Tuesday, February 17, 2009


According to Mead (as cited in Allan, 2007), symbols are abstract and arbitrary there is nothing “natural” to them it is we and our actions or responses that give meaning to these. For instance, a gun at first glance may be perceived as dangerous and thus a meaning of “weapon” is assigned to this object (social) or the gun may be seen as fun and defined as a sportsman’s tool (or toy). Prior experience (interactions) with the object of course will have much to say on how it is perceived by the individual. So the gun or any object for that matter has no intrinsic meaning or function it is up to us through our use of it that gives it a meaning. This “meaning assignment” also occurs in the way we perceive certain actions or behaviors we engage in, that is certain behaviors are deemed illegal in contemporary society that may not have been seen as such before (or that one day may not be seen as illegal/inappropriate). “We are continually changing our social system in some respects, and we are able to do that intelligently because we think…” (George Herbert Mead,1934 as cited in Appelrouth & Edles, 2008) Can you think of certain behaviors that were not illegal in the past but now are? How about current illegal actions that in the future may become legitimate or not seen as wrong?
Allan,K. 2007. The Social Lens: An Invitation to Social and Sociological Theory.
Thousand Oaks, CA: Pine Forge Press.

Applerouth, S. & Edles, L. D.2008.Classical and Contemporary Sociological Theory:

Text Readings.Thousand Oaks, CA: Pine Forge Press.

1 comment:

  1. Continuing with your gun ideas, I know back then is was perfectly okay to carry a weapon anywhere you wanted to and have it out in the open. (Remember the hilbilly farmer on his front porch, sitting in a rocking chair with a shotgun at his side) Although, like you said, this was only for personal reasons; a toy. Maybe it had to do with the fact that America is a free nation where the right to bear arms is the norm. Well, in this time, it is not alright to show a gun. What about knives or mase and things of that like. It is perfectly legal to carry those things around as well. I beleive all those material objects will leave an imprint on deciding the future's laws. How many times have you heard or read about a shooting, stabbing, or clubbing. Its everywhere, and maybe the only way to stop this is by changing the behavior of carring one. Only time will tell when Americans will loose that privilage to bear arms.