Social Action: Definition, Types And Examples

Have you ever felt angry or sad over the words or actions of those around you? This reaction in sociology is referred to as social action. In socializing or interacting with people around, two things will appear. Come on, understand the meaning and examples of social action and its types.

The first is social interaction, and from here comes social action, for example, as mentioned earlier. When someone communicates with other people (social interaction), there will be actions, responses, and the like from both parties.

Whatever actions, responses, etc., are included in the social actions that arise as an effect of social interaction. Everyone, without exception then, every day, even every second, is doing social actions. Then, what exactly is meant by this social action?

Definition of Social Action

Social action, in general, is an action that is influenced and affects other people during social interactions. At the same time, social interaction is a relationship between two or more individuals who influence each other.

This social interaction’s influence is referred to as the social action earlier. So when there is a social action, the background for the emergence of this action is because there is interaction. With interaction, social action will occur.

In simple terms, social action can be interpreted as a response or reaction visible to the naked eye after social interaction. The forms then vary so that the types of social action are also very diverse, which will be explained below.

An example is when there is communication between two people, this communication occurs as an effort to exchange information. After the data is conveyed by one of them, the listener will react.

Whether it’s happy, surprised, amazed, angry, and so on, it is a form of emotional, social action. Then when the listeners of this information decide to cry, yell, and laugh out loud, it also includes social actions that the perpetrators physically carry out.

Social actions taken then need to be thought out carefully and wisely because this action will lead to other social actions, which can lead to good or even new problems.

An example is when someone scolds someone because of that person’s social actions. If the person being scolded does not accept it, they will take social actions to get angry at the first party, gossip, slander behind their backs, and so on.

So, social action is shaped like a cycle. When you do good actions, the actions of those around you are also good. Vice versa. So in sociology, it is discussed in depth how to interact socially well to minimize social actions with negative effects.

Understanding According to Experts

Several experts then explained the definition of social action. These experts then expressed their opinion. In sociology, two experts define social action and are widely known worldwide. That is:

A. Max Weber

The first expert to define social action was Max Weber, a figure in sociology. According to Weber, the notion of social action is an action based on social facts that have a major influence on social life, where the social system in this influence is created from the relationship of individuals in their groups.

B. Ritzer

Ritzer conveyed the second opinion; according to him, the notion of social action is a repetitive behavior carried out intentionally due to passively influencing situations with similar goals in certain conditions.

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Through the definitions presented by the two experts, it can be concluded. That social action is a repetitive action or behavior carried out intentionally due to the influence of certain situations.

Situations in social interaction will shape the social actions of all individuals in the relationship. A tense situation will create fear and force the mind to look for ideas as a solution.

The solution obtained is then immediately applied, and this is also included in social action. In practice, no individual does not perform social action. Even getting up early because you want to go to school or work every day is included in it.

Types of Social Action

As explained earlier, the types of social action are as diverse as the forms of social action itself. When viewed from the aspect of things that encourage social action. So social action is divided into 4 (four) types, namely:

1. Instrumental Rational Action

The first type is instrumental rational action; as the name implies, this social action is rational. So when someone takes an action, it will be adjusted to the final goal to be achieved.

A person will not take action without a clear purpose; then, his nature becomes rational and logical. Actions with a clear purpose lead to a clear way as well.

For example, the social action of a high school student studying hard all night. The goal is to be better prepared for the exam the next day. So learning becomes a social act, and the goal is to be ready for exams.

2. Value Oriented Action

The second type is value-oriented social action, which is carried out by considering the values ​​that exist in society. So this action adapts to what is considered good by the wider community.

The scope of values ​​starts from ethical values, aesthetics (beauty), religion, and other values ​​that exist in society. Value-oriented social action focuses on the benefits and pros and cons of the action in the eyes of society, which overrides the goal.

An example of this type of social action is when children stop playing football because the call to prayer for the midday prayer has sounded. So they decided to stop playing and pray first, then continue the game.

3. Affective Action

The third type is affective action, namely social action that is carried out based on the feelings or emotions felt by an individual. So that this social action is unacceptable, considered illogical, or irrational.

It is said so because this social action is carried out by prioritizing feelings or emotions so that this action does not involve the mind, which also makes the action unacceptable.

An example is when a teacher scolds a student in class for being caught cheating, then this student cries. Crying here is a form of affective action because it relies on emotions or feelings.

Namely the feeling of fear of being scolded and the feeling of worrying about getting a bad grade. Whereas logically, students who cheat should immediately apologize and take responsibility for their actions. Not by crying.

4. Traditional Action

The last is traditional action, which is a type of social action carried out because it has become a habit or an action based on a habit and is ingrained.

Then it relates to all forms of culture or customs so that all social actions of this type are based on the culture applied by the community. This action is hereditary, so it has been happening for a while.

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An example is any action that is done because of custom, such as the Ngaben ceremony for the people in Bali, the Ngebali ceremony in Lampung, the Batu Bakar Party event in Papua, and so on.

All actions that are carried out based on customs then enter into traditional social actions. This action will continue to be carried out by the community as long as it is inherited or taught to children and grandchildren.

Examples of Social Action

It is also possible to know examples of social action to make it easier to understand social action. The form of social action will then be following the types previously stated. The following details an example of social action:

A. Instrumental Social Action

In instrumental social action, namely social action based on clear goals. So there are several examples of social action in everyday life related to this type, including:

  1. Ani decided to go to bed early to wake up for the tahajjud prayer at 3 am. (Going to bed early is an act, while the goal is to wake up at 3 am – wake up early for prayer).
  2. Mother sweeps the floor twice a day to keep the house clean. (Sweeping is a social act that aims to keep the house clean.)
  3. Ika eats quickly because she doesn’t want to be late for school. (Eating quickly is a social act, and the goal is to get to school on time.)
  4. Value Oriented Social Action

B. Value Oriented Social Action

Social action that is oriented or paying attention to societal values is a value-oriented social action. Examples of social actions include:

  1. Ahmad stopped playing football because it was time for the Asr prayer. (Quitting football for prayer is a social act, its basis is a religious value – prayer times).
  2. We will eat and drink with our right hand at home and public events such as wedding receptions because it is considered better. (Eating and drinking with the right hand is a social act, the basis of which is an ethical value in society – politeness).
  3. A soldier will give his soul and body to the nation and state. (willing to give up body and soul is a social act; the basis is the value of patriotism).
  4. Andi gave up his seat on the city bus to a pregnant woman who happened to be standing. (Giving up a seat is a social act; its basis is an ethical value).

C. Affective Social Action

Examples of effective social actions carried out based on feelings and emotions felt are as follows:

  1. Supporters of soccer team A immediately roared with joy in the stadium when their flagship team scored a goal in the opponent’s goal.
  2. Ani cried at the funeral because her mother had just died.
  3. Ika was annoyed on the bus because two young men always teased her along the way even though they didn’t know her.

D. Traditional Social Action

Social action based on custom or culture is called traditional social action. Here are some examples of social actions:

  1. Following the Ngaben ceremony for the people in Bali.
  2. Following the Ngababali ceremony in Lampung.
  3. Participate in the Burning Stone Festival in Papua.

Social action is something that everyone in the community group will always do. This action is a form of overflowing feelings, necessities of life, and so on. So that it will always be there and interesting to understand or study because it can help wiser in acting in the community.