Describe the structure components of social interaction and How can its effect be measured on the individuals
According to a sociologist, Sorokin: "Social interaction is such an activity or incident with the help of which a party affects the mental or external activities of another party."
In the light of this comprehensive definition of social interaction, the following structure elements can be described:
Structural Components of Social Interaction
1. Opponents :
There is necessary the existence of two or more socialized individuals which should confront each other but there being actual face to face is not necessary. For example, assembly of friends for gossiping, juggler seeing people, having lecture in the class or chatting on internet are the examples of presence of opponents.
2. Social situation :
Social interaction comes into existence when two or more individuals are in a specific social situation. Either they are gossiping, quarrelling or are exchanging some views on a topic or there is an incidence of some incident like doctor's treatment of a patient, customer's buying something from a shopkeeper etc.
3. Change in the Internal or External Conditions :
A social interaction is completed by the time when the opponents affect the external or internal condition of each other. This influencing may occur both in mental or physical change. For example, when a doctor treats a patient, his pain becomes less and he feels a mental pleasure or gratitude.
4. Communication :
According to Vander Zanden: "Communication refers to the process by which people transmit information, ideas, attitudes and internal states to one another as an essential for social interaction."
It is possible in two ways:
i. Symbolic or verbal communication
ii. Physical or non-verbal communication
In the symbolic communication,, language and cultural meaningful- signs are
included. Just as speaking, hearing, reading, writing or conversation are sources
of social interaction. The, physical communication is also effective source of
social interaction which is explained below:
i. Body Language : Smiling, gait full of confidence, shivering.
ii. Para language : Harshness of voice, softness or hesitation etc.
iii. Phonemics : Difference between personal and social place, the degree of being nearness to some one and a feeling of that.
iv. Touch : Touching, stroking, hitting, holding and greeting (handshaking, kissing). We convey our feelings to one another, is the way to social interaction.
Forms of Social InteractionSocial life is impossible without social interaction. The individuals of a society may be in one of four forms of social interaction in different times and at different places.
Time and Space Theory :
Social interaction explanation, in the four expected forms is given:
1. Individual to Individual Social Interaction :
Such a social interaction which is at least between two individuals which is called basic and a short form also. For example, husband and wife, doctor and a patient, shopkeeper and a customer or a telephonic talk between two friends.
2. Individual to Group Social Interaction :
"When individual is interacting with group or vice versa." (R.T. Schaefer), just as lecturing of a teacher in the class or a juggler's showing feats to people or looting an individual by some dacoits. Here, there is an individual against a group on the other ride busy in social interaction.
3. Group to Group Social Interaction :
Such a situation where two groups is mutually interactive, for example, a match between two teams or competition or discussion between two parties or a conflict or quarrel between them. Here the individual position is of no importance.
4. Individual to Cultural Social Interaction :
When an individual is affected by the culture of individual way of life, language, dress, customs, beliefs, views, values, traditions, habits and skills, mentally or physically, it is called the individual interaction with the culture. Since culture has no individual entity and it is in the form of way of life, so really other individuals are societies but there is no identification of individual or group, therefore, it is called interaction with culture. For example, if a person after living in Saudi Arabia for a long time, talks in Arabic or dresses like Arabian, then it is his interaction with the Arabian culture.
Measurements of Social InteractionIn the social research, social deviations, crimes, educational backwardness, like subjects and the behaviours and attitudes of individuals with other individuals their social interaction is measured which helps in understanding social phenomenon easily. The following parameters are used for this measurement :
1. Duration :
For how long the interaction between two individuals or an individual and a group continued or continues daily and this duration is divided into hours and minutes to make different levels and then the effects can be reviewed. For example, interaction cf less time will affect less whereas long time interaction may affect for long time.
2. Frequency :
It means the number of times of social interaction of the individual under study. The number of interactions during a week, day or year gives the mutual effects.
3. Intensity :
It means how much importance, the individual gives to interaction because it has a deep relation with the personality of the individuals under study. If the interaction is intense, the attachment will be deep and emotional thus making the mutual effects very deep and durable with far-reaching effects and if the interaction is unimportant, the relationship will be superficial having the aim of only timely with no such effects.
4. Focus :
For mutual interaction effects, there must be a common aim or topic balance in the opponents. What is the focus of interaction? What importance has that for the opponents? If the focus of interaction between the opponents is intense, it will have intense effects and if it is of conflict, then the effects will be less.
5. Physical Proximity :
Physical proximity is an important parameter in the measurement of social interaction. Edward T. Hall gives it most importance. In his opinion, it can be divided into four parts and its effects more or less can be measured.
i. Intimate Distance :
It is a zone of distance of about 18 inches. The social interaction in this zone is intense in effects and has an emotional attachment.
ii. Private Distance :
Its zone is from 18 inches to four feet. In this zone, there are some secret relations and there is depths and intensity in the social interaction and because of this the effects are deep and durable.
iii. Social Distance :
Its zone is from four to twelve feet. There is a conscious effort to keep the relation to a certain extent and status is kept in the individual manner. This distance has effects which are less, temporal and formal.
iv. Public Distance :
Its zone is far from twelve feet. This distance has less social interaction efforts. The interacting individual's thinking is not much changed and they keep their own views.
In the society of human beings any action of an individual which is meaningful with reference to the other individual of the society is called a social action. If we observe the society, there are people who being mad or idiot seem doing such actions or speaking sentences which have no meaning with reference to the other people of the society, therefore, such actions cannot be called social actions. Social action is considered as the basic unit of society as social interaction is considered. The social action has the position of a soul in it.Therefore, to say that the base of social life and its survival is based upon social action will not be an untrue thing. That is why, a famous German sociologist Max Weber has said the study of social action as the
"Sociology is the study of social actions." Max Weber.