(noun) Anything that represents something else.
Example: @ means at, $ means United States dollar, % means percentage, © means copyright, ® means registered, € means euro, ¥ means yen, and ∞ means infinity.
Audio Pronunciation: (sym·bol)
Download Audio Pronunciation: symbol.mp3
- Plural: symbols
- Also called symbolic representation.
- Types: status symbol
- “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 19863:273).
- “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).
- Elias, Norbert, and Richard Kilminster. 1991. The Symbol Theory. London: Sage Publications.
- 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, Diane. 2006. Sociology in Our Times: The Essentials. 5th ed. Belmont, CA: Thomson/Wadsworth.
Swidler, Ann. 1986. “Culture in Action: Symbols and Strategies.” American Sociological Review. 51(2): 273-286.