- Subject index
This book is an indispensable resource for anyone interested in the roots, current debates and future development of social theory. It draws together a team of outstanding international scholars, and presents an authoritative and panoramic critical survey of the field. The volume is divided into three parts. The first part examines the classical tradition. Included here are critical discussions of Comte, Spencer, Marx, Durkheim, Weber, Simmel, Mead, Freud, Mannheim and classical feminist thought. This part conveys the classical tradition as a living resource in social theory, it demonstrates not only the critical significance of classical writings, but their continuing relevance. The second part moves on t
Chapter 17: Symbolic Interactionism at the end of the Century
Symbolic Interactionism at the end of the Century
The turn of a new century has traditionally been a time of stock-taking. In terms of sociological theory there can be little doubt that the start of the twentieth century was dominated by important European thinkers, while at its conclusion American thinkers more than hold their own. The first and most distinctively American sociological theory was symbolic interactionism, a perspective on social life that is now more than sixty years old (Blumer, 1937). Symbolic interactionism is clearly linked to American intellectual traditions and, many would argue, to the American belief in the power of individual agency in the face of social structure.
Historically, symbolic interactionism emerged out of the American philosophical ...