Abortion and the Symbolic Interaction Paradigm

Category: Abortion
Last Updated: 28 Feb 2023
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Symbolic interactionism

Symbolic interactionism is a theoretical perspective that people use definitions, meanings, symbols, interpretations, and human interactions to compare themselves to others (Henslin, 2010, p. 15). Herbert Blumer, whom attended University of Chicago with one of the founders of the symbolic interactionism perspective, George Herbert Mead, developed one of the most prominent versions of the perspective (McClelland, 2000). Mooney, Knox, and Schacht explained Blumer’s theory of the symbolic interactionism perspective. According to Blumer, social problems develop in stages.

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The first stage is “social recognition”, when the social problem first happened. The second stage is “social legitimization”, when the problem is recognized by the community. When the community gets concerned and starts to develop a way to react is called the “mobilization for action”. “Development and implementation of an official plan” is when legal regulations occur (Mooney, Knox, & Schacht, 2000, p. 10-16). There are many ways that people interpret the idea of abortion, and they often use words to help get their opinions across.

Language is just a system of symbols that we recognize as a way of communication, and in terms of abortion, there are several ways to use language to make points to solidify one's position on the issue. The pro-choice movement is a group that believes that women should have to choice to have an abortion if they feel that it is necessary given their personal circumstances. The phrase “pro-choice” is a very strong symbol in itself because it can cause people to think in a more broad sense, implying that if one is not pro-choice, then he/she must believe that the mother of the unborn child does have rights to her own body.

On the other hand, pro-life can also be seen as a very significant symbol, because it also tends to imply that if one is not pro-life, they simply believe that the unborn child in the womb does not deserve to live. Obviously, this conclusion is not always true, but it is the implications that make the phrases such strong symbols. Each side of the argument has its own list of legitimate reasons why they feel that their way is the right way, but there are some words that they use that are demeaning and insulting to whomever it is that is considering an abortion.

While it is understandable that many pro-life groups believe that an abortion is a terrible way to end a life, the use of strong, suggestive words makes it seem like they are simply trying to make women feel even guiltier about having an abortion. Having an abortion is oftentimes one of the most heart-wrenching, difficult decisions a woman has to make, and some pro-life activists still feel that it is necessary to make the woman feel even more torn by comparing abortions to murder. This is probably the strongest, most symbolic word used to describe an abortion.

Opinion on the subject

No matter what a group's opinion on the subject, they should not use guilt as a means of trying to turn people away from abortion. This leads to further arguments, and more importantly, it leads to women feeling even worse about their decision should they decide to go through with an abortion. Words are a very big part of symbolism when dealing with such a sensitive subject like abortion. They can be used positively, to try to enlighten a person on the subject, or they can be used negatively, to try to scare a person into siding with one group or the other.

Because there are so many negative connotations that go along with having an abortion, it becomes a very significant factor of social corruption. There are different types of abortion, therapeutic abortion, when the mother’s health would be at risk if the pregnancy was continued; elective abortion, when the woman decides not continue a pregnancy for whichever reason; abortion pill, which can terminate a pregnancy up to 9 weeks into it (Planned Parenthood, 2011).

Many people feel differently about the different types of abortion and there are laws regarding how far into pregnancy an abortion can be performed. The news and media cover the abortion debates frequently and often help to stir up some of the controversy. It was found by David Shaw, a write for the LA Times-Washington Post Service, that the media often favors pro-choice advocates over pro-life and “Columns of commentary favoring abortion rights outnumber those opposing abortion by a argin of 2 to 1 on the opinion/editorial pages of most of the nation’s major daily newspapers” (as cited in Wade, 1990). On Yahoo Answers, “Does the media influence teenagers to get pregnant and to have abortions? ” was asked and one of the responders, Ashley, replied that “…it does encourage them to be sexy- which then leads to sex and pregnancy, and sometimes abortions. But the media is only partly to blame; the main problem is the attitude of today’s society (2009)”. It is easy to research and find distasteful images and photographs from pro-life sites.

The ultimate goal is generally to convince a woman out of an abortion or to make people feel that abortion is murder. On the Maine Vitae site, mainerighttolife. com, there is a link to “Issues”. If you then click on a sub link called “The Ugly Reality”, there are 9 pictures of aborted fetuses from 8 weeks to 24 weeks gestational age (2010). It is relatively easy to find pro-choice images online, with a lot of the images including children and woman stating that they are pro-choice. A major issue for most people is the idea of abortion as contraception.

The Centers for Disease Control

The Centers for Disease Control released a statement on November 27, 2009, “Women should use contraceptives, not abortion, to prevent unwanted pregnancies. A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) study showed that 19-25% of women who received abortions in 2006 had previously had one or more abortions” (2009). Religions often have an opinion that they provide as public knowledge on the abortion debate. In the bible, the sixth commandment is “Thou shalt not kill (Exodus 20:13, King James Version)”.

The commandment is often used to explain why people believe that abortion is considered murder. Traditional Buddhism teaches that life begins at conception and the fetus is “as entitled to the same moral respect as an adult human being (Keown, 2004). In our research we also found medical doctors, citizens and psychologists that are against abortion. Henry Sigerist gave his interpretation of the Hippocratic Oath’s opinion on abortion; “The original text of the Hippocratic Oath, the oath that doctors traditionally take when swearing to practice medicine ethically, forbids abortions.

One section of the oath reads: “I will not give a woman a pessary to cause an abortion. ” The modern version of the Hippocratic Oath written in 1964 by Louis Lasagna also forbids abortion in its line, “Above all, I must not play at God” (1996). With his interpretation of the Hippocratic Oath, Henry Sigerist, shows that people can form different interpretations from the same information. David C. Reardon, PhD, et al. also found that women who aborted were 154% more likely to commit suicide than women who carried to term (2002).

Soc/100 Symbolic Interactionist Perspective Media Analysis

Symbolic Interactionist Perspective Media Analysis Amy SOC/100 November 7, 2011 Robert Murray Symbolic Interactionist Perspective Media Analysis The show I chose is called The Big Bang Theory. The show is a comedy show themed around a group of nerdy scientists who are neighbors with a beautiful outgoing waitress. One of the nerds has a romantic interest in the neighbor but thinks he has no chance with her as she is out of his league. There is definite social inequality here as the nerds see themselves below the neighbor’s status in regards to relationships and finding love.

Some scenes that apply to the social theme are when you see all the “nerds” at work it is clear that they are in the science field. There are microscopes, periodic tables, beakers, and math equations on chalk and dry erase boards. The “nerds” defiantly dress the part of the nerd. One wears thick black rimmed glasses, another is tall, skinny, and wears his t-shirts tucked into his pants. One of the nerds is from India and seems shy and does not talk to any female counterpart, or any other female for that matter.

The last “nerd” has a bowl haircut and it seems he tries too hard to fit in with a crowd he will never fit into. He wears leopard silk pajamas to bed and has a bowl haircut. There is defiantly a leader of the group as the other nerds follow him around and he seems to do a bigger portion of the talking. The female neighbor is very confident in the way she walks and dresses at times a bit provocatively. When the neighbor is around the nerd with the glasses tends to get nervous and a bit looser in his posture.

He almost seems to cower to her, almost as if to hide from her when she is in a room. He clearly adores her with the way he looks at her when she is around. He does talk to her however; she tends to dominate the conversations. He seems to enjoy being around her and talking to her even though he is very nervous. The female neighbor also surprisingly seems to enjoy talking to the nerd in the glasses as she isn’t as closed off to him as she is with the others. She looks at him when he talks to her and she isn’t crossing her arms or turning away from him.

It seems though that they do not hang out socially outside of their apartment building except for the times the “nerds” eat at the restaurant the neighbor works at. In some of the situations I see the nerd with the glasses and the neighbor it leads me to believe that something romantic will happen eventually. I think when people look at relationships they tend to think each of the individuals as equals socially. Most people seem to think that couples come from the same social circles and it is not often you would see a young beautiful woman with a shy science nerd.

The same goes for say an older man or woman with a younger person. Many people would say it’s inappropriate for older people to date those younger than them, while others think opposites attract. So when it comes to the science nerd and the beautiful neighbor I hope they get the chance to have a relationship with each other, maybe it will take them out of their norm and give them a chance to experience something new. Things would be pretty boring if we were all the same and people didn’t shake things up a bit!

Using the Symbolic Interaction and the Cybernetics Theory

It is a framework for building theory that sees society as the product of the everyday interactions of individuals. When we use symbolic-interaction theory with this movie we see how Michael is a homeless teenager trying to fit in. We see when he goes to school he struggles to fit in and how he stays quiet throughout the day. You can also use the S. I. theory on how Micheal when he was homeless he had ratty clothes and not many personal belongings. A S. I. theorist would look at Michael and see how he doesn't have a bed and is staying in the Tuohy house on a couch as a symbol of homelessness and poverty.

Lastly when using this theory you see how the movie portrays and gives the homeless symbols of run down houses and having drugs and illegal activity going on in the movie. For instance having no bed or personal home for Michael Oher is a symbol of poverty. Perceptions “Humans act toward people based on the meanings they assign to those people”. Most people within the context of the Blindside seemed to write off Michael Oher. There were some who saw him as a young, African American male who was slow in the head, poorly educated and unkempt.

Those would include, at least in the beginning of his time at the private school, most of his teachers and most of the others students. Because they ascribed to Michael their own beliefs, they never gave him a chance to reveal himself. There was an interesting piece that Michael wrote one day in class where he stated, I look and I see white everywhere. White walls, white floors and a lot of white people. The teachers do not know I have no idea of anything they are talking about. I do not want to listen to anyone especially the teachers.

They are giving homework and expecting me to do the problems on my own. I have never done homework in my life. I go to the bathroom and look in the mirror and say “this is not Michael Oher. ” There was also the group who wondered why Mrs. Touhy would take in Michael. This group mostly consisted of her tea-time compatriots in the ritzy area of town. They were convinced that what Mrs. Touhy was doing “was so nice” and asked her if it was another one of those “charities” of hers. They saw Michael as a one-way recipient of charitable donations.

They saw Michael as a tax write-off. Because of their viewpoints, they never could quite understand that Michael was changing Mrs. Tuohy’s life, and that she loved him. It tells how the Tuohy’s came to reach out to Michael Oher and his life was changed, as was theirs. The movie was filled with excellent acting from all members of the cast with Sandra Bullock leading the way. This is a movie you leave impacted emotionally. The movie does show that it was not just the Tuohy’s involved in changing Michael’s life but many choices along the way.

There was “Big Tony” Henderson, Mrs. Beasly, and Miss Sue all who made choices that helped Michael. Now the reality is that the movie is powerful but the story alters from the facts to fit the director’s vision. The full details of the story can be read in detail in Michael Lewis’s book: The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game. A sampling of the story can be found in a . REFERENCES: Netter,G,Kosove,A. & Johnson,. B(Producers) & Hancock,(Director). (2009) Blind Side: United States:Warner Bro Pictures.

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Abortion and the Symbolic Interaction Paradigm. (2017, Mar 30). Retrieved from https://phdessay.com/abortion-and-the-symbolic-interaction-paradigm/

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