Definition of Symbol
(noun) Anything that represents something else.
Examples of Symbol
- @ means “at“
- © means “copyright“
- $ means Australian dollar (AUD), Canadian dollar (CAD), New Zealand dollar (NZD), United States dollar (USD)
- € means “euro“
- ∞ means “infinity“
- % means “percentage“
- ® means “registered“
- ¥ means “yen“
- American English – /sIm-buhl/
- British English – /sIm-buhl/
International Phonetic Alphabet
- American English – /ˈsɪmbəl/
- British English – /ˈsɪmbəl/
- Plural: symbols
- Also called symbolic representation.
- Types: status symbol
- “Culture consists of patterns, explicit and implicit, of and for behaviour, acquired and transmitted by symbols, constituting the distinctive achievement of human groups, including their embodiments in artifacts; the essential core of culture consists of traditional (i.e., historically derived and selected) ideas and especially their attached values; culture systems may, on the one hand, be considered as products of action, on the other as conditioning elements of further action” (Kroeber and Kluckhohn 1952:181).
- “Culture could not exist without symbols because there would be no shared meanings among people” (Kendall 2006:48).
- “[Culture is] a ‘tool kit’ of symbols, stories, rituals, and world-views, which people may use in varying configurations to solve different kinds of problems” (Swidler 1986:273).
- “Symbols are instrumental in helping people derive meaning from social interactions. In social encounters, each person’s interpretation or definition of a given situation becomes a subjective reality from that person’s viewpoint. We often assume that what we consider ‘reality’ is shared by others; however, this assumption is often incorrect” (Kendall 2006:20).
- Sociolinguistics Resources – Books, Journals, and Helpful Links
- Word origin of “symbol” – Online Etymology Dictionary: etymonline.com
- Elias, Norbert, and Richard Kilminster. 1991. The Symbol Theory. London: SAGE.
- Hook, R. H., and George Devereux. 1979. Fantasy and Symbol: Studies in Anthropological Interpretation. London: Academic Press.
- Rohde, Carl C., and André Platteel. 1999. Symbol Soup. London: Thames and Hudson.
- Symbol – Wikipedia the Free Encyclopedia: wikipedia.org
Kendall, Diana. 2006. Sociology in Our Times: The Essentials. 5th ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.
Kroeber, Alfred L., and Clyde Kluckhohn. 1952. Culture: A Critical Review of Concepts and Definitions. Cambridge, MA: Peabody Museum of American Archæology and Ethnology.
Swidler, Ann. 1986. “Culture in Action: Symbols and Strategies.” American Sociological Review 51(2):273–86. doi:10.2307/2095521.
Andersen, Margaret L., and Howard Francis Taylor. 2011. Sociology: The Essentials. 6th ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.
Bruce, Steve, and Steven Yearley. 2006. The SAGE Dictionary of Sociology. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.
Brym, Robert J., and John Lie. 2007. Sociology: Your Compass for a New World. 3rd ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.
Delaney, Tim, and Tim Madigan. 2015. The Sociology of Sports: An Introduction. 2nd ed. Jefferson, NC: McFarland.
Dillon, Michele. 2014. Introduction to Sociological Theory: Theorists, Concepts, and their Applicability to the Twenty-first Century. 2nd ed. Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell.
Encyclopædia Britannica. (N.d.) Britannica Digital Learning. (https://britannicalearn.com/).
Ferrante, Joan. 2011a. Seeing Sociology: An Introduction. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.
Ferrante, Joan. 2011b. Sociology: A Global Perspective. 7th ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.
Ferris, Kerry, and Jill Stein. 2010. The Real World: An Introduction to Sociology. 2nd ed. New York: Norton.
Griffiths, Heather, Nathan Keirns, Eric Strayer, Susan Cody-Rydzewski, Gail Scaramuzzo, Tommy Sadler, Sally Vyain, Jeff Bry, Faye Jones. 2016. Introduction to Sociology 2e. Houston, TX: OpenStax.
Henslin, James M. 2012. Sociology: A Down-to-Earth Approach. 10th ed. Boston: Allyn & Bacon.
Hughes, Michael, and Carolyn J. Kroehler. 2011. Sociology: The Core. 10th ed. New York: McGraw-Hill.
Jary, David, and Julia Jary. 2000. Collins Dictionary of Sociology. 3rd ed. Glasgow, Scotland: HarperCollins.
Kimmel, Michael S., and Amy Aronson. 2012. Sociology Now. Boston: Allyn & Bacon.
Macionis, John. 2012. Sociology. 14th ed. Boston: Pearson.
Macionis, John, and Kenneth Plummer. 2012. Sociology: A Global Introduction. 4th ed. Harlow, England: Pearson Education.
Merriam-Webster. (N.d.) Merriam-Webster Dictionary. (http://www.merriam-webster.com/).
O’Leary, Zina. 2007. The Social Science Jargon Buster: The Key Terms You Need to Know. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.
Oxford University Press. (N.d.) Oxford Dictionaries. (https://www.oxforddictionaries.com/).
Ravelli, Bruce, and Michelle Webber. 2016. Exploring Sociology: A Canadian Perspective. 3rd ed. Toronto: Pearson.
Schaefer, Richard. 2013. Sociology: A Brief Introduction. 10th ed. New York: McGraw-Hill.
Scott, John, and Gordon Marshall. 2005. A Dictionary of Sociology. New York: Oxford University Press.
Shepard, Jon M. 2010. Sociology. 11th ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.
Shepard, Jon M., and Robert W. Greene. 2003. Sociology and You. New York: Glencoe.
Stewart, Paul, and Johan Zaaiman, eds. 2015. Sociology: A Concise South African Introduction. Cape Town: Juta.
Stolley, Kathy S. 2005. The Basics of Sociology. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press.
Taylor & Francis. (N.d.) Routledge Handbooks Online. (https://www.routledgehandbooks.com/).
Thompson, William E., and Joseph V. Hickey. 2012. Society in Focus: An Introduction to Sociology. 7th ed. Boston: Allyn & Bacon.
Tischler, Henry L. 2011. Introduction to Sociology. 10th ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.
Turner, Bryan S., ed. 2006. The Cambridge Dictionary of Sociology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Wikipedia contributors. (N.d.) Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation. (https://en.wikipedia.org/).
Wikipedia contributors. (N.d.) Wiktionary, The Free Dictionary. Wikimedia Foundation. (http://en.wiktionary.org).
Wiley. (N.d.) Wiley Online Library. (http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/).
ASA – American Sociological Association (5th edition)
Bell, Kenton, ed. 2013. “symbol.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Retrieved April 7, 2020 (https://sociologydictionary.org/symbol/).
APA – American Psychological Association (6th edition)
symbol. (2013). In K. Bell (Ed.), Open education sociology dictionary. Retrieved from https://sociologydictionary.org/symbol/
Chicago/Turabian: Author-Date – Chicago Manual of Style (16th edition)
Bell, Kenton, ed. 2013. “symbol.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Accessed April 7, 2020. https://sociologydictionary.org/symbol/.
MLA – Modern Language Association (7th edition)
“symbol.” Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Ed. Kenton Bell. 2013. Web. 7 Apr. 2020. <https://sociologydictionary.org/symbol/>.