New Article on Early View: “Moral Identity in Friendships between Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Students and Straight Students in College” #sssi

Symbolic Interaction has just published Koji Ueno and Haley Gentile’s article “Moral Identity in Friendships between Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Students and Straight Students in College” on Early View.



People construct moral identities for being a supportive affiliate of stigmatized groups. To extend past research that focused on such identities within formal organizations, this study seeks to identify the process of moral identity construction in a personal setting—friendships between gay, lesbian, and bisexual (GLB) people and straight people. Analyzing data from in-depth interviews with college students, we show that straight students claim moral worth by emphasizing their deliberate decisions to develop and sustain friendships with GLB people and by highlighting how the friendships led them to personal enlightenment and political engagement. GLB students, as a stigmatized group, also claim moral worth by emphasizing their ability to transcend the community boundary and to be accepted in the larger society. Students make such claims as they strategically link these aspects of cross-orientation friendships to existing moral discourses in the larger society and draw on resources available in the organizational and life course contexts.

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Out on Early View: Michael Dellwing’s review of “The Meta-power Paradigm” edited by Tom R. Burns and Peter M. Hall #sssi

At the 2014 SSSI Conference in San Francisco the editor of Symbolic Interaction, Robert Dingall, interviewed Peter M. Hall. In the interview,

Hall talks also about how is interest in power emerged. Recently, together with Tom R. Burns, Peter M. Hall has returned to the subject of power and edited a volume titled “The Meta-power Paradigm: Impacts and Transformations of Agents, Institutions, and Social Systems Capitalism, State, and Democracy in a Global Context (New York: Peter Lang, 2013) .

Michael Dellwing who over the past decade has published widely on interactionist topics, including research methods/interactionist ethnography, deviance and labeling has written a review of Burns and Hall’s edited volume that has just been published on Early View in which he criticises the theoretical focus of the contributions in the volume that, in his words, “has somehow neglected the house in favor of carefully studying blueprints”. The review n be downloaded here:


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Mervyn Horgan’s Review of “Drama of Social Life” edited by Charles Edgley #sssi

I was lucky enough to be invited to contribute to Charles Edgley’s fabulous edited volume “Drama of Social Life”. In the most recent (November 2014) issue of Symbolic Interaction Melvyn Horgan reviews Edgley’s volume.


He highlights in particular the unconventional departure from a mere focus on Goffman and Goffmanian style studies and the early reference to Kenneth Burke’s work that critically informed the dramaturgical perspective (as did Goffman’s).

The review is here.

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Symbolic Interaction Vol.37(4) is out! #sssi

The latest issue of Symbolic Interaction has just been published. The issue has it all: crime, blood, sex, and much more. For the Table of Content please go here.

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On Early View Russell Kelly’s Review of “Pandemics and Emerging Infectious Diseases: The Sociological Agenda Edited” by Robert Dingwall, Lily M. Hoffman, and Karen Staniland #sssi

Just out on Early View is Russell Kelly’s review of two books, “Qualitative Health Research: Creating a New Discipline” by Janice M. Morse and “Pandemics and Emerging Infectious Diseases: The Sociological Agenda” edited by Robert Dingwall, Lily M. Hoffman, and Karen Staniland.


Kelly’s review of Morse’s book elucidates the difficulties that a researcher has who coming from a discipline other than sociology, i.e. the health sciences, attempts to write a book about methods that have long been established and developed elsewhere in the social sciences. Kelly is full of praise, however, of Dingwall, Hoffman and Staniland’s edited volume that published in the Sociology of Health and Illness series takes up a very topical subject “pandemics”.

Posted in Book Review, health, interactionsm, interviews, pandemics, qualitative methods, Research Methods, SSSI | Leave a comment

Symbolic Interaction Videos – Science Fair/

For some time now, Symbolic Interaction hosts a YouTube channel and publicises video-abstracts and interviews with interactionists on

‘Wesharescience’ has just published information about the 5-minute Science Fair Competition that we would like to draw your attention to. As you can see on the the SI videos receive noticeable resonance amongst those interested in sociology. Using the Science Fair competition and the website seems to be a good way to publicise your research.

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On Early View “Labeling in Interactional Practice” by Greg Thompson

by Greg Thompson

First fully articulated in Howard Becker’s book Outsiders (see Thaddeus Müller’s recent article on Howard Becker‘s Outsiders and Clinton Sanders’ “Working with Howard Becker“), labeling theory has had a long and storied history in sociological theory. Yet in this history few have taken up the challenge of looking at how labeling happens in micro-interactional practice. In his paper, “Labeling in Interactional Practice: Applying Labeling Theory to Interactions and Interactional Analysis to Labeling“, Greg Thompson takes up this challenging by bringing labeling theory together with Goffman’s theory of framing in order to demonstrate how labeling can be studied at the level of micro-interactional practice.


Thompson’s paper pulls together work on the Pygmalion Effect and Stereotype Threat to propose a model of human interaction in which selves emerge in interactions with others. To this end, Thompson takes up an instance of positive labeling in a tutoring interaction in which a student appears to effectively have been labeled as “smarter than she thinks” by the tutor. The paper draws on Goffman’s framing theory to identify some of the conditions of the local interactional context that enabled this instance of labeling to be efficacious.

 In closing, Thompson proposes that this interaction-based approach to labeling could help develop labeling theory into a complex and nuanced theory of the social constitution of human subjectivity in micro-interactional practice.

Some related articles include:

Fine, Gary Alan1992. “Agency, Structure, and Comparative Contexts: Toward a Synthetic Interactionism.” Symbolic Interaction15(1):87107.

Glassner, Barry and Jay Corzine1978. “Can Labeling Theory Be Saved?” Symbolic Interaction 1(2):7489.

Manning, Philip2000. “Credibility, Agency, and the Interaction Order.” Symbolic Interaction 23(3):28397.

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