New Article: “Making Time: Pausing to Coordinate Video Instructions and Practical Tasks” by Sylvaine Truncer, Oskar Lindwall and Barry Brown #sssi #technology #media cc @sociologylens

In Symbolic Interaction, we have a long standing interest in information technology. Save for the regular publication of articles and book reviews related to interactionism and technology, about 18 months ago our journal published a thematic issues on “Technology, the Internet and Social Media“. Sylvaine Truncer, Oskar Lindwa;; and Barry Brown’s article “Making Time: Pausing to Coordinate Video Instructions and Practical Tasks” continues this line of research. In their article the authors explore how people experience and make time with interactive media.

SSSI Members can download the article by clicking the image below or HERE. To join SSSI and subscribe to Symbolic Interaction from $35 (£30) please click HERE.

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New Article: “The Feeling of Enlightenment: Managing Emotions through Yoga and Prayer” by Erin F. Johnston #sssi #emotions @sociologylens

Erin F. Johnston’s article “The Feeling of Enlightenment: Managing Emotions through Yoga and Prayer” contributes to debates in Symbolic Interaction that are concerned with emotions. Johnston is particularly interested in how two spiritual communities—a Catholic prayer house and an Integral Yoga studio—shape the emotional lives of their members. 

SSSI Members can download the article by clicking the image below or HERE. To join SSSI and subscribe to Symbolic Interaction from $35 (£30) please click HERE.

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Free Access (14 October – 31 October 2020) to ‘most cited’ papers in Symbolic Interaction in 2018/19 #sssi #sociology #freeaccess cc @sociologylens

TitleLead AuthorPub YearVol:Iss
Agency-without-choice: the visual rhetorics of long-acting reversible contraception promotionGRZANKA, P201841:3
Escort clients’ sexual scripts and constructions of intimacy in commodified sexual relationshipsJONES, Z201841:4
Helpers “here on the front lines”: welfare-to-work managers’ moral identity workTAYLOR, T201841:1
Learning from the religious experiences of bi plus + peopleMATHERS, L201942:2
Couch revisited: a theoretical treatment of the information-technological media of imgur, reddit, and twitterJULIEN, C201942:1 (SI)
Displaying gender: transgender people’s strategies in everyday lifeMARQUES, A201942:2
Activating controlling images in the racialized interaction order: black middle-class interactions and the creativity of racist actionMEGHJI, A201942:2
Narrative methods for differential diagnosis in a case of autismTUROWETZ, J201841:3
Stigmatized identities: too muslim to be american, too american to be muslimCASEY, P201841:1
Social network challenges to reducing consumption: the problem of gift givingLORENZEN, J201841:2
Deservingness, deadbeat dads, and responsible fatherhood: child support policy and rhetorical conceptualizations of poverty, welfare, and the familyBATTLE, B201841:4
Playing the interrogation game: rapport, coercion, and confessions in police interrogationsDAVID, G201841:1
Short white coats: knowledge, identity, and status negotiations of first-year medical studentsVINSON, A201942:3
Interactionism in the twenty-first century: a letter on being-in-a-meaningful-worldFINE, G201942:3
Professional socialization as embedded elaborations: experience, institutions, and professional culture throughout teacher careersEVERITT, J201942:4 (SI)
Tip work: examining the relational dynamics of tipping beyond the service counterWILSON, E201942:4 (SI)
Virgins, terrorists, and ten children: immigrants’ humorous play with ethnic stereotypes in bonding with danes in the workplaceESHOLDT, H201942:4 (SI)
Co-present conversation as “socialized trance”: talk, involvement obligations, and smart-phone disruptionWALSH, M201942:1 (SI)
Audience design and context discrepancy: how online debates lead to opinion polarizationTIAN, X201942:2 (SI)
Two faces of self and emotion in symbolic interactionism: from process to structure and culture-and backFRANCIS, L201942:2
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Chris Land’s Review of Michael Ian Borer’s ‘Vegas Brews’ #sssi #taste #senses cc @sociologylens https://doi.org/10.1002/symb.512

To wet your appetite for the forthcoming Special Issue we have just published Chris Land’s review of Michael Ian Borer’s book “Vegas Brews: Craft Beer and the Birth of a Local Scene”. Land writes “[P]erhaps the greatest contribution of Borer’s book, … is his ambition to replace a sociology of taste with an embodied sociology of tasting. Positioning his analysis against Bourdieu’s conception of taste as distinction, Borer writes that,“Taste isn’t merely a disembodied and decontextualized marker of difference or social status … taste is performed together, and tasting is the binding activity”.

SSSI Members can download the book review by clicking the image below or HERE. To join SSSI and subscribe to Symbolic Interaction from $35 (£30) please click HERE.

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New Article for the Special Issue on ‘Blumerian Symbolic Interactionism’ – Arthur McLuhan “Character Problems as Collective Behavior” https://doi.org/10.1002/symb.520 #sssi #sociology #character cc @sociologylens

Another article as contribution to the Special Issue on ‘Blumerian Symbolic Interactionism’ edited by Jacqueline Low and Gary Bowden has been published on Early View of Symbolic Interaction. In ‘Character Problems as Collective Behavior’ Arthur McLuhan argues that interactionism often “overemphasizes situations as self‐contained sites of continually emergent meaning and action” while neglecting “important aspects of character that extend beyond the immediate situation”. His article adds to recent discussions in sociology that “redress this moment‐by‐moment bias, and the inter‐situational dimensions of character attributions”.

SSSI Members can download the article by clicking the image below or HERE. To join SSSI and subscribe to Symbolic Interaction from $35 (£30) please click HERE.

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New Article “A Blumerian Approach to Storytelling” by Matthew J. Cousineau – https://doi.org/10.1002/symb.518 #sssi #sociology #Blumer cc @sociologylens

We progressively publish articles for the Special Issue on ‘Blumerian Symbolic Interactionism’. The latest article is Matthew J. Cousineau’s (Auburn University) “A Blumerian Approach to Storytelling”. In the article Cousineau revisits Blumer’s work on life histories and symbolic interactionism and presents his own related research on storytelling

SSSI Members can download the review by clicking the image below or HERE. To join SSSI and subscribe to Symbolic Interaction from $35 (£30) please click HERE.

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Introduction to Special Issue on ‘Blumerian Symbolic Interactionism’ https://doi.org/10.1002/symb.519 #sssi #sociology cc @sociologylens

Just over 50 years ago, in 1969 Herbert Blumer published his book “Symbolic Interactionism. Perspective and Method”. Over the past months, Jacqueline Low and Gary Bowden put together a Special Issue on “Blumerian Symbolic Interactionism. The introduction to this Special Issue has been published on Early View of our journal. Therein, Low and Bowden “discuss the significance of Blumer’s variant of interactionism, his contributions to the discipline of sociology, the misinterpretations and misrepresentations of his approach, and the way in which the papers in this issue carry forward his legacy.”

SSSI Members can download the introduction to the Special Issue by clicking the image below or HERE. To join SSSI and subscribe to Symbolic Interaction from $35 (£30) please click HERE.

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Review of Kimberly Kattari’s “Psychobilly” https://doi.org/10.1002/symb.522 #sssi #sociology cc @sociologylens

Symbolic interactionists have a long-standing interest in music and subcultures. Kimberly Kattari’s book “Psychobilly: Subcultural Survival”, as Jeff van den Scott who is an ethnomethodologist at the University of Newfoundland says “presents the historic trends of psychobilly she introduces social themes including psychobillies’ views of themselves as powerless members of broader society, the use of horror imagery as a means of claiming a feeling of control or embracing lack of control, gender roles within the scene, and the importance of social and economic capital”.

SSSI Members can download the review by clicking the image below or HERE. To join SSSI and subscribe to Symbolic Interaction from $35 (£30) please click HERE.

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Martyn Hammersley: The Practice of Misrepresentation: A response to Jenkings’ review of ‘The Radicalism of Ethnomethodology’

In his review of my book The Radicalism of Ethnomethodology, Neil Jenkings (Early View) accuses me of engaging in ‘the practice of misrepresentation’, thereby not only alleging that I misrepresented ethnomethodology but also that I intended to do so in order to attack it. He provides no evidence for this, or even that I misrepresented ethnomethodology, he simply asserts it.

Curiously, his definition of ‘ethnomethodology’ – as ‘the study of the methods of members in the situated practices of their on-going activities in the local production of “order”’ (p1) – is very close to the formulations I use in my book. His objection appears to be that I wasn’t as ‘sympathetic’ to ethnomethodology as he would have liked. He claims that my focus should have been on what ethnomethodologists do rather than what they say they do, so that my book ought to have focused on the analytic practices of ethnomethodologists. In fact I do discuss those practices, but I am primarily concerned with the assumptions on which they operate and the rationales for them; and, indeed, some ethnomethodologists have been very forthcoming about such matters, often as part of their criticism of other forms of social scientific work. Jenkings may not like my focus, he may believe that ethnomethodological practice is free-floating and self-validating, and that it involves no presuppositions (a position I address), but he makes no attempt to defend that view. Instead he simply compares what I wrote with what he thinks ethnomethodology is and faults my account because there is a mismatch.

In fact, his whole review falls short of what is required in any review of a book: he provides readers with very little sense of its contents. For example, he mentions that one chapter is focused on Alfred Schutz, but all he says about it is that ‘Hammersley claims most sociologists—including Garfinkel—have apparently misinterpreted’ (p2) Schutz. He does not report that I locate Schutz’s work in the context of Austrian economics and consider whether he intended it as a foundation for or replacement of Max Weber’s sociology. Similarly, Jenkings objects to a criterion I used in assessing ethnomethodological work on the grounds that it is one that I apply to all social science. But he does not tell readers what this criterion is: the capacity to produce knowledge that is more reliable than that from other sources, relating to topics of human relevance or practical value. Apparently, he thinks that ethnomethodological work should not be judged by this criterion, but he does not tell us why.

So, not only is Jenkings’ review libellous – attributing intent to misrepresent on my part in its very title – it is a model for how not to review a book. I am only too well aware that my book has weaknesses, but setting out to misrepresent ethnomethodology was not one of them. I welcome criticism of the book. Indeed, I hoped it would lead to dialogue across boundaries, though I was not optimistic about this given the failure of previous attempts. In a slipshod manner, Jenkings attributes to me a desire for a ‘“singular” disciplinary methodology’, implying by the use of quotation marks that I had used this phrase. But what I actually wrote was that the proliferation of approaches within sociology, and across social science more generally, is out of control; so that we need to work towards clarifying, and if possible resolving, differences. Jenkings may disagree with this. If so, he could have put forward an argument, but instead he offered sneering caricature.


Martyn Hammersley (2018). The radicalism of ethnomethodology: An assessment of sources and principles. Manchester:Manchester University Press.

Neil Jenkings (2019). The Practice of Misrepresentation: On Hammersley’s Straw Man Criticism of Ethnomethodology. Symbolic Interaction (Early View)

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Book Review: Ross Haenfler on “Intersectionality as Critical Social Theory” by Patricia Hill Collins #sssi #sociology #intersectionality cc @sociologylens

In 2019, the Society for the Study of Symbolic Interaction invited Professor Patricia Hill Collins as Distinguished Lecturer to its Annual Meetings in New York. At the meetings, Professor Collins talked about her work in intersectionality which also the content of her book “Intersectionality as Critical Theory” that Ross Haenfler reviewed for our journal.

SSSI Members can download the article by clicking the image below or HERE. To join SSSI and subscribe to Symbolic Interaction from $35 (£30) please click HERE.

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New Article: “Atrocity Stories and Access to Elite Universities: Chickens at the Station” by Sam Hillyard, Jonathan Tummons & Madeleine Winnard #sssi #sociololgy #highereducation cc @sociologylens

Coinciding with the beginning of the new academic year, Symbolic Interaction has published “Atrocity Stories and Access to Elite Universities: Chickens at the Station” in which Sam Hillyard, Jonathan Tummons and Madeleine Winnard use admissions to elite universities as a case that exposes the manifestation of the English class structure. Their study based on interviews with non-traditional graduates from an elite university reveals the resistance to change in such institution and calls for ethnographic studies that explore how university might promote access agendas.

SSSI Members can download the article by clicking the image below or HERE. To join SSSI and subscribe to Symbolic Interaction from $35 (£30) please click HERE.

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New Article: “Negotiating Medical Authority: Shared Decision‐Making in the ICU” by Jason Rodriquez https://doi.org/10.1002/symb.514 #ethnography #care #medicalsociology #sssi cc @sociologylens

Symbolic interactionism has a long-standing interest in health care and interaction in hospitals. In his article “Negotiating Medical Authority: Shared Decision-Making in the ICU” Jason Rodriquez shows the interactional strategies ICU clinicians as a team used to bring family surrogates’ frame of understanding into alignment with their own assessment that the patient was unlikely to survive. Findings show clinicians maintained authority over end‐of‐life care while also maintaining a process recognized as shared decision‐making.

SSSI Members can download the article by clicking the image below or HERE. To join SSSI and subscribe to Symbolic Interaction from $35 (£30) please click HERE.

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Review Essay by Anthony Puddephatt discussing Braden T. Leap’s book “Gone Goose. The Remaking of an American town in the Age of Climate Change” #sssi #environment #climate cc @sociologylens

In light of the pandemic and the forthcoming election in the USA discussions of climate change and its impact on all our lives seems often forgotten. Anthony Puddephatt’s review essay discussing Braden T. Leap’s book “Gone Goose. The Remaking of an American town in the Age of Climate Change” is a powerful reminder of how our lives already are impacted by the changing climate.

SSSI Members can download the review essay by clicking the image below or HERE. To join SSSI and subscribe to Symbolic Interaction from $35 (£30) please click HERE.

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New Book Review: JE Sumerau (@jsumerau) on Jeremiah J. Castle’s “Rock of Ages: Subcultural Religious Identity and Public Opin-ion among Young Evangelicals” @sociologylens #sssi #religion https://doi.org/10.1002/symb.508

In her review of Jeremiah J. Castle’s ‘Rock of Ages’ J E Sumerau (@jsumerau) states that the book provides a broad scale portrait of survey responses from Evangelical youth about their political beliefs and attitudes over time. While not naturally falling into the domain of interactionist research, the work may provide useful context and background information for interactionist studies seeking to ascertain patterns of continuity and change in relation to shifting social norms.

SSSI Members can download the article by clicking the image below or HERE. To join SSSI and subscribe to Symbolic Interaction from $35 (£30) please click HERE.

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New Article: “Cognition in Situations” by Taylor Price (@trpdrpr) #cognition #sociology #sssi https://doi.org/10.1002/symb.505 cc @sociologylens

In his article “Cognition in Situations” Taylor Price (@trpdrpr) draws on Blumer’s epistemological statements and the interactionist tradition more broadly to consider how dual process models of cognition could be applied to naturally occurring situations.

SSSI Members can download the article by clicking the image below or HERE. To join SSSI and subscribe to Symbolic Interaction from $35 (£30) please click HERE.

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New Article: ““We Share Our Stories and Risk Losing It All”: Activist‐Storytelling as Edgework in the Undocumented Youth Movement” by Emily R. Cabaniss & Heather Shay https://doi.org/10.1002/symb.503 #sssi #sociology #storytelling #edgework cc @sociologylens

Most research on edgework has focused on how individuals manage voluntary risk‐taking. Emily R. Cabaniss and Heather Shay, however, show how undocumented youth activists collectively leveraged cultural capital to encourage risky forms of public storytelling by positioning those who participated in this strategy as especially courageous and entitled to the psychic rewards of edgework.

SSSI Members can download the article by clicking the image below or HERE. To join SSSI and subscribe to Symbolic Interaction from $35 (£30) please click HERE.

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New Article: “Framing Atmospheres: Goffman, Space, and Music in Everyday Life” by Eduardo de la Fuente and Michael James Walsh #sssi #sociology #senses cc @sociologylens https://doi.org/10.1002/symb.506

Another article that will be published in the Special Issue on ‘The Senses in Social Interaction’ has just been published on Early View of Symbolic Interaction. In “Framing Atmospheres: Goffman, Space, and Music in Everyday Life” Eduardo de la Fuente and Michael James Walsh synthesize Goffman’s microsociology with recent developments in fields such as aesthetics, geography, and urban studies. They use this conceptual work to underpin the discussion of their own research in which they explore how social actors use music to shape “involvements” and “disinvolvements” in the spatial ambiances of public transportation, the street, the workplace, and the home.

SSSI Members can download the article by clicking the image below or HERE. To join SSSI and subscribe to Symbolic Interaction from $35 (£30) please click HERE.

An overview of the current state of the Special Issue on ‘The Senses in Social Interaction can be found HERE.

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New Book Review: Shanmugapriya Umachandran reviews Stephen P. Turner’s “Cognitive Science and the Social: A Primer” https://doi.org/10.1002/symb.497 #sssi #sociology #cognitive cc @sociologylens

In symbolic interactionism there has been a long-standing interest in the relationship between cognition and the social. In her review Priya Umachandran suggests that Stephen P. Turner’s book “Cognitive Science and the Social” stands as a thoughtful testament to the importance of drawing on social sciences alongside the cognitive sciences in a range of areas and considering the gaps that may emerge—even, and maybe especially, if these gaps cannot neatly be closed.

SSSI Members can download the review by clicking the image below or HERE. To join SSSI and subscribe to Symbolic Interaction from $35 (£30) please click HERE.

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New Book Review: Brigitte Biehl (@DoktorDrama) reviews “Atmospheres and the Experiential World: Theory and Methods” By Shanti Sumartojo and Sarah Pink https://doi.org/10.1002/symb.507 @sociologylens #sssi #sociology #bookreview

In sociology and cognate disciplines there is a growing interest in the senses and the facilitation of sensory experiences. In her review of “Atmospheres and the Experiential World: Theory and Methods” Brigitte Biehl writes that Sumartojo and Pink “look at a general theory of atmosphere that may be applied across a range of different cultural, national, and practical contexts. Even if slightly tentatively and modestly suggested in their own outlook, their method that puts humans at the center and approaches experience with a diligent, open, and sensitive approach, is a powerful promise to develop these important inquiries much further”.

The review will be published in the forthcoming Special Issue on ‘The Senses in Social Interaction”.

SSSI Members can download the review by clicking the image below or HERE. To join SSSI and subscribe to Symbolic Interaction from $35 (£30) please click HERE.

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New Book Review: Christopher T. Conner reviews “Cultural or Critical Interactionism, Why Not Both” edited by Michael Hviid Jacobsen #sssi #teaching #sociology cc @sociologylens https://doi.org/10.1002/symb.509

Another excellent book that will help us when preparing for the coming academic year is Michael Hviid Jacobsen’s edited volume “Critical and Cultural Interactionism: Insights from Sociology and Criminology”. The book has been reviewed by Christopher T. Conner who describes the volume as “a text that those with a serious interest in social theory will want to have on their shelves, and would provide a great resource for a graduate seminar on interactionism”.

SSSI Members can download the review by clicking the image below or HERE. To join SSSI and subscribe to Symbolic Interaction from $35 (£30) please click HERE.

For other Book Reviews by Christopher T. Conner in Symbolic Interaction click HERE.

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