“The strengths of this text are the breadth of theories covered; the integration of gender-related topics— family, work, religion; the use of substantial quotes from primary texts; the consistent inclusion of methodological issues…. I have no doubt that it will find a solid position in the field of theory texts.”

--Kathleen Slobin, North Dakota State University

A concise, yet surprisingly comprehensive theory text, given the range of ideas, historical context, and theorists discussed. Unlike other books of the type, Contemporary Sociological Theory focuses on how the pivotal theories contributed not only to the development of the field, but also to the evolution of ideas concerning social life.

Symbolic Interactionism: Blumer, Goffman, and Hochschild

Symbolic Interactionism: Blumer, Goffman, and Hochschild

Symbolic interactionism: Blumer, Goffman, and Hochschild

The theorists discussed in the earlier chapters of this volume might be classed as “grand theorists.” The theorists discussed in this and the following two chapters represent important divergences from and qualifications to the grand theory tradition. However, these theorists still owe debts to the structural-functional and critical theorists of the twentieth century. We begin this chapter with a general overview of the interactionist tradition and a short exposition on the work of Herbert Blumer, and then move on to discuss the work of Erving Goffman and Arlie Hochschild.

The Interactionist Tradition

The interactionist tradition has been associated with the work of a varied group of sociologists described as the “Chicago School,” including George Herbert Mead, ...

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