Meanings that have been socially constructed are used of gender and race for helping people in taking decisions as to how interaction should take place, and with whom. In addition to this, it also helps in determining the meaning related to the actions or words of a person, at times being inaccurate.
Critically reviewing this theory, it can be claimed that symbolic interactionism tends to be neglecting the bigger picture that is the macro stage of socially interpreting. In simple words, symbolic interactions may be missing the bigger issues related to the society by creating a focus that is too close to the trees, instead of the forest. Criticism had been faced by this perspective to slight the influences related to social institutions and forces on personal interactions (Clough, 1989). As in the example of smoking, the perspective of functionalist might be missing the key role in power. However, it has been seen that this key role in power is being played by the authority of mass media in order to shape a better perception regarding smoking through advertisements. This is also done by presenting portray in television and films. As in the example of gender and race, the accountability of this perspective cannot be seen for social forces such as gender discrimination or systematic racism that has a strong influence on the belief of people regarding gender and race.
There have been various studies performed to analyze symbolic interactionism under different subjects such as psychology, marketing and even advertisement. It has been shown by various of these researches that the process in which symbols interact provides a clearer view point to understand the insane aspects of the society.