The Eighth Edition of this classic text provides a basic introduction to the field of social psychology. Taking a critical symbolic interactionist approach, Social Psychology helps students understand the very nature of how individuals do things together in today's society. The book has been significantly revised taking into consideration a number of recent turns in the field, such as: the increased sense that American social psychology is deeply embedded in world culture; that postmodernism has much to offer the sudy of the social world; and that new theories on sexuality, identity, deviance and the body provide a fascinating viewpoint on a person within society.

The Field of Social Psychology

The field of social psychology

The chapters in Part I offer an overview of our conception of the field of social psychology. In this chapter we have two major goals. The first is to define and locate the field of social psychology within the human disciplines. The second is to make a statement concerning our position as social psychologists. We call our point of view critical symbolic interactionism and connect it to cultural studies and pragmatic, feminist social philosophy (see Denzin, 1992, 1997; Seigfried, 1996; Strauss, 1993; West, 1989).

A Definition of the Field

Social psychology is an interdisciplinary field located midway between sociology and psychology. It also occupies central places on the borderlines that separate anthropology, history, and literature (Benson, 1993). Sociologists ...

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