Symbolic Interaction and Winter

January 25, 2014

Snow mounds with shadows and highlights.

Copyright 2014 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

There have been many posts written on this blog that are tied to the Symbolic Interactionist theory of Sociology.  At its core, this theory states that words are symbols that have meaning and that without this form of communication, culture would not exist.  For example, as new technologies are developed or new discoveries are made, words have to be created so as to have a means of identifying, defining, and communicating these experiences to the masses.  This winter of 2014 has brought some extremely cold temperatures and a couple of (newish) terms to the weather lexicon: Polar Vortex and Bombogenesis.

News organizations have been covering this story from a variety of angles and it appears folks have been blogging about these conditions, and these terms figure prominently in those discussions.  There really is not much more to add other than this thought, which relates to the second word linked above.  “Bomb” has been used to discuss long passes in football; home runs hit in baseball; a movie failing at the box office;  a lack of personal success in love or work; and, more recently in pop culture, something that is considered cool or desirable.  Sebastian Junger  wrote The Perfect Storm, which is about the convergence of three weather systems that led to the sinking of the Andrea Gale, and “bomb” was used by the forecaster in the movie adaptation to describe that event.  Historically, of course, the word refers to an explosive device used in war or to incite terror.  Far too often now stories using this term are about this last meaning, which is the reason why I pause a bit when “bomb” is used with any of those other connotations.      

Sun setting over snow with tree shadows.

Copyright 2014 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

With regard to the weather, I am waiting for the warmth that is yet to come.

Take care.

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