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Weber's main argument:
Both structural and action theories are necessary for a full understanding of
human behaviour. This involves two levels:
1. The level of cause: Explaining the objective structural factors that help
shape human behaviour.
2. The level of Meaning: Understanding the subjective meaning behind
individual people's behaviour.

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Before we respond to an interaction we first interpret its meaning and once we do
so can we come up with an appropriate response. We do not have instincts to
direct our behaviour so therefore symbolic interactionism is important.

Evaluation of Mead
It overcomes the determinism of structural theories. It…

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to blend in with society because `mental has become her/his master

Evaluation of Becker
It fails to explain where labels originate from.
Has been accused of determinism
Becker assumes that everyone acts according to labels. This is not true as we are
capable of rejecting them.
It fails to…

Page 4

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It lacks the means to explain how some actions are not meaningful such as the
traditional action (since they assume all actions are meaningful).
It cannot explain the consistent patterns we observe in behaviour.
Ethnomethodologists argue that this theory is correct in focusing on actors'
meanings but fail to explain…


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