As people use symbols when they commincate, the use of symbols is essential for social interaction and hence the organization of society. The study of symbols is also of fundamental importance for the interpretation and understanding of various cultural phenomena.
Symbols and symbol use is an important area of social anthropological research. In a broad sense, a symbol can be understood as a sign that in a meaningful way stands for something other than itself.
Telling of the world
Through studying the use of symbols social anthropologists can gain an insight into how people orient themselves in the world they live in and of the images they form of it. Thus, a focus on symbols is also necessary in order to study different world views and the ritual activities associated with them.