New book Review on Early View – Hans Bakker on Glenn Jacobs’ biography of C.H. Cooley

“This provocative book should be read by students of Symbolic Interactionism (SI) and by those interested in intellectual history. Glenn Jacobs utilizes the Cooley papers and seems to have read everything Cooley wrote, published (Cooley 19021909), and unpublished. Jacobs has written a well crafted and thoroughly cogent—even entertaining—book about a topic that has been ignored since the 1960s.”

That’s how Hans Bakker begins his review of Glenn Jacob’s “Charles Horton Cooley: Imagining Social Reality”.

bakker on Jacobs

The book was published in 2006 but somehow not reviewed for Symbolic Interaction. Bakker’s review shows that the book is more than worthwhile reading and highlights Jacob’s contribution to our understanding of Colley’s place in ecological theory and interactionism.

The review can be downloaded here.

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New on Early View: Book Review of Best and Harris’ “Making Sense of Social Problems”

In his review of “Making Sense of Social Problems” (edited by Joel Best and Scott R. Harris) Christopher T Conner (University of Nevada) discusses the contribution this new edition of the volume makes to the teaching of the social constructionist perspective on social problems.  He  highlights the wealth of examples given in the book whilst at the same time critically analyzing the approach proposed by the editors and authors in the volume. The review can be downloaded here.


Posted in Book Review, Deviance, Social Problems, Symbolic Interaction, Textbook | Leave a comment

Just out on Early View: Howard Becker on Outsiders by Thaddaeus Müller #sssi

There is considerable interest within our community in the history of SSSI and its key publications. One book that is central to interactionism and interactionist research and that probably is read by most students of sociology is Howard S. Becker‘s “Outsiders“. The book that has been sold more than 100000 copies contains articles that generally are seen as the axis for studies on deviance and what often is called “labelling theory”.

In his article “Chicago, Jazz and Marijuana: Howard Becker on Outsiders” Thaddaeus Müller traces the background to Howard Becker’s studies and the emergence of the research that is the basis for this book.

mueller-on becker

Related to this paper, readers might be interested in Tom DeGloma’s interview with Clinton Sanders on “Working with Howard Becker” published on on YouTube Channel, and the related article by Clint in Symbolic Interaction.

Another related article in Symbolic Interaction is Jack Katz’s “Jazz in Social Interaction: Personal Creativity, Collective Constraint, and Motivational Explanation in the Social Thought of Howard S. Becker” (1994, Vol.17(3): 253-379).


Posted in Analysis, Deviance, history, Howard Becker, interactionism, labelling theory, SSSI, Symbolic Interaction | 1 Comment

New Article on Early View: “Triangulating the Self: Identity Processes in a Connected Era” by Jenny L. Davis

With new social networking sites like Ello become sites where we spend more and more of our time it is no surprise that Symbolic Interaction features articles that explore “the affects processes of self and identity in theoretically and empirically interesting ways” like Jenny L. Davis’ paper “Triangulating the Self: Identity Processes in a Connected Era“, just published on Early View. Based on face to face interviews and synchronous text-based exchanges Davis investigates the negotiation of identity in a networked era. What does it mean to project an “ideal” or an “authentic” image of oneself on Facebook and other social networking sites?


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Review on Recent Developments in French Interactionist Sociology #sssi

Originally posted on Society for the Study of Symbolic Interaction Blog:

There is a strong but fragmented interactionist tradition in various European countries. One of these countries is France where in particular Howard S. Becker and his sociology are very well received. In fact, Becker has made it his habit to spend some of the summer months in Paris.

In his review “An overview of French Interactionist Sociology ” of  “Les mondes pluriels de Howard S. Becker: travail sociologique et sociologie du travail” by Marc Perrenoud and colleagues Loic Riom discusses the influence of interactionism on French sociology and Becker’s role in the development of this influence.


Relatedly, you might be interested in Clinton Sanders’ reflection on working with Howard Becker and Tom DeGloma’s interview with Clinton Sanders at the 2013 SSSI Conference.

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New on Early View: B Brossard’s article on self-harm #sssi

The article “Fighting with Oneself to Maintain the Interaction Order: A Sociological Approach to Self-Injury Daily Process” by Baptiste Brossard (Université de Montréal) has just been published on Early View. It examines in-depth interviews with 70 people who self-harm or have self-harmed at some point in their lives. The analysis reveals how the interviews use self-harm as a way to deal with their emotional state allowing them to get on with their lives.


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“in social life “it all depends” – Alex I. Thompson on ‘Disability and Identity’ by Rosalyn Darling #sssi

In his review of Rosalyn Darling’s book “Disability and Identity” Alex I. Thompson highlights the pervasiveness of ‘identity’ as a theme in symbolic interactionist research and publications such as our journal. Hence, it is not surprising that a book like Darling’s is reviewed in Symbolic Interaction and also that it has a strong relationship to one of the key authors in sociology, Erving Goffman, who the journal devoted a Special Issue to early this year. Thompson says that “Darling’s piece revitalizes interactionist and identity scholarship of decades passed while simultaneously paving the way for crucial future advancements theoretically and practically.” To read the review, go here


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