to demonstrate that there were clearly boundaries in the late 1960s.
There are four sociological concepts that relate to the article and they are values, norms, positive sanctions and negative sanctions. Values are the ethics by what we define as good, bad, beautiful, and ugly. The values were very different forty years ago than they are now because society saw marriage as a union between two people. Now it is seen differently because interracial marriages are becoming more recognized. So, people forty years ago would see a traditional marriage as good and beautiful. The next concept is norms and those are expectations or rules of behavior that develop out of a group’s values. Society forty years ago expected people to marry people of the same race. Today, we are expected to marry whom ever we wish to marry. That would be considered the norm of today’s society. The third concept that relates to this article is positive sanctions. They are expressions of approval like a thumb up or a high five. These days, most interracial couples are not treated any different from traditional couples. They are not treated with any racial hostility and hardly encounter any hassles. Lastly, the final concept is negative sanctions, which are expressions of disapproval like booing. The community harassed an interracial married couple. They broke their car window and pour chocolate milk cartons all over their yard. Those are both negative sanctions.
The article opened my eyes and had got me thinking about my future decisions. It made me think about all the stuff our society is okay with and what they are not okay with. Marriage is definitely a very important decision, especially when it comes to who’s doing what. The article affected my thoughts on how many people even today have not changed their feelings about certain things like marriage. Some still believe that traditional marriage is the only thing that is acceptable for a person. Thoughts on who I should date were definitely something that also crossed my mind. After marriage, the decisions that would have to be made would be trying to divide roles within a home. Besides that, the four concepts discussed earlier came to mind while thinking about our society. I wonder how things would change in our society, as I grow older and gain more knowledge. I also ponder if my decisions now are going to change along the way based on what our society thinks. My decisions will be based on my values. If my values happen to change due to our society, it will be for the better.