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Compare and contrast the basic premises of the Chicago School of Symbolic Interactionism, and the Iowa School of Symbolic Interactionism.

What will be an ideal response?

  • #1
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There are several similarities between the Chicago School and the Iowa School. Both agree that people have the capacity to create and use symbols to identify and define aspects of the world around them. People are unique in that they can symbolically designate words and common understandings to social objects. Additionally, both schools agree that humans can self-objectify through reflecting on themselves as outsiders. The Chicago School relies heavily on participant observation and anthropological study, without being concerned with generalizability. The Iowa school is more focused on operationalizing concepts by using tests such as the twenty-statement test to gauge participant perceptions. The Chicago School believes that social structure is a product of shared ideas by a group, and that social structure does not cause human behavior, but is a type of object in the individuals' environments. The Iowa school believes that social institutions are formed by a web of social positions. Social positions come with norms and expectations for behavior. Structures can be created by groups and constrain individuals through expectations for behavior. The stable structure that is created allows for predictability of people's interpretations and setting and appropriate behavior. The social setting constrains the meaning people in the setting can use. The setting can be studied without people in it because it causes behavior.

  • #2
You're great.