CfP – Special Issue on ‘Public Sociology

CALL FOR PAPERS: Special Issue on Public Sociology

Guest Editor: Christopher J. Schneider

In 2004 Michael Burawoy delivered his now widely cited and much discussed presidential address “For Public Sociology” to the American Sociological Association. Burawoy argued that public sociology deserves a legitimate place along other forms of sociological practice. While versions of “public sociology” have existed since the beginning of the discipline, various scholars including Herbert Gans (who coined “public sociology”) have credited Burawoy’s address for igniting the current debates over the issue in the discipline of sociology.

Since Burawoy’s address more than 100 papers on public sociology have been authored by sociologists around the world. Numerous books and special edition journals have also been dedicated to the topic. Given the explosion of literature on public sociology in the last decade alone, symbolic interactionists, with a few exceptions, have had little to say about the topic. This literature, while limited, nevertheless, indicates that interactionsists have much to offer to the debate. In addition, public sociology has the potential to reinvigorate interactionist research.

This special issue seeks papers that explore the theme of public sociology and symbolic interactionism. A few examples of paper topics may include:

• The historical legacy of public sociology in the interactionist tradition

• How a more public orientation might inspire novel approaches to interactionist research

• Arguing for or against public sociology from an interactionist perspective

• Reflecting on past and/or present interactionist work as models for public sociology

• Considering how to better foster community and organizational partnerships, and pursue funding

• Exploring ways to best disseminate interactionist work to public audiences

• Asking whether and how symbolic interactionism might help to solve social problems, advocate for specific groups, and press for political, social, and policy changes

Papers should follow the usual authors’ guidance for Symbolic Interaction and be submitted through no later than 31 December 2015. Please indicate in the cover letter that the paper is intended for the special issue. It is expected that this issue will appear in February 2017 but papers will be published on Early View as they complete the review process during 2016. Informal inquiries about the fit of a proposed paper with the special issue may be made to Christopher J. Schneider at

PDF of CfP: Download by clicking SI CFP

About Society for the Study of Symbolic Interaction - Blog

The Society for the Study of Symbolic Interaction (SSSI) is an international professional organization of scholars interested in the study of a wide range of social issues with an emphasis on identity, everyday practice, and language.
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