CfP – Special Issue – “Celebrating and Interrogating the Blumerian Legacy” #sssi #SymbolicInteraction

Special Issue Call For Papers

Jacqueline Low and Gary Bowden (Eds.)

Celebrating and Interrogating the Blumerian Legacy


Deadline to Submit Papers: September 30, 2019


As we mark the 50th  Anniversary of the publication of Blumer’s (1969) pivotal work Symbolic Interactionism: Perspective and Method, it is timely to address debates and critical claims central to the status and future of Blumerian interactionism with a special issue of Symbolic Interaction. We envision a mix of papers which both commemorate and critically assess Blumer himself, or Blumerian theory and methodology, as well as substantive papers that add to, or provide a corrective for, Blumerian interactionism.


Among the debates worthy of reassessment is Prus’ (1996:75) assertion, that Blumer “deserves … to be acknowledged as the single most important social theorist of the twentieth century” and Maines’ (2001)  claim  that  symbolic  interactionism  is  at  risk  of  being  subsumed  by  those  who  do  not acknowledge the perspective while still using its concepts and practices.


Ripe for debate as well is Abbott’s (1997) argument that Blumer’s emphasis on the symbolic, intersubjective side of the Chicago approach led him to underappreciate the importance of time, space and context. Similarly, papers might address the Iowa School (Couch 1986); Stryker’s (1980), and other’s claims that Blumerian interactionism is astructural, or Best’s (2006:5) conclusion that Blumer is a “tragic figure” who excelled at criticism and theory but conducted weak empirical research.


Papers might also address whether Blumer was the progenitor of an active and ongoing scholarly tradition that continues to grow theoretically and methodologically. Is the perspective thriving in some ways? Or has symbolic interactionism been reduced to the formulaic application of a set of standardized theoretical and methodological practices? Do interactionists still suffer from “analytic interruptus,” the failure of research to lead to fully developed concepts and theories (Lofland 1970:42-43)? In particular, we invite papers for this special issue on the following topics:

  • Intellectual biographies of Blumer
  • Blumer’s impact on symbolic interactionist theory
  • Blumer’s contribution to symbolic interactionist methodology
  • Sensitizing concepts
  • Generic social processes
  • “Formal” sociology
  • The charge against Blumerian interactionism of astructural bias
  • The current status of the Blumerian legacy for sociology as a whole
  • The future of Blumerian interactionism
  • Substantive research that extends or corrects Blumerian interactionism
  • The integrating of other theoretical approaches into the Blumerian tradition
  • Other related topics proposed by authors


Please submit all papers through the journal’s online portal:


Cover letters should mention that the submission is intended for the special issue commemorating the anniversary of Blumer’s (1969) book.  For more information, contact the special issue editors Jacqueline Low at and Gary Bowden at, or the editor-in-chief at

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New Article by Gary Alan Fine and Iddo Tavory “Interactionism in the Twenty-First Century: A Letter on Being-in-a-Meaningful-World” #sssi #interactionism #sociology

There are long-standing debates about the relationship between interactionism and wider sociology. Some have argued that interactionism has diffused into all areas of sociology and that “we are all interactionists now” (Atkinson and Housley 2003). In their “letter on being-in-a-meaningful-world” Gary Alan Fine and Iddo Tavory explore this topic further and look into the current state of interactionism and what challenges it currently face. They argue that “interactionism must develop some of its core tenets, offering more explicit links both to the sociology of culture, and to other areas in sociology”.

SSSI Members can access the article by clicking the image below. To join SSSI and subscribe to Symbolic Interaction from $31 (£23) please click HERE. 

Screenshot 2019-05-03 at 14.54.52

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‘The Senses in Social Interaction’ – CfP Symbolic Interaction

Co-edited by Will Gibson (University College London, Institute of Education) & Dirk vom Lehn (King’s College London)

Extended Deadline: 25 August 2019

Symbolic Interaction invites submissions for a Special Issue exploring the role of the senses in social interaction. Our particular concern is with how the senses are invoked in communicative practice in everyday life and how people make their sensorial experiences accountable to one another. The papers will mark a turning point in the study of the senses by analysing empirically senses as interactional phenomena — i.e. how people communicate about the senses; how talk, gesture, gaze, material artefacts, physical environments, and other resources are used to make the senses accountable to other participants; and how senses are made relevant and observable to unfolding interaction. We regard this approach as contrasting with existing research in the field that often looks at the ‘cultural significance’ of sensorial action or at the phenomenological experience and the meanings of sensorial action in absence of a close analysis of the interaction order in which such meanings are situated.

Studies have begun to explore the ways that the sensorial activities figure in and configure social practices, and how they play a role in the structuring of contextually specific ‘practical relevancies’ (Mann 2018). We are particularly interested in research that develops this idea by looking at how the senses become relevant to ‘making something happen’. This ‘something’ may be in an organisational context, such as at work or in an organisationally ‘structured’ experience like visiting a gallery or going to a concert. Similarly, papers may look at more mundane contexts such as chatting, shopping, eating/drinking either in private or public spaces. A part of our interest is in exploring the methodological challenges in studying the senses (Vannini et al., 2012). In the light of this, we would be keen to publish a variety of methodological approaches from different theoretical perspectives, and to include work that uses a range of methods including observations and video methods, but also more experimental forms using contemporary modes of data representation from the arts.

We welcome tentative expressions of interest and are happy to explore the fit of possible research papers with the above theme. Full papers should be submitted to the online system of Symbolic Interaction. Please select the tab related to this Special Issue when submitting your paper, or indicate in your cover letter that your paper is for the Special Issue.

The Deadline for submission has been extended to August 25th, 2019. Papers should not be longer than 8000 words (inclusive of references). Please follow the submission guidelines for the Symbolic Interaction journal. You will be informed by mid-October if your paper has been accepted for the Special Issue and if revisions are required to prepare the paper for publication.

Will Gibson – – Dirk vom Lehn –


Mann A (2018) Ordering tasting in a restaurant: experiencing, socializing, and processing food. The Senses and Society 13(2). 135–146.

Vannini P, Waskul D and Gottschalk S (2013) The Senses in Self, Society, and Culture: A Sociology of the Senses (Contemporary Sociological Perspectives). Routledge.

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Symbolic Interaction Vol 42, No. 2 published #sssi #sociology

Symbolic Interaction Vol. 42 No. 2



Learning from the Religious Experiences of Bi+ Trans People

J. E. . Sumerau, Lain A. B. Mathers & Nik Lampe

Pages: 179-201


Displaying Gender: Transgender People’s Strategies in Everyday Life

Ana Cristina Marques

Pages: 202-228


Activating Controlling Images in the Racialized Interaction Order: Black Middle‐Class Interactions and the Creativity of Racist Action


Ali Meghji

Pages: 229-249


Two Faces of Self and Emotion in Symbolic Interactionism: From Process to Structure and Culture—And Back


Linda E. Francis & Richard E. Adams

Pages: 250-277


Finding God in Grain: Crop Circles, Rationality, and the Construction of Spiritual Experience


Marcia J. Ghidina

Pages: 278-300


Manipulation in Board Game Interactions: Being a Sporting Player

Emily Hofstetter & Jessica Robles

Pages: 301-320

A video abstract is available at‐w6FUxw



Sports/Medicine: Partners in Crime?

Gary Alan Fine

Pages: 321-323


Shedding Light on Nightmarish Social Problems

David L. Altheide

Pages: 324-328


Vanishing Act: The Social Costs of Invisible Labor

Martha Copp

Pages: 329-331


Tragedy of a Breakthrough: The Iowa School of Symbolic Interaction in Autobiographical Narratives

Andrea Ploder

Pages: 332-335


(Gay) Sex, Lies, and Videotape: This Ain’t Your Standard Ethnography

Christopher T. Conner

Pages: 336-338


Midcentury America through the Eyes and Ears of Popular Music

Joseph A. Kotarba

Pages: 339-341


Post‐Cognitive Embodied and Artifact Rich Conversational Video Analysis Informed Linguistic Anthropology as Studies of Co‐Operative Action

Neil Jenkings

Pages: 342-345

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Review of Gary Alan Fine’s ‘Talking Art’ published #sssi #sociology #art

We have just published Amanda Koontz review of Gary Alan Fine’s book “Talking Art: The Culture of Practice and the Practice of Culture in MFA Education”. Professor Koontz writes that “Talking Art offers interesting insight into the tensions that derive from the ongoing development and maturation of the art world. It serves as a reminder that disciplines are also group cultures, with both localized and shared traits, and which are always shifting shapes in accordance with broader societal changes.”

SSSI Members can download the review by clicking the image below. To join SSSI and subscribe to Symbolic Interaction from $31 (£23) please click HERE. 


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Andrew P. Carlin’s review of “Bringing War to Book” by R. Woodward and Neil. K. Jenkings #sssi #military #sociology

Andrew P. Carlin writes that “The business of sociologists is reading books about books—internal debates on the value of this or that theory, ad infinitum. Bringing War to Bookis about books too, but in a refreshingly different manner: the core of its data derives from interviews with former service personnel who have published memoirs of their experiences of war.”

We have just published Carlin’s review of “Bringing War to Book” on Early View. SSSI Members can download the review by clicking the image below. To join SSSI and subscribe to Symbolic Interaction from $31 (£23) please click HERE. 

Carlin on Woodward

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Jennifer Millard Boyle’s review of “Bikes and Bloomers” by Kat Jungnickel #sssi #materiality #sociology

We have just published Jennifer Millard Boyle’s review of Kat Jungnickel’s “Bikes and Bloomers. Women Inventors and their Extraordinary Cycle Wear” on Early View of Symbolic Interaction.

SSSI Members can download the review by clicking the image below. To join SSSI and subscribe to Symbolic Interaction from $31 (£23) please click HERE. 

Boyle on Jungnickel

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