Symbolic Interactionism is a theory that sees society consisting of symbols that are used by people to establish meaning of the world and also communicate with one another. It tries to examine people face to face interaction and how they work with relationships in order to make sense of life. When people have symbolic interaction, they interact with each other by interpreting actions of other people rather than reacting to them. (Plummer, 1975). Symbolic Interactionism relies mostly on individuality.
The family is important for providing background for shared beliefs and values, power and also character but family is not complete basis for knowledge but the importance of relationship to the conduct of people is a by-product of interacting. Parenting comes as a result of social interaction with children. In a family, power helps to know who is in charge and who has the authority and can be used to make or break a family because it is being able to realize ones will even if there is resistance or opposition from other people.
Symbolic interactionism creates room for carefree environment because it ignores power and focuses on individual interaction with one another. Culture gives rules, proper character and represents who we are and what goals we want to achieve. In a single parent family, every member has his role to play and family becomes more bonded by culture and its effects. (Thompson, 1999). Divorce is an act that is immoral it is involved in disregarding and abandoning adult responsibility. Family in the past depended on mutual affection, being compatible to each other and understanding.
This has been changed to demanding emotional satisfaction. When couples are not satisfying each other emotionally, they tend to blame each other and believe there is no love. Children are considered important in the family and those without them are dissatisfied. Families have been having greater expectations of emotional satisfaction and have changed parental and marital roles leading to new perception of the alternatives to unhappy marriage. Divorce is now more common and has changed its meaning.
Before, it was perceived as everything negative, irresponsibility, failure or immorality but nowadays it means a chance for a new beginning or personal change. If symbolic interactionism is not meant for making relationships work and making sense in life, it can easily contribute to divorce because people will lack direct response to actions of other people. (Blumer, 1969).
Thompson W. (1999): Introduction to Sociology: Addison Wesley Longman. Blummer H. (1969): society as symbolic interaction: Houghton-Mifflin. Plummer K. (1975): Sexual Sigma, Account for interaction: Rout ledge.