American Pragmatism, Symbolic Interactionism, and Human Communication

International Critical Media Literacy Conference, Savannah, Ga., 22-23 February 2019

Abstract: The essay primarily illustrates how the historical experiences in the United Stated that provided the impetus for the emergence of American Pragmatism and symbolic interaction and how human communication played a role during the process. First, the essay focuses on the historical events that happened in Dewey’s time and how those events made human communication a pivotal function to solidify social cohesion. Influenced by Pragmatism, symbolic interactionists such as Mead contended that different from animals, human beings use symbols to reflect themselves, think, and interact with others in social context. Blummer considered humans’ behaviors toward objects were based on their interpretation of meanings of the objects; the process of meaning-interpretation between human communication was tailored and retailored to accord with the constantly shifting social and historical contexts.

Liyue (Annie) Hou