Reflections 4: Socialization and Social Interaction Due 4/7

Reflection 4: Socialization and Social Interaction

Write a 1-2 (no more than 3) pages essay on Socialization and Social interaction: Verbal and Non-Verbal Communication. How does culture or society influence the ways in which individuals and groups socialize and interact with one another?

Social interaction is the process by which we act and react to people around us causing people’s behavior to change. In any human social activity, verbal and nonverbal communication is being done. People are going to interact differently depending on what’s at stake for them. But this can be controlled due to social structure since rules are put into place for proper behavior which affects all social interaction and can produce different personal outcomes. Social structure is an organized pattern of behavior that governs people’s relationships. Social structure shapes people’s actions, their lives are typically orderly and predictable rather than chaotic and random. Since people are not aware of the impact of the social structure until they violate culture rules in formal or informal settings.

Everyone in society has a role. A role is the behavior expected of a person who has a particular status. For example, a college student status but the role of a college student requires many formal behaviors such as going to class, reading, thinking, completing weekly assignments, writing papers, and taking exams. Informal behaviors can be joining a student club, befriending classmates, attending football games, and even drinking alcohol at parties on the weekend. Having a role can lead to role conflict and role strain. They can produce tension, hostility, aggression, and stress-related problems that can lead to insomnia, ulcers, eating disorders, weight loss or gain, and drug and alcohol abuse. In order to manage these conflicts or prevent them, you should compromise or negotiate between certain activities. Also, prioritize the activities that will benefit you the most. Finally, decide whether not to take on more roles than you have.

Nonverbal communications come in many forms. Nonverbal communications refer to messages sent without using words. Some of the most common nonverbal messages are silence, visual cues, touch, and personal space. Silence expresses a variety of emotions: agreements, fear, thoughtfulness, confusion, disagreement, embarrassment, regret, respect, sadness, and many more. In various contexts and depending on particular points in a conversation, silence means different things to different people. Sometimes silence saves us from embarrassing ourselves. Visual cues are another form of non-verbal communication that includes gestures, facial expressions, and eye contact. Most people believe certain gestures like folding your arms across your chest indicates a closed defensive attitude; leaning forward often shows interest; smiling and nodding shows agreement. But these gestures should be interpreted in context because of habit or hearing problems for instance an employee may always lean forward when listening regardless of whether he or she is interested. But the same gestures may have different meanings in different countries. For instance, tapping, one’s elbowed several times with the palm of one’s hand indicates that someone is sneaky in Holland, stupid in Germany and Austria, or mean or stingy in South America.

Verbal communication is a type of oral communication where messages are transmitted through spoken words. The sender gives words to she’s/his feelings, thoughts, ideas, and opinions and expresses them in the form of speeches, discussions, presentations, and conversations.  There’s immediate feedback since there is a simultaneous transmission. Verbal communication is applicable in both formal and informal situations.