Definition of Social Interaction, Characteristics, Terms, Factors, Types, Forms, and Examples

Social interaction Social interaction is one of the important aspects in the object of sociological studies . Even social interaction in isolation is part of the functions and benefits of sociology in general.

One of the reasons is because the process of human life is not independent of social interactions, both individuals and groups . Moreover, humans as social creatures cannot live separately from other humans. Therefore, social interaction is a necessity of life.

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Social interaction

Social processes and social interactions sometimes form impressions about people within seconds of meeting and engaging in social relationships . Personality impressions are formed quickly and easily, of course it is very difficult to forget impressions about someone when they have formed in our minds.

These impressions are formed automatically and immediately give us important information about other people. Then, this information provides us with the foundation on which we make additional judgments and the effects of future attitudes about an individual. This ability to form the impression of quick people is neither bad nor bad is an important part of the interaction process.

Definition of Social Interaction

Social interaction is a series of relationships that take place dynamically without any particular limitations in the process of creating relationships, both those that occur between individuals and individuals, individuals with groups, and groups with groups.

As for the process of forming social interactions, it runs directly, even so, the emphasis on sociology focuses on the application of social values and social norms that occur in it.

Understanding Social Interaction According to Experts

Understanding Social Interaction According to Experts

The definitions of experts regarding social interaction, among others, are put forward by;

  1. William F. Oghburn and Mayer F. Nimkoff , The meaning of social interaction is a subject of study in sociology that uses social research that produces structure in social organizations .
  2. Max Weber , the definition of social interaction according to one of the theories and sociological figures is an action taken by a person so that it can affect other people in the environment where the individual lives, therefore social interaction is a dynamic process carried out by humans in meet the necessities of life, which is considered as an attitude that affects each other.

Characteristics of Social Interaction

The characteristics of social interactions that occur in society are as follows;

  1. There are goals to be achieved
  2. The number of perpetrators is two or more people
  3. There is communication using symbols or symbols
  4. There is a time dimension covering the past, present, and future

Nature of Social Interaction

The nature of social interaction is as follows;

  1. Repetitive , meaning that social interactions occur repeatedly.
  2. Regular , meaning that interactions occur in the same and consistent pattern.
  3. Intentional , meaning that the interaction occurs on purpose or planned.
  4. Accidental or unplanned, meaning that the interaction occurs spontaneously.
  5. Reciprocal , meaning that interaction contains a reciprocal meaning with two or more actors. In other words, interactions cannot happen to one person.

Social Interaction Terms

The conditions that must exist in the process of social interaction in society have clear forms, including;

1.   Social Contact

Social contact in English social contact means when two individuals or groups are in touch, either directly (primary) or indirectly (secondary). The occurrence of social contact does not only occur from one’s actions. But also based on a person’s response (response) to the action.

Examples of Social Contacts in Social Interaction

In community life, for example, when someone asks to shake hands, then the response made by other people will generally come from the other party, namely suggesting to then shake hands.

2.   Communication

Communication in social interaction is defined as the process of sending messages or news between two or more people so that the message conveyed can be understood by the recipient of the message. An important aspect that should not be overlooked in this communication is a person’s response to messages or news received.

As for several components in communication, namely the source of information or message delivery (communicator), message delivered (stimulus), channel or media, message receiver (communicant), and response or response, and message recipients.

Examples of Communication in Social Interaction

When there is a regional head candidate who is holding a political campaign in a certain area, he will usually communicate. Regarding any problems that need and are important to be corrected immediately, this process is called direct communication.

Factors of Social Interaction

Social interaction in society is influenced by factors originating from within and outside the community. Among others;

1.   Imitation

Imitation is the process of over-imitating the attitudes, actions, behavior, or physical appearance of others in the environment. This imitation is a very long process, which is further explained, but one thing is for sure that imitation by someone will be easier to do than doing other actions in the process of social interaction.

2.   Suggestion

Suggestion is the process of accepting the attitudes, views and opinions of others without rethinking. This condition can occur because the views or opinions come from people who are authoritative, have power, and are recognized by society.

3.   Sympathy

Sympathy is a process when someone feels attracted to another party related to their behavior or appearance.

Sympathy is usually carried out in the form of social action after someone sees a situation that is different from previous behavior, such as being sympathetic when exposed to natural disasters, the death of a family member, or others.

4.   Identification

The definition of identification is a behavior regarding the tendency that comes from a person to become the same (identical) with different parties. This identification process in sociology will be deeper than the process of imitation social identity.

The reason is that the identification process itself is not only behavior and outward appearances that are imitated. However, regarding personality, his traits are also imitated, in an effort to act in his daily life.

5.   Empathy

Empathy is the ability to feel other people’s circumstances and to share in situations that other people experience or feel. This activity is one of the social phenomena that is often expressed by every human being or living thing in the world.

6.   Motivation

Motivation is the drive and within a person to take the same action as the actions of other individuals or societies. This encouragement can be based on the success of that person or driven by trust in the other party.

Types of Social Interaction

Forms rather than types of social interaction, among others;

  1. Interaction between Individuals and Individuals

Interaction between individuals and individuals means that individuals convey information to other individuals. Thus, the subject and object of social interaction are individuals. A concrete example in this form of social interaction, for example, is chatting with peers, neighbors, face to face .

  1. Interaction between Individuals and Groups

Interaction between individuals and groups means that individuals act as subjects or communicators and groups act as objects or communicants. So that the relationship that occurs in this process looks formal as it does when our school is taught by teachers.

  1. Interaction between Groups and Individuals

The interaction between groups and individuals means that groups act as subjects and individuals act as objects. Where this interaction process can be arranged in a certain agreement so as to give birth to a positive relationship between the two.

  1. Interaction between Groups and Groups

The interaction between groups and groups means that the group acts as a subject and another group acts as an object. In this case the relationship looks dynamic because they are aware of each other and are concerned with the group.

Forms of Social Interaction

Social interactions that occur in society are divided into two opposing forms, namely:

1.   Associative Social Interaction

Associative social interaction is a pattern of social interaction that leads to social integration. Associatives have a positive role and influence in people’s lives.

As for examples of forms of associative social interaction, namely:

  1. Cooperation

Social cooperation is a form of social interaction in which every citizen is aware of the importance of living in harmony and side by side. Cooperation occurs because of the similarity of goals and interests in harmony between one individual and another. So as to form a working group for maximum results.

Social cooperation is divided into five forms, namely:

  1. Harmony , mutual respect and sympathy and empathy for another individual or group of individuals.
  2. Bargaining , is an agreement to exchange goods and services.
  3. Cooptation , the process of accepting new elements in society that aims to avoid conflict.
  4. Coalition , cooperation that occurs because two or more groups have the same vision.
  5. Join venture , cooperation in the form of project exploitation which is usually carried out by an equal party.
  1. Accommodation

Accommodation is a form of social interaction that refers to efforts to reduce conflict in society. Accommodation is divided into several types, namely:

  1. Coercion , reduce opposition to the process of coercion.
  2. Arbitration , occurs when both parties are unable to resolve a problem, thus using a third party.
  3. Compromise , the two opposing parties mutually reduce demands.
  4. Mediation , resolution of problems using a party when, but when the party is not authorized to make decisions.
  5. Conciliation , An attempt to bring together opposing parties to get an agreement.
  6. Tolerance , mutual respect, both parties are together to cover the problem.
  7. Stalemate , The two sides end the dispute because they have equal strength.
  8. Adjudication , resolution of problems through a receipt institution, namely the court.
  9. Segregation , avoiding each other to reduce conflict.
  1. Assimilation

Social interactions are carried out in an effort to reduce differences. The assimilation process gives birth to a new culture without eliminating the old culture.

  1. Acculturation

Acculturation is a combination of two cultures so as to produce a new culture. Distinctions in the old culture were lost.

2.   Dissociative Social Interaction

Dissociative is a form of social interaction that leads to strife and division. Associative forms of social interaction include:

  1. Competition , the struggle of various groups or individuals to get something that is limited in nature.
  2. Conflict or conflict , Efforts to mutually eliminate and destroy the opposing party. It is not uncommon for conflicts to be accompanied by acts of violence.
  3. Contravention , the process of interaction that occurs between two or more parties, each of which does not have a match in various ways, but each party is able to refrain from fighting.

Examples of Social Interaction

As for examples regarding social interactions in everyday life, for example;

  1. Social media

Social media is currently growing so fast in society. In social media, we have indirectly carried out social interactions by sending messages or commenting on each other’s social media branda.


From the explanation put forward, it can be said that the study of social interactions that we usually do in everyday life. As a subject as well as an object that can respond to and assess the personality of the social interaction process.

So clearly the process of social interaction in social life will be more heterogeneous in a society, the intensity of social interactions will be higher. In daily activities, social interaction shows a reciprocal relationship between individuals and individuals, individuals and groups, as well as groups and groups.

Such is the explanation and writing regarding the understanding of social interaction according to experts, characteristics, conditions, factors, types, forms, and examples in everyday life. Hopefully this reference can provide insight and also provide knowledge for every reader.


by Abdullah Sam
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