The Sociological Interaction

What does securing a business deal, establishing a friendship, or chatting online, have in common? They may be actions of different nature, but these actions involve social interaction.
Interaction takes place in one-to-one or group conversations.

As long as there is a verbal communication between different parties, the act of interacting will be present. Sadly, some instances associated with interacting can consequently turn into a discriminative issue. Let us view the sociological perspectives that encompass interaction among people.

Functionalist Perspective
Functionalist perspective talks about whether an intentional or unintentional action taken by someone or a group of people can benefit or destroy the well being of the society, globally or within the nation. Interaction between people can serve as a function or dysfunction. An example that depicts the interaction becoming a function is when two or groups of people of different racial backgrounds are sharing ideas or giving suggestions over a project.

Both parties will gain knowledge through the brainstorming session, thus making the project a success and providing benefits or ‘functions’ for both parties. Such a discussion can also turn into a dysfunction if not being handled professionally.

Let us take a look again at the example that was just given. Among the group, there is a member who belongs to a racial background that is looked upon as the lower class. He or she wants to contribute ideas to the project, but the rest who are of higher class than him or her disregard the ideas contributed, due to the level of class in the society he or she belongs to. This is how a dysfunction can result in an interaction.

Conflict Perspective
The conflict touches on the issue of discrimination between different groups of people. More often than not, the high-class society would discriminate the low or middle class ones. And when that happens, both classes would be competing for resources and rights in any issue or event that takes place. In interaction between the higher class and the lower class there is bound to be a conflict of understanding. I am sure some of you had heard of the movie ‘Yamakasi’.

Yamakasi is a group of ordinary men who landed themselves into a mission: to save the life of a boy who had to go for a heart transplant. The operation was too expensive for the parents to pay but the price could not be negotiated with the Heart Transplant Corporation, an organization that consisted of staffs who were rich. In this scenario, there was a conflict in interaction between the boy’s parents who were not well to do and the staffs who were wealthy. The parents were deprived of their entitlements just because of their lower status as compared to the staffs.

Interactionist Perspective
Interactionist Perspective involves labeling, which is made based on perceptions of somebody or a group. When interaction between the higher class and lower class occurs, both classes will label each other from the way they communicated.

The higher-class group would be labeled as educated yet arrogant people whereas the lower class group would be labeled as uneducated and unknowledgeable in anything they do or say. But sometimes, that is not the case. There are many things in life that the higher class does not know, and there are many things in life that the lower class may know, despite the vast difference in their educational backgrounds.

Feminist Perspective
From the word ‘feminist’, you should know that this perspective is focused on the rights and status of the women in the society. During the ancient periods of time, women are disadvantaged in terms of freedom of speech and to socialize and work for a living. In today’s context, interaction between men and women has been brought to a whole new level.

Women can make business dealings or become lawyers who have their say in a court case. On the contrary, there are instances whereby gender discrimination are still being practiced. An obvious example is when women are being exiled from contributing ideas and playing a role in decision-making in companies that are overseen by male bosses.

Readers, interaction can bring peace to the world if we can accept it with a positive mind. In this world today where we have received ample education and exposure to the corporate life, we should even more so avoid letting all our racial backgrounds, skin colour, economical status and gender status cause barriers to develop in the global society.

We interact not to compare against each other, but to learn from each other.

We are all created equal, and we are all here to bring goodness and harmony to the world. That is why at Nafa, we let you speak your mind, regardless of who you are.

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