Social Interaction

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This topic will explore the interactions that exist between and amongst individuals and also amongst different communities. Issues discussed in the topic will include some of those that we have covered since the beginning of the semester.

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By the end of the topic, students should have a firm understanding of the how individuals, communitis and societies interact. They should know what factors influence and guide introduction and these change over time.


  • Power dynamics
  • Social structure
  • Group dynamics
  • Social status
  • Social roles
  • Institutions

What is Social Interaction?

Social interaction has been defined (in the wikipedia) as a dynamic changing sequence of social actions between individuals (or groups) who modify their actions and reactions according to the actions by their interaction partner(s). We continuously shape the ways in which we interact with each other. We do this as individuals. On a bigger/wider level, both communities and societies consistently reshape the way they interact with each other. Social interaction happens in different ways. Sometimes the interaction is planned while othr times it happens accidentally. At times we choose how long and with whom we will interact while at other times we do not have the freedom of choice.We interact with each other based on the factors shown in the list above. These factors influence and affect how we interact sometimes even without our knowledge. We will now begin to explore these factors.