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Symbolic Interaction

Impact factor: 0.811 5-Year impact factor: 0.824 Print ISSN: 0195-6086 Publisher: Wiley Blackwell (John Wiley & Sons)

Subject: Sociology

Most recent papers:

  • Distributed Perception: Co‐Operation between Sense‐Able, Actionable, and Accountable Semiotic Agents.
    Brian L. Due.
    Symbolic Interaction. February 04, 2021
    ["Symbolic Interaction, Volume 44, Issue 1, Page 134-162, February 2021. ", "\nPerception is not just a cognitive, private experience, but achieved in and through interactive and practical actions in co‐operation with other semiotic agents. This article contributes to work on multisensory perception that is distributed as an interactional phenomenon between agents. Based on video‐ethnographic research conducted among visually impaired people, and an ethnomethodological, conversation‐analytical framework, the article contributes findings about the most basic sensory characteristics of distributed perception: co‐operation between sense‐able, action‐able, accountable semiotic agents that can communicate multisensorial information in order to solve situated and emerging problems together.\n"]
    February 04, 2021   doi: 10.1002/symb.538   open full text
  • Sensing the Bike: Creating a Collaborative Understanding of a Multi‐Sensorial Experience in MotoGP Racing.
    Francesca Astrid Salvadori, Giampietro Gobo.
    Symbolic Interaction. February 04, 2021
    ["Symbolic Interaction, Volume 44, Issue 1, Page 112-133, February 2021. ", "\nThis article concerns the analysis of work interaction of a motorcycle racing team during pre‐season tests, drawing on ethnomethodology, and conversation analysis to explicate the ways in which the manager and the driver collaborate, through everyday gestures and language, to create a shared understanding of the bike's mechanical issues and disambiguate the driver's accounts of the bike's performance. We report on a set of video‐recorded encounters between the manger and the driver, examining how the multi‐sensorial experience of the driver is recollected and understood by team members, while overcoming interactional constraints imposed by the unique professional setting.\n"]
    February 04, 2021   doi: 10.1002/symb.529   open full text
  • Enacting Gustatory Pleasure on Behalf of Another: The Multimodal Coordination of Infant Tasting Practices.
    Sally Wiggins, Leelo Keevallik.
    Symbolic Interaction. February 04, 2021
    ["Symbolic Interaction, Volume 44, Issue 1, Page 87-111, February 2021. ", "\nTasting as a social practice can be enacted on behalf of others through precisely positioned nonlexical vocalizations as gustatory mmms. This paper uses multimodal interaction analysis to detail the coordination of parents and infants while starting to feed solid foods; data are from families in Scotland. The analysis focuses on the organization of parental mmms in relation to eye gaze, sequentiality, and the temporal coordination of hands, food, and mouths to demonstrate their use in beginning, continuing, and refocusing on taste. The paper proposes that in order to fully understand the sociality of tasting, infant feeding research should include real‐time vocal and embodied behavior, which is also key to the functional analysis of sensoriality‐related vocalizations at the margins of language.\n"]
    February 04, 2021   doi: 10.1002/symb.527   open full text
  • Orchestrating Multi‐sensoriality in Tasting Sessions: Sensing Bodies, Normativity, and Language.
    Lorenza Mondada.
    Symbolic Interaction. February 04, 2021
    ["Symbolic Interaction, Volume 44, Issue 1, Page 63-86, February 2021. ", "\nThis article develops an ethnomethodological and conversation analytic approach of sensuous practices based on video materials and multi‐modal analyses. Focusing on professional training in cheese tasting in Italy, the article shows the interplay between the bodily sensorial access to a material object and verbal descriptions of its sensorial qualities. Sensorial experience is not only configured as the body touching, smelling, or tasting a sample, nor simply orchestrated as a response following an authorized instruction; it is organized by multiple sociomaterial resources, including tasting grids as textual artifacts for enhancing and disciplining the senses. The article proposes a praxeological and interactional approach of sensoriality that integrates bodies, language, materiality, and normativity.\n"]
    February 04, 2021   doi: 10.1002/symb.472   open full text
  • When to Make the Sensory Social: Registering in Face‐to‐Face Openings.
    Danielle Pillet‐Shore.
    Symbolic Interaction. February 04, 2021
    ["Symbolic Interaction, Volume 44, Issue 1, Page 10-39, February 2021. ", "\nThis article analyzes naturally occurring video‐recorded openings during which participants make the sensory social through the action of registering—calling joint attention to a selected, publicly perceivable referent so others shift their sensory attention to it. It examines sequence‐initial actions that register referents for which a participant is regarded as responsible. Findings demonstrate a systematic preference organization which observably guides when and how people initiate registering sequences sensitive to ownership of, and displayed stance toward, the target referent. Analysis shows how registering an owned referent achieves intersubjectivity and puts involved participants' face, affiliation, and social relationship on the line. A video abstract is available at \n\n"]
    February 04, 2021   doi: 10.1002/symb.481   open full text
  • Some Discovered Practices of Lay Coffee Drinkers.
    Giolo Fele, Kenneth Liberman.
    Symbolic Interaction. February 04, 2021
    ["Symbolic Interaction, Volume 44, Issue 1, Page 40-62, February 2021. ", "\nWhen lay coffee drinkers taste the coffee in their cups, the flavors they note are shaped by the local interaction that provides the context for the occasion. Three methods they use for identifying flavors are examined and described: clustering, or how flavor descriptors are articulated in ensembles during a collaborative process; objectivating, the concerted work of transforming tentative suggestions into objective findings; and calibrating, how drinkers align their practice of tasting in order to conform with—and make meaningful—the objectivated accounts. These microsocial practices continuously intrude upon tasting, and a serendipitously developed local order guides their taste identification. This does not mean that there is no real taste, only that the taste never stands apart from the social contingencies and the discursive practices that are developed to describe \nit.\n"]
    February 04, 2021   doi: 10.1002/symb.486   open full text
  • Configuring Prospective Sensations: Experimenters Preparing Participants for What They Might Feel.
    David Matthew Edmonds, Christian Greiffenhagen.
    Symbolic Interaction. February 04, 2021
    ["Symbolic Interaction, Volume 44, Issue 1, Page 183-210, February 2021. ", "\nUsing video recordings of the setup phase of cognitive neuroscience experiments, we examine episodes where experimenters show and tell participants how a particular tool (a “blunt needle”) will be used and how that might feel. We analyze how experimenters describe and demonstrate prospective sensations for participants. We show that experimenters often describe sensations “by negation” (saying what participants will not experience) and sometimes “indirectly” (for example, by formulating what they will do). We show that these descriptions are elaborated through demonstrations of sensations, both on the experimenters' and the participants' bodies. Importantly, we document how the interplay of the description and demonstration of sensations is important in reassuring participants about the nonharmful nature of the tool and its \nuse.\n"]
    February 04, 2021   doi: 10.1002/symb.485   open full text
  • “Sensory Ordering” in Nurses' Clinical Decision‐Making: Making Visible Senses, Sensing, and “Sensory Work” in the Hospital.
    Sylvie Grosjean, Frederik Matte, Isaac Nahon‐Serfaty.
    Symbolic Interaction. February 04, 2021
    ["Symbolic Interaction, Volume 44, Issue 1, Page 163-182, February 2021. ", "\nThe objective of this article is to present a study on the constitutive role of senses in clinical decision‐making. The methodology is based on a series of focus groups with nurses in various hospital departments. Based on a narrative approach, our study examines “sensory work” in clinical decision‐making in order to reveal its specificity in the clinical work of nurses. Nurses shared stories—in focus groups—about the influence of senses in clinical decision‐making. The analysis of clinical narratives helped to identify various situations revealing the “sensory work” that underlines clinical decision‐making. We put the emphasis on the spectrum of sensory activities and the interactions occurring during a clinical decision‐making. One specific contribution of our study is to make visible the “sensory ordering” at work as constituted by interactions between nurses during a clinical assessment.\n"]
    February 04, 2021   doi: 10.1002/symb.490   open full text
  • Framing Atmospheres: Goffman, Space, and Music in Everyday Life.
    Eduardo Fuente, Michael James Walsh.
    Symbolic Interaction. February 04, 2021
    ["Symbolic Interaction, Volume 44, Issue 1, Page 211-234, February 2021. ", "\nIn this article, we synthesize Goffman's microsociology with recent developments in fields such as aesthetics, geography, and urban studies labeled “atmosphere theory.” Our central rationale is if microsociology is to deepen its account of embodiment and the noncognitive it needs a theory of spatialized moods. In the second half, we develop our synthesis with respect to musical atmospheres and conclude by drawing on our own research regarding how social actors use music to shape “involvements” and “disinvolvements” in the spatial ambiances of public transportation, the street, the workplace, and the home.\n"]
    February 04, 2021   doi: 10.1002/symb.506   open full text
  • “We Are the Women Our Parents Warned Us Against”: Identity Reconstruction and the Re‐Imagining of Gender After High‐Cost Religious Disaffiliation.
    Bethany Gull.
    Symbolic Interaction. January 23, 2021
    ["Symbolic Interaction, EarlyView. ", "\nThis paper examines the identity work of women undergoing high‐cost religious disaffiliation by examining the exit experiences of members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter‐day Saint (LDS, Mormon). Previous research into religious change has not fully engaged with the extensive identity work that exiters do as they leave these groups. I propose a stage model of religious exit identity development to expand upon the process of identity transformation during and after high‐cost religious exit. Additionally, I examine how the gender regimes of high‐cost‐religions result in different pathways out and experiences during disaffiliation for women and men. Though constructed to describe high‐cost religious exits, this model may also be helpful in understanding other “high‐cost” exits. A video abstract is available at \n\n"]
    January 23, 2021   doi: 10.1002/symb.541   open full text
  • An Online Acquaintance Community: The Emergence of Chinese Virtual Civility.
    Xiaoli Tian, Yanan Guo.
    Symbolic Interaction. January 19, 2021
    ["Symbolic Interaction, EarlyView. ", "\nHow is social etiquette performed when offline interpersonal interactions are mediated online? Sixty semi‐structured interviews with WeChat users, China's most popular social media platform, show that the app's technical designs facilitated a set of online etiquette rules which reproduced those of acquaintance communities. Three dimensions of social etiquette rules were considered and observed: respect, elegance, and tidiness. Users honored the face of others and avoided causing others to lose face, often presented a positive but restrained self‐image, and strived to preserve the tidiness of the online public space by avoiding the sharing of and exposing others to “negative energy.” A video abstract is available at\n"]
    January 19, 2021   doi: 10.1002/symb.537   open full text
  • The art of the Spiel: Analyzing Donald Trump's Tweets as Gonzo Storytelling.
    Brian Monahan, R. J. Maratea.
    Symbolic Interaction. January 18, 2021
    ["Symbolic Interaction, EarlyView. ", "\nThis article examines the rhetorical structure of Donald Trump's Twitter communications during the 2016 presidential campaign. The analysis identifies several recurring frames and themes and traces how these elements intersect with one another to build a narrative that depicts a world overrun with dire threats and institutional failures, providing a symbolic context for outlandish rhetoric, self‐praise, and espousal of far‐reaching punitive policies portrayed as necessary to protect idealized morality and social order. Findings suggest new ways to assess the content of Trump's frequent tweets while also considering what the success of his “gonzo” story may reveal about modern political communication and the media ecosystem.\n"]
    January 18, 2021   doi: 10.1002/symb.540   open full text
  • “Meet Them Where They Are”: Attentional Processes in Social Movement Listening.
    J. L. Johnson.
    Symbolic Interaction. January 04, 2021
    ["Symbolic Interaction, EarlyView. ", "\nI draw on Erving Goffman's Frame Analysis and Eviatar Zerubavel's sociology of attention to examine social movement communication as attempts to change hearts and minds by changing definitions of social problems. Specifically, I ask: When and how do bystanders entertain affective and cognitive disruptions? By what processes do movement bystanders listen to movements? I conceptualize social movement listening as a set of processes by which bystanders might entertain the affective and cognitive disruptions necessary for considering broader claims and symbols of movement activism. I demonstrate three types of attempts by movement actors to successfully create these listening possibilities: anchoring selves into social movements, accommodating anti‐criticalness, and reversing attentional socialization.\n"]
    January 04, 2021   doi: 10.1002/symb.535   open full text
  • “Only Going to Get Worse”: Narrative Magnifications and Emotion Work among Rural Frontline Responders in the Opioid Epidemic.
    Christian Vaccaro, Melissa Swauger, Ashley Niccolai, Shayna Morrison, Alex Heckert, Victor Garcia, Erick Lauber.
    Symbolic Interaction. December 30, 2020
    ["Symbolic Interaction, EarlyView. ", "\nThe study of narrative sociology can be used to understand how rural first responders magnify aspects of their collective stories about the opioid crisis to deflect emotional frustrations they experience. Based on 31 interviews with frontline responders in four rural counties in Appalachia, we find that responders portray themselves as capable protagonists up against hamstringing policies, opioid using clients as “their worst,” and their management of crises as a Sisyphean task. In constructing stories in this way, rural frontline responders temper frustration, and consequently sympathy, that contributes to a unique logic of care and control. This storytelling protects responders against traumas from their efforts, yet likely impedes trusting relationships with clients. A video abstract is available at\n"]
    December 30, 2020   doi: 10.1002/symb.534   open full text
  • All the World's a Con: Frontstage, Backstage, and the Blurred Boundaries of Cosplay.
    Erynn Masi de Casanova, Jeremy Brenner‐Levoy, Cole Weirich.
    Symbolic Interaction. December 29, 2020
    ["Symbolic Interaction, EarlyView. ", "\nThrough participant observation and interviews with cosplayers in the midwestern United States, we analyze the boundaries between frontstage and backstage and between self and persona (character) in cosplay spaces, where fans dress up as fictional characters. We find that back and front regions bleed into each other without causing the conflict or tension that dramaturgical theorists would predict, and that cosplayers engage in varying degrees of theatrical performance when in costume. This blurring of boundaries between front/back and self/character is part of what makes cosplay pleasurable. We argue that the body—not just as a “personal front,” but as cosplayers experience it—is important for understanding what cosplayers mean when they talk about “becoming someone else.”\n"]
    December 29, 2020   doi: 10.1002/symb.533   open full text
  • Repetition Acknowledgment Prefaces.
    David R. Gibson.
    Symbolic Interaction. December 17, 2020
    ["Symbolic Interaction, EarlyView. ", "\nI consider a particularly puzzling conversational phenomenon: the repetition acknowledgment preface, or RAP, which consists of a brief reference to an earlier telling of a story, or topic of conversation, prior to its repetition (e.g., I was just telling John…). Drawing on the work of Erving Goffman, in particular, and a collection of carefully documented empirical episodes, I identify eleven functions RAPs may serve (intentionally or unintentionally), the circumstantial preconditions for each, and the extent to which RAPs are well‐suited for it, conjecturing that well‐suitedness is a clue to RAPs' original purpose.\n"]
    December 17, 2020   doi: 10.1002/symb.531   open full text
  • Performance of Agency in Real‐Life Encounters: Turning Unequal Power and Structural Constraint into Collaboration.
    Nanna Mik‐Meyer, Mark Haugaard.
    Symbolic Interaction. December 01, 2020
    ["Symbolic Interaction, EarlyView. ", "\nThis article explores the performance of agency within the context of unequal power resources and structural constraint. Based on 23 video‐recorded placement meetings in three homeless shelters, we find that participants' agency is the outcome of both collaboration and resistance. To avoid interaction that fails to empower, social actors engage in “repair work” and face‐saving practices. When clients display “wrong face”—that is, bring problems to the table that are not considered “reasonable”—then the service providers engage in “repair work.” Participants turn conflict into collaborative agency because interactions that fail to deliver mutually empowering forms of agency have costs for both: clients' problems are not solved, and service providers fail to reach organizational goals.\n"]
    December 01, 2020   doi: 10.1002/symb.528   open full text
  • Understanding Everyday Life: Generic Social Processes and the Pursuit of Transcontextuality.
    Scott Grills.
    Symbolic Interaction. November 10, 2020
    ["Symbolic Interaction, Volume 43, Issue 4, Page 615-636, November 2020. ", "\nThis paper joins earlier interactionist projects in advocating for an analytical attentiveness to generic social process (GSP). This dynamic form of theorizing is indebted to the thought of Herbert Blumer and the extended phenomenological and pragmatist traditions. Rather centrally, the study of GSPs draws upon the foundational concepts of duration, intersubjectivity, and the self. Such concepts have contributed to some of symbolic interactionism's most enduring, empirically grounded and theoretically robust work. Drawing on a series of ethnographic research projects, this paper offers a research agenda for engaging GSPs transcontextually. Specifically, I argue for extending the study of GSPs through the examination of management in everyday life, the creation of subcultural value, and the social construction of doubt.\n"]
    November 10, 2020   doi: 10.1002/symb.468   open full text
  • A Blumerian Approach to Storytelling.
    Matthew J. Cousineau.
    Symbolic Interaction. November 10, 2020
    ["Symbolic Interaction, Volume 43, Issue 4, Page 721-738, November 2020. ", "\nBlumer's work on life histories and symbolic interactionism represents an important contribution in the twenty‐first century. I join his work with research on storytelling to build a Blumerian approach to storytelling. This approach holds that social actors use stories to construct subjective meanings, stories exist in some social context, stories are told or written for some audience, a wide range of social processes produce stories, the temporal sequence of storytelling audiences is important, social actors use interactional techniques of showing story preferences, and symbolic structures and narrative linkages are the resources social actors use to compose stories. Future research can continue to develop this approach.\n"]
    November 10, 2020   doi: 10.1002/symb.518   open full text
  • Character Problems as Collective Behavior.
    Arthur McLuhan.
    Symbolic Interaction. November 10, 2020
    ["Symbolic Interaction, Volume 43, Issue 4, Page 657-691, November 2020. ", "\nThis article presents a theory of character problems as collective behavior grounded in the empirical case of ministry formation in two Protestant Christian seminaries. An interactionist approach to character begins with some standard theoretical openings that dislodge the evaluative core of character from the putative dispositions that inhere in persons and focus analytical attention on the attribution of character in situations. One of the challenges of pursuing this theoretical strategy is the tendency in interactionism to overemphasize situations as self‐contained sites of continually emergent meaning and action, which would neglect important aspects of character that extend beyond the immediate situation. Recent directions in interactionist theorizing that tie the situations of interaction to small group cultures and temporal coordinations aim to redress this moment‐by‐moment bias, and the inter‐situational dimensions of character attributions offer the empirical purchase to apply, assess, and extend those theoretical projects.\n"]
    November 10, 2020   doi: 10.1002/symb.520   open full text
  • The Spirit of Blumer's Method as a Guide to Sociological Discovery.
    Michael Schwalbe.
    Symbolic Interaction. November 10, 2020
    ["Symbolic Interaction, Volume 43, Issue 4, Page 597-614, November 2020. ", "\nHerbert Blumer did not offer textbook‐style instructions for how to do research. What he offered, in his classic 1969 essay “The Methodological Position of Symbolic Interactionism,” is a broad account of what research must entail to accord with symbolic interactionist premises that human social life depends on meanings, interpretation, and interaction. Blumer's essay also voices a spirit of research that is ardently empirical, sociological, and creative. It is this spirit, I argue, that holds great value for guiding sociological research toward fresh discoveries. I make this argument by reviewing what Blumer meant by exploration and inspection, and then drawing out five Blumerian principles of inquiry. By embracing these principles we can avoid the problems of inadvertent theorizing, unreflective mesearch, analytic foreclosure, excessive subjectivism, and aprocessuality. I also suggest how we can enhance the sociological value of Blumer's method by paying more attention to power, inequality, and our own institutional biases. Embracing the spirit of Blumer's method, I conclude, can help a new generation of symbolic interactionists do more imaginative and insightful work.\n"]
    November 10, 2020   doi: 10.1002/symb.469   open full text
  • Digitalization as “an Agent of Social Change” in a Supermarket Chain: Applying Blumer's Theory of Industrialization in Contemporary Society.
    Dirk vom Lehn.
    Symbolic Interaction. November 10, 2020
    ["Symbolic Interaction, Volume 43, Issue 4, Page 637-656, November 2020. ", "\nIn this article I pursue Blumer's argument in Industrialization as an Agent of Social Change that social changes are the consequence of people's interpretation of technology. By examining oral history interviews with managers and other staff of the British supermarket chain Tesco I explore the relationship between “digitalization” and the organization of the business. The analysis reveals how the interviewees interpreted emerging computing technologies, and how the deployment of these technologies in the business impacted the material and ecological arrangement and the distribution of knowledge in the company. The article ends with a discussion of the relevance of Blumer's framework for contemporary studies of “digitalization” and social change.\n"]
    November 10, 2020   doi: 10.1002/symb.502   open full text
  • Cognition in Situations.
    Taylor Price.
    Symbolic Interaction. November 10, 2020
    ["Symbolic Interaction, Volume 43, Issue 4, Page 692-720, November 2020. ", "\nThe symbolic interactionist tradition can contribute to advancing sociological studies of cognition by setting dual process models on more solid ground. I draw on Blumer's epistemological statements and the interactionist tradition more broadly to consider how dual process models of cognition could be applied to naturally occurring situations. I suggest that attending to the ways the past and the future are handled and modified within social interaction provides a usable inroad for the sociology of cognition to engage with situational analysis. I identify “resonance” and “iterative reprocessing” as concepts that are suitable to this end.\n"]
    November 10, 2020   doi: 10.1002/symb.505   open full text
  • Making Time: Pausing to Coordinate Video Instructions and Practical Tasks.
    Sylvaine Tuncer, Oskar Lindwall, Barry Brown.
    Symbolic Interaction. October 12, 2020
    ["Symbolic Interaction, EarlyView. ", "\nUsing video recordings as data to study how dyads follow instructional videos to achieve practical tasks, this article focuses on how participants coordinate the temporality of the video with that of their task by pausing the video. We examine three types of pausing, each displaying participants' online understanding of the instructions and different articulations between demonstrations and practical task: pausing to raise a correspondence problem, to keep up with the video, and to turn to action. From this exemplar case, we discuss how ordinary people experience and make time with interactive media.\n"]
    October 12, 2020   doi: 10.1002/symb.516   open full text
  • The Feeling of Enlightenment: Managing Emotions through Yoga and Prayer.
    Erin F. Johnston.
    Symbolic Interaction. October 09, 2020
    ["Symbolic Interaction, EarlyView. ", "\nThis paper explores how two spiritual communities—a Catholic prayer house and an Integral Yoga studio—shape the emotional lives of their members. I find that both organizations promise to facilitate what I call holistic emotional change: modifications of deep‐seated emotional habits and dispositions. Moreover, both organizations transmit a comprehensive emotion management system—a regimen of different practices, or techniques of emotion management, with distinct goals and temporal horizons. At both sites, these practices—prospective, reflexive, and in situ techniques—are thought to work in tandem to overcome negative emotional habits and cultivate abiding dispositions of joy, peace, and contentment.\n"]
    October 09, 2020   doi: 10.1002/symb.521   open full text
  • An Embattled Yet Enduring Influence: Introduction to a Special Issue on Blumerian Symbolic Interactionism.
    Jacqueline Low, Gary Bowden.
    Symbolic Interaction. October 01, 2020
    ["\nThe papers in this special issue celebrate and build on the insights Blumer provides in his pivotal book Symbolic Interactionism: Perspective and Method. In setting the context for these papers, we discuss the significance of Blumer's variant of interactionism, his contributions to the discipline of sociology, the misinterpretations and misrepresentations of his approach, and the way in which the papers in this issue carry forward his legacy.\n", "Symbolic Interaction, EarlyView. "]
    October 01, 2020   doi: 10.1002/symb.519   open full text
  • Atrocity Stories and Access to Elite Universities: Chickens at the Station.
    Sam Hillyard, Jonathan Tummons, Madeleine Winnard.
    Symbolic Interaction. September 17, 2020
    ["Symbolic Interaction, EarlyView. ", "\nThe article explores the interactional management of class relations using atrocity stories as a conceptual device vis‐à‐vis new case study data. We argue that interactionist ideas are well placed to comment on the hidden injuries of class in the higher education sector and demonstrate this using atrocity stories and Goffman's work. We use the atrocity stories of atypical cases (non‐traditional graduates of an elite university) to expose class differences. Atrocity stories and Goffman's work on cooling, impression management, and total institutions were used here to unlock extended interviews with graduates from the 1960s–1980s who attended one elite British university. The findings expose the manifestation of the English class structure and a variety of responses. The conclusion finds evidence of resistance rather than challenge. A call is made for more longitudinal ethnographic research exploring how universities might promote access agendas—with particular attention to those both upwardly and downwardly mobile.\n"]
    September 17, 2020   doi: 10.1002/symb.513   open full text
  • Negotiating Medical Authority: Shared Decision‐Making in the ICU.
    Jason Rodriquez.
    Symbolic Interaction. September 15, 2020
    ["Symbolic Interaction, EarlyView. ", "\nHospitalized individuals who are unable to communicate have the right to an empowered surrogate who participates in shared decision‐making. Based on 300 hours of participant observation in an intensive care unit (ICU) and 35 interviews with staff, this article examines shared decision‐making as a negotiated social process of aligning frames of understanding. Drawing from Erving Goffman's concepts of frames (1974) and performance teams (1959), this article shows the interactional strategies ICU clinicians as a team used to bring family surrogates' frame of understanding into alignment with their own assessment that the patient was unlikely to survive. Findings show clinicians maintained authority over end‐of‐life care while also maintaining a process recognized as shared decision‐making.\n"]
    September 15, 2020   doi: 10.1002/symb.514   open full text
  • “We Share Our Stories and Risk Losing It All”: Activist‐Storytelling as Edgework in the Undocumented Youth Movement.
    Emily R. Cabaniss, Heather Shay.
    Symbolic Interaction. August 25, 2020
    ["Symbolic Interaction, EarlyView. ", "\nMost research on edgework has focused on how individuals manage voluntary risk‐taking. Few scholars have examined the process by which groups work together to construct and mitigate these activities. Our research, however, shows how undocumented youth activists collectively leveraged cultural capital to encourage risky forms of public storytelling by positioning those who participated in this strategy as especially courageous and entitled to the psychic rewards of edgework. Movement leaders bolstered the strategy by teaching new members to see their fluency in English, high levels of education, and assimilation into white, middle‐class American culture as qualities that enabled them to successfully tread the border between order and disorder, and to overcome fears that kept most other undocumented immigrants from engaging in such risky forms of activist‐storytelling.\n"]
    August 25, 2020   doi: 10.1002/symb.503   open full text
  • “It's Not a Pattern of Behavior”: Proxy Deflection of Eviction Stigma by Community Care Providers.
    Garrett L. Grainger.
    Symbolic Interaction. August 24, 2020
    ["Symbolic Interaction, EarlyView. ", "\nCommunity care is the “hospital without walls” model of mental health services that deinstitutionalized mental patients in the late‐twentieth century. Neoliberal reforms have challenged the implementation of community care by restricting access to permanent housing. Extreme poverty has rendered eviction commonplace for community care recipients. The mark of an eviction limits lease attainment. As a result, community care providers practice proxy deflection—redemption, externalization, and paternalism—to resist eviction stigma during the leasing process. This paper extends stigma research by examining resistance rather than imposition of stigma by social service providers, contextualizing resistance with the perspective of stigmatizers, and identifying resources that proxy resistance offers service recipients leasing up in stratified private rental markets during the neoliberal era.\n"]
    August 24, 2020   doi: 10.1002/symb.511   open full text
  • Diagnosis as Topic and as Resource: Reflections on the Epistemology and Ontology of Disease in Medical Sociology.
    Darin Weinberg.
    Symbolic Interaction. August 10, 2020
    ["Symbolic Interaction, EarlyView. ", "\nThis article notes an enduring ambivalence in medical sociology concerning the epistemology and ontology of disease and shows this is precisely an ambivalence concerning whether biomedical disease categories are best understood as topics of, or as resources for, medical sociological research. The first section critically reviews the topic/resource debate in ethnomethodology. The second section elaborates upon the pertinence of this debate to sociological debates directly concerned with the epistemology and ontology of disease. The article concludes by demonstrating how framing the epistemology and ontology of disease in terms of the topics and resources of medical sociological analysis serves to clarify the work of thinking sociologically about disease and helps overcome protracted theoretical challenges that have persistently troubled medical sociological research.\n"]
    August 10, 2020   doi: 10.1002/symb.504   open full text
  • Distributed Selves: Shifting Inequities of Impression Management in Couples Living with Dementia.
    James Rupert Fletcher.
    Symbolic Interaction. August 07, 2020
    ["\nThis paper presents data from interviews with seven people with dementia and twenty six carers in the United Kingdom, to explore impression management in couples living with dementia. Participants with dementia typically preferred to conceal their diagnoses and acted accordingly, but progressive decline precluded perpetual concealment. Participants therefore gradually switched to a second type of management, displaying their impairments in specific ways to encourage favorable impressions. Cognitive inequities, and the prescriptiveness of diagnosis and care, granted carers increasing power over the presentation of selves. Such inequity is potentially problematic because cultural and institutional concerns can promote conflicting preferences within couples. The shifting distribution of self is hence bound up with structural constraints. A video abstract is available at \n\n", "Symbolic Interaction, Volume 43, Issue 3, Page 405-427, August 2020. "]
    August 07, 2020   doi: 10.1002/symb.467   open full text
  • Surgical Identity Play: The Anatomy Lab Revisited.
    Alexandra H. Vinson.
    Symbolic Interaction. August 07, 2020
    ["\nThe anatomy lab has been studied by sociologists interested in professional socialization since the 1950s. This is because the act of dissecting a cadaver is thought to be foundational for both the student's medical knowledge and the development of the student's professional identity. In this paper, I revisit the anatomy lab both historically and ethnographically. Drawing on theoretical insights from the laboratory ethnography tradition within science and technology studies, I show that students use material artifacts in the lab to support their “surgical identity play.” This activity is structured by the laboratory's performative architecture even while it is unsupervised by anatomy faculty. While many analyses of professional socialization focus on how students learn to interact with patients during their training, I show that the anatomy lab experience is an important form of professional socialization because here students learn to employ surgical instruments, language, and dress, and begin to relate to each other as colleagues.\n", "Symbolic Interaction, Volume 43, Issue 3, Page 452-471, August 2020. "]
    August 07, 2020   doi: 10.1002/symb.465   open full text
  • Outspoken Objects and Unspoken Myths: The Semiotics of Object‐Mediated Communication.
    Stephanie Peña‐Alves.
    Symbolic Interaction. August 07, 2020
    ["\nThis interactionist study draws on the semiotics of Peirce and Barthes to theorize object‐mediated communication, a nonverbal interpersonal technique in which individuals signal new information by using and orienting themselves to symbolically endowed material objects. Examining the case of door‐mediated communication, it proposes that objects lie symbolically dormant until their deeper collective significance is activated through their use in interaction. The article expands the scope of interactionist inquiry on human–nonhuman relations by moving beyond the dominant scholarly focus on identity. The semiotic approach foregrounds a distinct human–object phenomenon, a novel category of nonverbal communication, and important meaning‐making dynamics.\n", "Symbolic Interaction, Volume 43, Issue 3, Page 385-404, August 2020. "]
    August 07, 2020   doi: 10.1002/symb.464   open full text
  • The Everyday Drama of Coproduction in Community Mental Health Services: Analyzing Welfare Workers' Performance as the “Undercover Agent”.
    Sine Kirkegaard.
    Symbolic Interaction. August 07, 2020
    ["\nCurrent welfare policy encourages “coproduction” between citizens and welfare workers so that “lay expertise” effectively becomes part of the provision of services. Drawing on fieldwork from Danish mental health services, this article analyzes how expertise and authority are organized and performed in a network linking welfare workers and users as well as new participants (e.g., volunteers) and artifacts. Theoretically, the article employs Goffman's dramaturgical distinction between “frontstage” and “backstage.” The findings indicate that welfare workers coproduce services by covering their authority and expertise in “frontstage” meetings with users. However, relational and material resources in encounters “backstage” make welfare workers appear as accountable experts, which both fosters and threatens their credibility.\n", "Symbolic Interaction, Volume 43, Issue 3, Page 428-451, August 2020. "]
    August 07, 2020   doi: 10.1002/symb.478   open full text
  • The Body in Mind: Mead's Embodied Cognition.
    Ryan McVeigh.
    Symbolic Interaction. August 07, 2020
    ["\nThis article highlights the role played by the body in the work of George Herbert Mead. For Mead, the social emergence of mind depends on human physiology. This is revealed through a detailed exploration of three thematic domains in his work: the organism–environment dyad, perception, and the manipulatory stage of the act. From this, I argue that Mead saw the body as constitutive of cognition and central to the development of mind and self. Present‐day research supports this view and demonstrates Mead's relevance for understanding embodied cognition.\n", "Symbolic Interaction, Volume 43, Issue 3, Page 493-513, August 2020. "]
    August 07, 2020   doi: 10.1002/symb.476   open full text
  • Doing Fatherhood Online: Men's Parental Identities, Experiences, and Ideologies on Social Media.
    Casey Scheibling.
    Symbolic Interaction. August 07, 2020
    ["\nOnline discourse about parenting has grown with the expansion of social media technologies. With a community of “dad bloggers” developing in North America, further investigation into how men write about fatherhood on the Internet is needed. In this article, I present a qualitative analysis of 201 blog posts written by 40 dad bloggers. Adopting a social psychological perspective, I examine how fatherhood is constructed across lines of identity, experience, and ideology. My findings illustrate how dad bloggers reinforce and reshape family discourses in their writing about parental role models, becoming a father, work–family balance, generativity, and “good” and “bad” dads. Social media use is discussed as a part of fathering in everyday life and as a tool to display, promote, and normalize involved fatherhood.\n", "Symbolic Interaction, Volume 43, Issue 3, Page 472-492, August 2020. "]
    August 07, 2020   doi: 10.1002/symb.459   open full text
  • Goffman's Interest in Spies and Espionage: The University of Chicago Context.
    Gary D. Jaworski.
    Symbolic Interaction. July 09, 2020
    ["Symbolic Interaction, EarlyView. ", "\nErving Goffman's interest in spies and espionage is widely recognized in commentary on his work. Where did this interest come from? While the context of Cold War America provided the broad cultural horizon of this work, deeper roots may be found. Goffman's contact with two University of Chicago professors, Edward A. Shils and Douglas Waples, both of whom served in U.S. intelligence organizations during World War II, also shaped Goffman's interest in the subject. This paper explores these relationships and their connection to Goffman's writings on spies, secrecy, and information control in postwar America. Goffman's view of spies and espionage as analogues to American postwar lives is explored.\n"]
    July 09, 2020   doi: 10.1002/symb.498   open full text
  • Reframing “Dirty Work”: The Case of Homeless Shelter Workers.
    Julian Torelli, Antony Puddephatt.
    Symbolic Interaction. June 17, 2020
    ["Symbolic Interaction, EarlyView. ", "\nDrawing on ethnographic research in a homeless shelter, this article examines how caseworkers navigate an occupation that is often physically and morally trying, and at times, objectionable. Given this context, we examine the ways in which caseworkers identify and define “dirty work,” often seen as a source of occupational degradation, according to two main typifications: the physical and the moral. Building on Erving Goffman's frame analysis, we examine the definitional and interactional strategies actors use to transform unpleasant first‐order realities to more valued, meaningful, or workable second order realities, by keying particular frames of meaning. These involve framing dirty work through (1) a professional lens, (2) humanism and egalitarianism, (3) a negotiated interpretation of institutional rules, and (4) the use of humor. We conclude by reflecting on the constructed nature of dirty work, and the importance of framing strategies in the sociology of occupations, suggesting that a more generic application of these ideas may be useful across a number of other social contexts.\n"]
    June 17, 2020   doi: 10.1002/symb.495   open full text
  • “We're the Show at the Circus”: Racially Dissecting the Multiracial Body.
    Celeste Vaughan Curington.
    Symbolic Interaction. April 29, 2020
    ["Symbolic Interaction, EarlyView. ", "\nThis work illustrates how the meaning and consequence of multiraciality are formed within a racialized interaction order. Drawing from 76 interviews with single‐race and multiracial online daters, I argue that online daters reinforce racialized and gendered categorical differences through their examination of the mixed‐race body. I refer to this process as “multiracial dissection,” an intersubjective racialization process that invests bodies with racial and gendered meanings. Multiracial dissection may lead to feeling sexual interest on the part of the observer, but mixed‐race respondents' narratives illustrate how it is also a form of othering that reinforces stereotypes about monoracial femininities and masculinities in the racialized interaction order of online dating.\n"]
    April 29, 2020   doi: 10.1002/symb.484   open full text
  • They Told Me My Name: Developing a Deaf Identity.
    Laura Mauldin, Tara Fannon.
    Symbolic Interaction. March 12, 2020
    ["Symbolic Interaction, EarlyView. ", "\nThis article examines the process of deaf people coming to identify as culturally Deaf—a distinction typically made in the literature as an identity belonging to those who use sign language to communicate—and how this identity process co‐occurs with other social identities, namely sexuality and race. Through pairing Goffman's work with perspectives from Feminist Disability Studies, we extend the sociological literature on both identity and disability. To do so, we analyze qualitative data collected through narrative interviews with five Deaf, gay and lesbian individuals with different racial backgrounds. Our analysis surfaces deaf people's encounters with one another and how, relatedly, becoming Deaf is shaped by Goffman's concepts of affiliation and obtrusiveness. For example, we show how shifting affiliations occur when transitioning into a minority (e.g., Deaf) culture, through interactions that demand managing the obtrusiveness of multiple intersecting, potentially discrediting, statuses. Our article also reveals a bidirectional relationship between affiliation and obtrusiveness.\n"]
    March 12, 2020   doi: 10.1002/symb.482   open full text
  • A Year Then Forever: Personal Resolution Making and the Temporal Bridge of the Near Future.
    Jamie L. Mullaney.
    Symbolic Interaction. October 10, 2019
    --- - |2 Based on in‐depth interviews and drawing exercises with 25 resolution makers, this paper explores the use of time in structuring and enacting improvement projects of the self. Resolutions are intentional, identity‐laden moments when people bring the future into the present. They provide a window into the identity work of the “near future”—an underresearched but fascinating site where individuals transition between what they see as an immediate, controllable future to a more distant one that is less certain. In attempt to mitigate the emotionally and cognitively daunting prospects of the distant future, resolution makers enlist time as a form of capital, constructing the “temporal bridge” of the near future by engaging in three interrelated processes: structuring and remembering, being flexible, and maintaining optimism. - 'Symbolic Interaction, EarlyView. '
    October 10, 2019   doi: 10.1002/symb.455   open full text
  • Broken Interaction Rituals, Struggles for Membership, and Violence among Young Children in Two Danish Schools.
    Sidsel Vive Jensen, Kathrine Vitus.
    Symbolic Interaction. October 02, 2019
    --- - |2 Children's conflicts, understood as disagreements involving negative emotional energy, constitute a particularly intense type of social interaction. In this paper, we show that children's conflictual interactions in school differ with regard to interactional dynamics and levels of confrontational tension, which together potentially lead to violence. We discuss how these differences relate to issues of inclusion and exclusion, to levels of interactional resources, and to neighborhood differences. Our conclusions are based on analysis of fieldwork data on children aged five to eight in two Danish schools. The analysis applies Goffman's and Collins's perspectives on interaction rituals and violence and the concept of emotional capital based on Bourdieu's theory of practice. - 'Symbolic Interaction, EarlyView. '
    October 02, 2019   doi: 10.1002/symb.454   open full text
  • The Unlived Life Is Worth Examining: Nothings and Nobodies behind the Scenes.
    Susie Scott.
    Symbolic Interaction. August 27, 2019
    --- - |2 This paper explores how people talk about the things that have not happened in their lives. I argue that we can perform reverse biographical identity work upon our unmade selves by exploring the meanings of unlived, non‐experience. Challenging one's own rehearsed life story is an act of narrative self‐transgression, involving negative responsibility assumption. Drawing on my symbolic interactionist theory of “nothing,” I consider how negative social phenomena (no‐things, no‐bodies, and non‐events) are interactively accomplished and retrospectively made sense of in personal accounts. Themes of lost opportunities, silence, invisibility, and emptiness emerge from an analysis of twenty‐seven stories. These tales reveal a mixture of emotions: not only sadness, stigma, shame, and regret, but also relief, pride, acceptance, and gratitude. Narratives of nothing are often ambivalent in tone, reflecting the complexity of storied life behind the scenes. - 'Symbolic Interaction, EarlyView. '
    August 27, 2019   doi: 10.1002/symb.448   open full text
  • Negotiated Discretion: Redressing the Neglect of Negotiation in “Street‐Level Bureaucracy”.
    Lars E. F. Johannessen.
    Symbolic Interaction. August 16, 2019
    --- - |2 This article proposes an interactionist update of “street‐level bureaucracy,” one of the most influential approaches for studying how public policy is translated into street‐level practice. While the street‐level approach assumes that bureaucrats are alone in enacting policy, the present article argues for seeing “street‐level policy” as formed in negotiation between bureaucrats and clients. To demonstrate this, the article uses ethnographic data and a Straussian framework to analyze how nurses and patients negotiated access in a Norwegian emergency service. The article thus sets a new course for street‐level research, helping researchers look beyond the individual to explore inter‐individual negotiation and its influence on street‐level decision‐making. - 'Symbolic Interaction, EarlyView. '
    August 16, 2019   doi: 10.1002/symb.451   open full text
  • “Whose Side Are We On?” Revisited: Narrative Power, Narrative Inequality, and a Politics of Narrative Humanity.
    Ken Plummer.
    Symbolic Interaction. August 08, 2019
    --- - |2 In 1967, Howard S. Becker gave a widely discussed and polemical presidential address entitled “Whose Side Are We On?” Here he introduced the idea of the hierarchy of credibility. Briefly reviewing the article, I suggest a little of how the world has moved on since then. The core of my analysis links symbolic interactionism to ideas of narrative power, narrative inequality, and narrative othering, sketching out a frame of generic forms of narrative power: domination, exclusion, negotiation, and resistance. I stress the dynamics of the subordinated standpoint and narrative othering. Drawing from a wide range of empirical examples where these processes are featured, I suggest many of us tacitly work with such ideas in our studies. I end by returning to Becker's question—Whose side are we on?—and answer: the side of humanity. Just what we mean by humanity raises contentious value claims, especially in these posthuman times. But understanding our humanities and the value challenge they pose provides the necessary prerequisite for answering Becker's question. From this, political action can flow, and a politics of humanity can be cultivated. - 'Symbolic Interaction, EarlyView. '
    August 08, 2019   doi: 10.1002/symb.449   open full text
  • Childhood‐Grounded Explanations for Personal Troubles: Social Problems Work in Radio Counseling.
    Nataliya Thell.
    Symbolic Interaction. August 05, 2019
    --- - |2 This paper examines how images of unfortunate childhoods are invoked to make sense of psychological problems in adulthood. I use conversation analysis and membership categorization analysis to study a Swedish radio program in which a psychotherapist talks to people about their personal troubles. The findings suggest that, on one hand, the image of an unfortunate childhood was used as an explanatory framework for individuals' problematic experiences. On the other hand, the childhood‐grounded reasoning, applied to individual cases, illustrated the explanatory framework and reaffirmed it as a commonsense way of reasoning about personal troubles. - 'Symbolic Interaction, EarlyView. '
    August 05, 2019   doi: 10.1002/symb.443   open full text
  • Going Bad and Staying Bad: Crystallizing Dramatic Self Change.
    Viðar Halldórsson, Michael A. Katovich.
    Symbolic Interaction. August 04, 2019
    --- - |2 Symbolic interactionists recognize how selves transform for better or worse. When transforming for worse, or going bad, selves often stay bad, owing to societal response. In this article, we examine fictional characters from popular media (specifically, Michael Corleone from The Godfather trilogy and Walter White from Breaking Bad) and a nonfictional athlete (Lance Armstrong) to discuss staying bad as self‐conscious choices made by those who go bad. Using Athens' depiction of self transformation and adding the notion of particular trajectories (teleological, immersed, and ideational), we compare and contrast the characters' transformations from noble, or potentially heroic, to unapologetically blemished. Our analogic connection depict patterns of development that stress the fundamental importance of agency in regard to processes of staying bad, even when such agency appears self‐destructive. - 'Symbolic Interaction, Volume 42, Issue 3, Page 432-456, August 2019. '
    August 04, 2019   doi: 10.1002/symb.397   open full text
  • Short White Coats: Knowledge, Identity, and Status Negotiations of First‐Year Medical Students.
    Alexandra H. Vinson.
    Symbolic Interaction. August 04, 2019
    --- - | This paper investigates the meanings medical students invest in their white coats and how these meanings shape students' strategic use of the white coat as a status symbol. During a four‐year ethnography of medical education, I found that the white coat signified knowledgeability and was used to assert status. In interactions students policed their own and each other's status displays, a process I identify as an instance of status management in medical training. An analysis of the meanings and conventional uses of the short white coat increases our understanding of how novice trainees negotiate their place in a new social order. - 'Symbolic Interaction, Volume 42, Issue 3, Page 395-411, August 2019. '
    August 04, 2019   doi: 10.1002/symb.400   open full text
  • Whither the Internal Conversation?
    David Schweingruber, David W. Wahl.
    Symbolic Interaction. August 04, 2019
    --- - |2 The internal conversation has a venerable place in the symbolic interactionist tradition but has been the focus of little empirical research by interactionists. After reviewing selected research on the internal conversation (most by noninteractionist sociologists or nonsociologists), we argue that interactionists ought to conduct research of our own to examine claims we have been making and to better understand social life. We propose some worthy areas and avenues of investigation. - 'Symbolic Interaction, Volume 42, Issue 3, Page 351-373, August 2019. '
    August 04, 2019   doi: 10.1002/symb.402   open full text
  • “Jesus Would Turn the Tables Over”: Five Dimensions of Authenticity Applied to Countercultural Christianity.
    Todd Nicholas Fuist, Amy D. McDowell.
    Symbolic Interaction. August 04, 2019
    --- - |2 This paper draws on extant literature to identify five dimensions that are deployed by a wide range of social groups to claim and achieve authenticity in variety of social settings: being honest or real, forgoing external rewards or compensation, coming from or living in the right place or time, embodying or participating in something, and consuming correctly. We then demonstrate the utility of these five dimensions of authenticity in action by applying them to two different qualitative studies of countercultural Christians. Our analysis of these data shows that different communities have different understandings of what makes one authentic, but the five dimensions that we outline in this article make comparisons across different groups possible. - 'Symbolic Interaction, Volume 42, Issue 3, Page 374-394, August 2019. '
    August 04, 2019   doi: 10.1002/symb.417   open full text
  • Playing with Imagined Others: Developing a Musical Ear in Conversation with Recordings.
    Sarah Maslen.
    Symbolic Interaction. August 04, 2019
    --- - |2 This article presents an analysis of musical skill development through transcription, playing along with recordings, and score reading. Grounded in Becker's understanding of music‐making as the product of collective action and Mead's notion of the self, I argue that musicians can form their musical ear and proprioceptive skills in playing in relation to an imagined musical other. The mechanisms through which imagined interactions form musical selves include use of contrast pairs, imagined reactions, and provision of exemplars to imitate. Recordings can take on such significance that they become the primary reference point for musicians' concepts of sound. - 'Symbolic Interaction, Volume 42, Issue 3, Page 412-431, August 2019. '
    August 04, 2019   doi: 10.1002/symb.411   open full text
  • Emotions into Disorder: Anxiety Disorders and the Social Meaning of Fear.
    Jennifer J. Esala, Jared Del Rosso.
    Symbolic Interaction. August 04, 2019
    --- - |2 This article explores what we refer to as norm‐stimuli‐state discrepancies, which are disparities between people's physical‐emotional responses to emotional cues and the normative meanings of those cues. Drawing on forty qualitative interviews and participant observation research at support groups, we show that people with anxiety disorders describe two forms of norm‐stimuli‐state discrepancies. The first form involves discrepancies of type, in which people label fearful emotional states as deviant for being caused by the “wrong” stimuli. The second involves discrepancies of intensity, in which people label fearful states as deviant for involving feelings or displays of “too much” anxiety in response to an “appropriate” stimuli. The article further addresses the role of stimuli in prompting treatment seeking. Unexpected and intense emotional distress in combination with the falling away of external cues—which we refer to as “stimuli‐less fear”—serve as a critical juncture on the path to an anxiety disorder diagnosis. - 'Symbolic Interaction, EarlyView. '
    August 04, 2019   doi: 10.1002/symb.450   open full text
  • The Haunting of Shame: Autoethnography and the Multivalent Stigma of Being Queer, Muslim, and Single.
    Aliraza Javaid.
    Symbolic Interaction. July 08, 2019
    --- - |2 Sociology has neglected the terrain of the gay Muslim single as a sociological phenomenon. Produced and managed via meaningful social conduct, the gay Muslim single often holds negative symbolic and cultural worth, one of lacking identification and presence. The stigma of the gay Muslim single is actively reproduced through social and power relations. I examine multiple stigmas and dichotomies by using autoethnography to illustrate the human lived experience of a gay Muslim single, who is silenced, invisibilized, and embodies a social life of “emptiness.” The gay Muslim single, bringing about a “moral panic,” confronts temporal regulations, norms, and values, notably those of heterosexual ones in everyday social life. He is cast as an “outsider,” which reinforces his stigma in everyday social life. - 'Symbolic Interaction, EarlyView. '
    July 08, 2019   doi: 10.1002/symb.441   open full text
  • Turning Points to Becoming a Tobacco Smoker: Smoking Initiation and Identity Change among Chinese Youth.
    Gareth Davey, Xiang Zhao.
    Symbolic Interaction. July 08, 2019
    --- - |2 In this study, we analyzed identity construction among young smokers in China, with three interconnected objectives: to theorize the turning points and career trajectory of smoking initiation; to account for their characteristics with interactionist processes; and to critically evaluate the applicability of classic typologies of identity change by Becker and Strauss. In‐depth interviews with 24 late adolescents (ages 18–19) revealed a smoking initiation career path of four interconnected turning points, each characterized by interactionist processes. Smoker peers played a key role in facilitating overall career progression, and shame avoidance was crucial to their social dynamics. We also conclude that classic studies of turning points in general, and substance use specifically, are sufficiently broad and flexible to elucidate tobacco smoker identity construction in China, and facilitate a comparison of commonality and divergence among different “becoming” identities. The implications of these findings for tobacco control in China are discussed. - 'Symbolic Interaction, EarlyView. '
    July 08, 2019   doi: 10.1002/symb.442   open full text
  • Connecting Practical Doings to Cultural Meanings: Exploring the Work of Moral Mediators in Human Service Organizations.
    Carley Geiss.
    Symbolic Interaction. June 23, 2019
    --- - |2 This study illuminates the work of moral mediators, which I define as organizational actors who work to strategically monitor, maintain, and manage the moral identity of others. My layered, organizational, narrative analysis of the mentoring organization Big Brothers Big Sisters draws on two types of data: client stories featured on the national website and ten in‐depth interviews with case managers at a local agency. My analysis demonstrates how case managers employ an emotional labor technique of drama dilution, or work done to add ambiguity to public storytelling in ways that leave more space for variations of deservingness, success, and morality. This article emphasizes the paradoxical nature of public organizational narratives and highlights the need for continued exploration of day‐to‐day work in conjunction with organizational structure and cultural values and beliefs. - 'Symbolic Interaction, EarlyView. '
    June 23, 2019   doi: 10.1002/symb.440   open full text
  • Experiencing Stigma and Exclusion: The Influence of Neoliberal Perspectives, Practices, and Policies on Living with Chronic Illness and Disability.
    Kathy Charmaz.
    Symbolic Interaction. May 21, 2019
    --- - |2 Neoliberal perspectives, policies, and practices increasingly affect chronically ill and disabled people's embodied experiences of stigma and exclusion. Neoliberalism emphasizes individual responsibility and self‐sufficiency, a limited social safety net, and narrow governmental accountability. Examining pivotal experiences of chronically ill people shows how neoliberalism can frame their alternatives, interactions, and actions. This examination prompts reconsidering Goffman's concept of stigma to include how larger social policies and practices affect experiencing stigma and exclusion and, also, illuminates temporal features of receiving a diagnosis, disclosing illness, and dealing with disabilities and unpredictable bodies. The analysis derives from an ethnographic story and published and unpublished personal accounts from first‐hand and library research over the course of my career. - 'Symbolic Interaction, EarlyView. '
    May 21, 2019   doi: 10.1002/symb.432   open full text
  • Foreclosing Fluidity at the Intersection of Gender and Sexual Normativities.
    J. E. Sumerau, Lain A. B. Mathers, Dawne Moon.
    Symbolic Interaction. May 06, 2019
    --- - |2 Binary gender and sexuality are socially constructed, but they structure thought at such a deep level that even those critical of sexism and homophobia can unwittingly reproduce them, with consequences felt most profoundly by those whose gender/sexual identity defy binary logic. This article outlines a generic pattern in the reproduction of inequality we call foreclosing fluidity, the symbolic or material removal of fluid possibilities from sexual and gender experience and categorization. Based on 115 responses from people who are both sexually and gender fluid and a reading of existing sociologies of gender and sexualities from a fluid standpoint, we demonstrate how lesbian/gay/straight, cisgender, and transgender women and men—regardless of intentions—may foreclose fluidity by mobilizing cisnormative, transnormative, heteronormative, and/or homonormative beliefs and practices. Examining patterns of foreclosing fluidity may provide insight into (1) the further incorporation of fluid people and standpoints into symbolic interactionism, and (2) the reproduction and persistence of sexual and gender inequalities. - 'Symbolic Interaction, EarlyView. '
    May 06, 2019   doi: 10.1002/symb.431   open full text
  • Ecologies of Boundaries: Modes of Boundary Work in Professional Proto‐Jurisdictions.
    Anders Blok, Maria D. Lindstrøm, Marie L. Meilvang, Inge K. Pedersen.
    Symbolic Interaction. April 25, 2019
    --- - |2 Ecological approaches to professional work, authority, and regulation have seen a resurgence in the sociology of professions, as epitomized in the linked ecologies framework of Andrew Abbott. Alongside this resurgence comes a renewed attention to the way symbolic and material boundaries within and between professions, as well as between professional, university, and political institutions, come to be defined, negotiated, and changed as part of ongoing professional projects. Building on and comparing case studies set in Denmark into three emerging professional “proto‐jurisdictions”—of water‐related climate adaptation, lifestyle disease prevention, and innovation management—this article identifies three key modes of interprofessional boundary work important for such projects. In doing so, it grounds Abbott's meso‐level framework of linked ecologies in more situated accounts of workplace‐level boundary interaction, by reconnecting to a wider tradition of symbolic interactionist studies of professions. - 'Symbolic Interaction, EarlyView. '
    April 25, 2019   doi: 10.1002/symb.428   open full text
  • “They Look at You like You're Nothing”: Stigma and Shame in the Child Support System.
    Brittany Pearl Battle.
    Symbolic Interaction. April 23, 2019
    --- - |2 More than 22 million or 1 in 4 children in the United States are currently served by the child support program. This program, the third largest used to address childhood poverty, regulates non‐custodial parents' financial support of their children through federal, state, and municipal legislation and policies. The collateral consequences, particularly those related to economic stability and criminal justice involvement, associated with child support system participation have been widely studied. However, many of the interpersonal interactions between those who have cases in the system and those who work in the system have been largely ignored. In this article, I use courtroom observations, in‐depth interviews, and cultural artifacts to explore the practices of stigmatization and shaming in this important legal and bureaucratic process. I explore stigma and shame in three thematic areas: (1) shame in social interactions, (2) shame as a tool of social control, and (3) the social consequences of shame. I ultimately suggest that stigma and shame in the child support system, resembling that in the welfare and criminal justice systems, reinforces cognitive boundaries between parents perceived as “responsible” and those perceived as “deadbeats.” - 'Symbolic Interaction, EarlyView. '
    April 23, 2019   doi: 10.1002/symb.427   open full text
  • Virgins, Terrorists, and Ten Children: Immigrants' Humorous Play with Ethnic Stereotypes in Bonding with Danes in the Workplace.
    Henriette Frees Esholdt.
    Symbolic Interaction. April 14, 2019
    --- - |2 Drawing on fieldwork in a multi‐ethnic workplace (an industrial kitchen in Denmark), this article explores immigrants' self‐directed ethnic humor in collegial relationships with Danes as it spontaneously develops and plays out in everyday work settings. Approaching ethnic humor from a symbolic interactionist perspective rather than adopting the dominant conflict approach, this article emphasizes the bonding functions of ethnic humor. The article argues that immigrants' engagement in playful behavior with ethnic stereotypes in interactions with Danes is a form of “impression management” in which they defuse ethnic stereotypes and dissociate themselves from them by building joking relationships in the workplace with Danes. A video abstract is available at - 'Symbolic Interaction, EarlyView. '
    April 14, 2019   doi: 10.1002/symb.426   open full text
  • Pregnant Women's Experiences of Crisis Pregnancy Centers: When Abortion Stigmatization Succeeds and Fails.
    Katrina Kimport.
    Symbolic Interaction. March 12, 2019
    --- - |2 There is broad consensus that abortion is stigmatized, but the role of interpersonal interaction in this process is underspecified. I examine interviews with 25 women in the United States who visited crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs)—antiabortion organizations that offer one‐on‐one “prolife counseling”—for how and when interactions matter for abortion stigmatization. I identify two primary ways CPC counselors stigmatized abortion and describe variation in their impact: counselors' efforts were “successful,” were misrecognized as ideologically‐neutral, or were resisted. The findings demonstrate the importance of women's current consideration of abortion and preexisting beliefs for understanding how interpersonal interactions contribute to abortion stigma. - 'Symbolic Interaction, EarlyView. '
    March 12, 2019   doi: 10.1002/symb.418   open full text
  • Tip Work: Examining the Relational Dynamics of Tipping beyond the Service Counter.
    Eli R. Wilson.
    Symbolic Interaction. February 10, 2019
    --- - |2 Tips constitute a growing form of income for roughly three million American workers today. While existing scholarship on tipping focuses on worker‐customer dynamics, it neglects the implications of gratuities beyond the service counter. Drawing on the case of restaurant workers in Los Angeles, this study analyzes tip work, the bundle of social relations and labor experiences framed by tips in commercial settings. I argue that tipping strains relations between subgroups of workers who, despite collectively producing service, are subject to unequal access to tip earnings. Tips thereby shape relations among workers in ways that exacerbate existing organizational and social hierarchies. - 'Symbolic Interaction, EarlyView. '
    February 10, 2019   doi: 10.1002/symb.413   open full text
  • Professional Socialization as Embedded Elaborations: Experience, Institutions, and Professional Culture Throughout Teacher Careers.
    Judson G. Everitt, Taylor Tefft.
    Symbolic Interaction. December 26, 2018
    --- - |2 Across a wide range of studies on professional socialization, there is a shared assumption that people carry forward what they learn in formal training experiences and somehow bring it to bear on the subsequent organizational settings they enter. Yet we actually know very little about whether, and exactly how, people carry forward the meanings they develop as part of their professional socialization experience. We address this gap in the literature by examining professional socialization that unfolds over the teaching career. Combining interview data with public and private school teachers across career stages with ethnographic data of a university‐based teacher education program, we examine how the meanings people develop about their work are shaped concomitantly by accumulated experience and institutional settings. We develop a conceptualization of professional socialization that we call embedded elaborations, which attends to the ways that people's ongoing meaning making (or elaborations) is situated (or embedded) institutionally and temporally. We also show how embedded elaborations act as meaning‐making processes through which people in local settings actively produce and reproduce elements of a wider professional culture. - 'Symbolic Interaction, EarlyView. '
    December 26, 2018   doi: 10.1002/symb.409   open full text
  • Escort Clients' Sexual Scripts and Constructions of Intimacy in Commodified Sexual Relationships.
    Zoey Jones, Stacey Hannem.
    Symbolic Interaction. November 08, 2018
    --- - |2 This article draws on fourteen in‐depth semi‐structured interviews with men who hire female escorts to examine the role of intimacy in their interactions with sex workers. Using the concept of social scripting, we examine the cultural, interpersonal, and intrapsychic meanings that shape the commodified sexual interaction. Focusing on the clients' intrapsychic scripts, we argue that previous typologies of client behavior ignore the role of intimacy and the meaning that individuals ascribe to their own experiences and actions. We suggest a typology of clients that goes beyond previous classifications of “regular” and “non‐regular”—the latter referred to as a “hummingbird” client from the perspective of one sex worker. Our four‐part typology of committed regulars, hybrids, searchers, and industry insiders takes into account the role of intimacy along with the client's perception of frequency and motive, even in seemingly casual sexual encounters. A video abstract is available at - 'Symbolic Interaction, Volume 41, Issue 4, Page 488-512, November 2018. '
    November 08, 2018   doi: 10.1002/symb.379   open full text
  • Deservingness, Deadbeat Dads, and Responsible Fatherhood: Child Support Policy and Rhetorical Conceptualizations of Poverty, Welfare, and the Family.
    Brittany Pearl Battle.
    Symbolic Interaction. November 08, 2018
    --- - |2 Since 1974, the U.S. federal government has passed more than 30 pieces of legislation related to child support. Such policies have significant implications for children and their custodial and noncustodial parents. I examine the evolution of these policies since the 1970s through cultural conceptualizations of poverty, welfare, and the family in presidential rhetoric. Using written and oral presidential statements from 1970 to 2011 as a symbolic representation of the nation's collective attention, I identify three themes—deservingness, deadbeat dads, and responsible fatherhood. These themes correspond with major shifts in child support policy through periods of welfare reform, the criminalization of the noncustodial father, and the strengthening of families, and helped to legitimize substantial shifts in child support policy over time. - 'Symbolic Interaction, Volume 41, Issue 4, Page 443-464, November 2018. '
    November 08, 2018   doi: 10.1002/symb.359   open full text
  • Making the Discovery: The Creativity of Selecting Fiction Manuscripts from the Slush Pile.
    Henrik Fürst.
    Symbolic Interaction. November 08, 2018
    --- - |2 Gatekeeping appears central to creative industries. To better understand gatekeeping, this article introduces a distinction between discovering and justifying the selection of cultural goods. Most research deals with legitimation and justifications for selecting cultural goods. This article draws on American pragmatism to elucidate gatekeepers' discovery of cultural goods under conditions of uncertainty and abundance. The article focuses on the discovery of publishable unsolicited manuscripts. Publishers learn to act upon particular kinds of experiences associated with publishable manuscripts. Gatekeepers learn to abandon preformed ideas of what to look for and instead use either an aesthetic or an efferent reading strategy. In aesthetic reading, a reading flow experience becomes the means to discover manuscripts. Through efferent reading, gatekeepers identify manuscripts as participating in a literary convention and view them either as exceptional within that convention or as adding something to the convention. The qualities of these experiences create the realization of a publishable manuscript; acting on this realization moves the process to the next phase, in which gatekeepers make justifications for selecting or rejecting the manuscript. Gatekeepers discover cultural goods when they have been professionalized and sensitized to produce the “right” type of experiences and creatively act on the qualities of these experiences. - 'Symbolic Interaction, Volume 41, Issue 4, Page 513-532, November 2018. '
    November 08, 2018   doi: 10.1002/symb.360   open full text
  • “They Are Just Like You and Me”: Cultivating Volunteer Sympathy.
    Carissa Froyum.
    Symbolic Interaction. November 08, 2018
    --- - |2 This study demonstrates the centrality of emotion work, especially sympathizing with beneficiaries of help, to sustaining volunteerism. Drawing on data from in‐depth interviews with 42 volunteers and paid volunteer coordinators, it explains how volunteers cultivate sympathy, and thus commitment to helping, by framing beneficiaries as deserving. Volunteers constructed recipients as “deserving” along three dimensions: neediness, blamelessness, and impressionability. However, challenges to deservingness disrupted sympathizing, thereby undercutting volunteers' commitment. But rather than quit, volunteers were able to salvage beneficiaries' deservingness by pointing to authority, elaborating on victimhood, relating beneficiaries to their family and friends, and universalizing risks. Engaging in emotion work reinvested volunteers in volunteering. - 'Symbolic Interaction, Volume 41, Issue 4, Page 465-487, November 2018. '
    November 08, 2018   doi: 10.1002/symb.357   open full text
  • Activating Controlling Images in the Racialized Interaction Order: Black Middle‐Class Interactions and the Creativity of Racist Action.
    Ali Meghji.
    Symbolic Interaction. October 17, 2018
    --- - |2 This paper investigates the link between the racial hierarchy and the racialized interaction order, questioning how controlling images of blackness are mediated in interactions. I explore this through interviews with thirty‐two black British middle‐class individuals, examining their interactions in the professional workplace. I argue that white people often draw on a practical knowledge of “white ignorance” to activate controlling images in their interactions with black professionals. This white ignorance allows for white people to find creative ways to irrationally deploy controlling images, and to adapt controlling images to specific interactional settings. - 'Symbolic Interaction, EarlyView. '
    October 17, 2018   doi: 10.1002/symb.398   open full text
  • Manipulation in Board Game Interactions: Being a Sporting Player.
    Emily Hofstetter, Jessica Robles.
    Symbolic Interaction. October 07, 2018
    --- - |2 Deception and manipulation are expected in strategic gameplay, but how do players negotiate what counts as acceptable kinds of manipulation? We compare three examples from a corpus of 30 hours of competitive board game play, using conversation analysis to examine how players orient to the reasonableness of manipulations. We show that contingencies of timing of the attribution and receipt of the manipulation are as morally concerned as manipulation itself. Players organize their negotiations of acceptability around the concept of a “sporting” player or move. The “sporting” resource shows one situated members' method for collaboratively managing fairness and morality in play. A video abstract is available at‐w6FUxw. - 'Symbolic Interaction, EarlyView. '
    October 07, 2018   doi: 10.1002/symb.396   open full text
  • Values and Public Sociology: A Tension Between Unity and Pluralistic Social Movements.
    J. L. Johnson.
    Symbolic Interaction. October 05, 2018
    --- - - Symbolic Interaction, EarlyView.
    October 05, 2018   doi: 10.1002/symb.389   open full text
  • Big Pictures: Three Books on Social Progress.
    Joel Best.
    Symbolic Interaction. October 01, 2018
    --- - - Symbolic Interaction, EarlyView.
    October 01, 2018   doi: 10.1002/symb.390   open full text
  • Stories that Resonate: A Novel Engagement with Autoethnography.
    Amanda Russell Beattie.
    Symbolic Interaction. October 01, 2018
    --- - - Symbolic Interaction, EarlyView.
    October 01, 2018   doi: 10.1002/symb.392   open full text
  • Social Interaction via Terminals May Mean Termination of the Self.
    Julie B. Wiest.
    Symbolic Interaction. September 27, 2018
    --- - - Symbolic Interaction, EarlyView.
    September 27, 2018   doi: 10.1002/symb.393   open full text
  • Reimagining the Interactionist Analysis of Institutional Action.
    Patrick J. W. McGinty.
    Symbolic Interaction. September 27, 2018
    --- - - Symbolic Interaction, EarlyView.
    September 27, 2018   doi: 10.1002/symb.395   open full text
  • Sounding out Music and Health: Transforming Selfhood and Social Life through Musicking.
    Lee R. Blackstone.
    Symbolic Interaction. September 21, 2018
    --- - - Symbolic Interaction, EarlyView.
    September 21, 2018   doi: 10.1002/symb.394   open full text
  • Small Things Large: How Microsociology Contributes to Understanding the Environment.
    Jeffrey Nash.
    Symbolic Interaction. September 19, 2018
    --- - - Symbolic Interaction, EarlyView.
    September 19, 2018   doi: 10.1002/symb.391   open full text
  • Existential Urgency and Momentous Interactions Via Rap Dreams.
    J. E. Sumerau.
    Symbolic Interaction. September 17, 2018
    --- - - Symbolic Interaction, EarlyView.
    September 17, 2018   doi: 10.1002/symb.388   open full text
  • Finding God in Grain: Crop Circles, Rationality, and the Construction of Spiritual Experience.
    Marcia J. Ghidina.
    Symbolic Interaction. September 17, 2018
    --- - |2 Crop circles, which are intricate geometric patterns cut in fields of grain, have taken on spiritual significance for thousands of people across the globe. Based on field work in southwest England and interviews with believers, I analyze the socially constructed bases of this form of “New Age” spirituality. Using a symbolic interactionist framework, I illustrate how believers define crop circles as spiritual using subjective and normative rationality. Crop circle culture furthers this construction by providing a normative foundation with which to understand and experience the circles, as well as a basis of legitimizing this intersubjective reality to skeptical outsiders. In these ways, and others, spiritual experience is constructed, maintained, and defended by the individual in a subcultural context. - 'Symbolic Interaction, EarlyView. '
    September 17, 2018   doi: 10.1002/symb.386   open full text
  • Learning from the Religious Experiences of Bi+ Trans People.
    J. E. Sumerau, Lain A. B. Mathers, Nik Lampe.
    Symbolic Interaction. September 14, 2018
    --- - |2 This article builds upon emerging studies of bi+ and trans populations to explore the importance of expanding studies of religion and nonreligion beyond an almost entirely cisgender and monosexual focus. Specifically, we utilize the largest qualitative sample of bi+ trans people (n = 249) in sociology to date to explore the ways people in both these populations experience religion. We find that while some bi+ trans people note exceptional positive experiences in religious contexts, they almost entirely experience religion as a source of damnation and trauma. Our analysis speaks to sociologies of (1) gender and (non)religion, (2) sexualities and (non)religion, and (3) (non)religious bi+ and/or trans experience. Our conclusion outlines implications for developing bi+ and trans inclusive studies of religion and nonreligion. - 'Symbolic Interaction, EarlyView. '
    September 14, 2018   doi: 10.1002/symb.387   open full text
  • Two Faces of Self and Emotion in Symbolic Interactionism: From Process to Structure and Culture—And Back.
    Linda E. Francis, Richard E. Adams.
    Symbolic Interaction. August 22, 2018
    --- - |2 During the heyday of modernist sociology, two theories emerged within symbolic interaction, each attempting to refine and extend aspects of Mead's framework: Affect Control Theory and Identity Theory. The similarities between these two different theories have led to confusion as well as speculation about their continuance as separate theories. We trace the development of both, contrast their foci and contributions, and outline paradigmatic changes that may reconcile some differences. In addition, we highlight the growing potential for interface with processual symbolic interactionist work, and the possible benefits for all such “faces” of the framework. - 'Symbolic Interaction, EarlyView. '
    August 22, 2018   doi: 10.1002/symb.383   open full text
  • Co‐Present Conversation as “Socialized Trance”: Talk, Involvement Obligations, and Smart‐Phone Disruption.
    Michael James Walsh, Shannon Jay Clark.
    Symbolic Interaction. August 14, 2018
    --- - |2 In an era where digital and co‐present involvements become entangled, the role of face‐to‐face conversation now vies with mediated communication. Applying insights provided by Erving Goffman, we explore conversational interaction and consider how engrossing face‐to‐face conversation can be understood as a form of socialized trance. We explore how this interaction represents one type of “involvement obligation” that can become disrupted and, increasingly, uniquely impacted by mediated involvements that are enabled through mobile and “smart” devices. The crux of the argument is considered in the context of a burgeoning digital era where conversation is found to become meshed together in uneven ways with mediated interaction. We highlight the efficacy of Goffman's approach with regards to the current information environment, providing insights into how engrossing conversation and its involvement obligations are impacted by mediated interactions and how breaches of conduct are experienced. A video abstract is available at - 'Symbolic Interaction, EarlyView. '
    August 14, 2018   doi: 10.1002/symb.382   open full text
  • The Medium and the Message.
    Liz Stanley.
    Symbolic Interaction. August 10, 2018
    --- - - Symbolic Interaction, EarlyView.
    August 10, 2018   doi: 10.1002/symb.384   open full text
  • Beyond the Sirens and Lights: The Technologically Governed Work of Emergency Medical Services.
    Carley Geiss.
    Symbolic Interaction. August 10, 2018
    --- - - Symbolic Interaction, EarlyView.
    August 10, 2018   doi: 10.1002/symb.385   open full text
  • Issue Information.

    Symbolic Interaction. August 07, 2018
    --- - - Symbolic Interaction, Volume 41, Issue 3, Page 289-290, August 2018.
    August 07, 2018   doi: 10.1002/symb.332   open full text
  • Audience Design and Context Discrepancy: How Online Debates Lead to Opinion Polarization.
    Tony Zhiyang Lin, Xiaoli Tian.
    Symbolic Interaction. July 19, 2018
    --- - "\nThis article examines how the technical layout of some online platforms shapes the way individuals engage in public debate online. To do so, the research studies an empirical case of how public debating on Weibo—China's equivalent to Twitter—leads to opinion polarization. The technical layout of Weibo strongly influences how users debate with others. The thread‐based message structure fragments the interactional context, preventing users from gaining a clear picture about other discussants and the ongoing conversation. Weibo's technical design, which enables simultaneous interactions with multiple audiences (of which many users are unaware), further complicates the debates. Consequently, users become confused about their audience and where their replies are targeted, and subsequent interpersonal tension sparks as they adopt interactive strategies (sharing personal experiences, adding situational elaborations, and seeking solidarity through opinion) to reduce this confusion. Ironically, these strategies often serve to further polarize opinions. A video abstract is available at \n\n" - 'Symbolic Interaction, EarlyView. '
    July 19, 2018   doi: 10.1002/symb.381   open full text
  • Post‐Cognitive Embodied and Artifact Rich Conversational Video Analysis Informed Linguistic Anthropology as Studies of Co‐Operative Action.
    K. Neil Jenkings.
    Symbolic Interaction. July 18, 2018
    --- - - Symbolic Interaction, EarlyView.
    July 18, 2018   doi: 10.1002/symb.380   open full text
  • Midcentury America through the Eyes and Ears of Popular Music.
    Joseph A. Kotarba.
    Symbolic Interaction. July 16, 2018
    --- - - Symbolic Interaction, EarlyView.
    July 16, 2018   doi: 10.1002/symb.374   open full text
  • (Gay) Sex, Lies, and Videotape: This Ain't Your Standard Ethnography.
    Christopher T. Conner.
    Symbolic Interaction. June 15, 2018
    --- - - Symbolic Interaction, EarlyView.
    June 15, 2018   doi: 10.1002/symb.371   open full text
  • Shedding Light on Nightmarish Social Problems.
    David L. Altheide.
    Symbolic Interaction. June 15, 2018
    --- - - Symbolic Interaction, EarlyView.
    June 15, 2018   doi: 10.1002/symb.373   open full text
  • The Future as a Sociological Problem.
    Robert Dingwall.
    Symbolic Interaction. June 14, 2018
    --- - - Symbolic Interaction, EarlyView.
    June 14, 2018   doi: 10.1002/symb.372   open full text
  • Tragedy of a Breakthrough: The Iowa School of Symbolic Interaction in Autobiographical Narratives.
    Andrea Ploder.
    Symbolic Interaction. May 25, 2018
    --- - - Symbolic Interaction, EarlyView.
    May 25, 2018   doi: 10.1002/symb.368   open full text
  • Ethnography Cross‐Examined.
    Paul Atkinson.
    Symbolic Interaction. May 25, 2018
    --- - - Symbolic Interaction, EarlyView.
    May 25, 2018   doi: 10.1002/symb.370   open full text
  • Outside The Interactionist Mainstream: The Contributions of Orrin E. Klapp.
    Joel Best.
    Symbolic Interaction. May 25, 2018
    --- - |2 Orrin E. Klapp was a member of the Second Chicago School. He was a prolific scholar who remained active for decades. He is best known for his early analyses of social types; his later work offers broad social criticism about the search for meaning in contemporary society. Although he was an original thinker, he has had a limited influence on interactionist thought. This paper reviews his key ideas. It then uses the concept of collective selection—which itself central to Klapp's writings—to explain how the social organization of scholarship has kept Klapp on the periphery of interactionism. - Symbolic Interaction, EarlyView.
    May 25, 2018   doi: 10.1002/symb.369   open full text
  • Sports/Medicine: Partners in Crime?
    Gary Alan Fine.
    Symbolic Interaction. May 16, 2018
    --- - - Symbolic Interaction, EarlyView.
    May 16, 2018   doi: 10.1002/symb.367   open full text
  • Vanishing Act: The Social Costs of Invisible Labor.
    Martha Copp.
    Symbolic Interaction. May 16, 2018
    --- - - Symbolic Interaction, EarlyView.
    May 16, 2018   doi: 10.1002/symb.366   open full text
  • “A Give Grief Kind of Guy”: Help‐Seeking, Status, and the Experience of Helpers at a University IT Help Desk.
    J. Lotus Seeley.
    Symbolic Interaction. May 07, 2018
    --- - |2 Returning the helper to studies of help‐seeking highlights how organizational status is interactionally (re)produced. Using interview and ethnographic data of IT support workers in a medical school, I illuminate how organizational status hierarchies develop independently of organizational rank or authority. Status both structures and is (re)produced through requestors' enactment of deference and/or face‐threatening acts; backstage interpretive processes among helpers naturalize and legitimate status‐based interaction styles. High‐status requestors' failure to protect helpers' face does not flow naturally from organizational status but is the result of active meaning‐making processes with meso‐level implications. - 'Symbolic Interaction, EarlyView. '
    May 07, 2018   doi: 10.1002/symb.365   open full text
  • Not So Evident, after all.
    Dagmar Danko.
    Symbolic Interaction. May 02, 2018
    --- - - Symbolic Interaction, EarlyView.
    May 02, 2018   doi: 10.1002/symb.364   open full text
  • All You Need to Know About Social Identity.
    Lisa Flower.
    Symbolic Interaction. April 14, 2018
    --- - - Symbolic Interaction, EarlyView.
    April 14, 2018   doi: 10.1002/symb.363   open full text
  • The Lessons to be Learned from a (Re)Introduction to Covert Research: Ethics beyond Informed Consent.
    Robin James Smith.
    Symbolic Interaction. April 14, 2018
    --- - - Symbolic Interaction, EarlyView.
    April 14, 2018   doi: 10.1002/symb.362   open full text
  • Classic Grounded Theory—The Latest Version: Interpretation of Classic Grounded Theory as a Meta‐Theory for Research.
    Krzysztof T. Konecki.
    Symbolic Interaction. March 30, 2018
    --- - |2 In this paper, I critically and analytically describe the book Classic Grounded Theory: Applications with Qualitative and Quantitative Data (Holton and Walsh 2017). I also offer reflections on the development of grounded theory methodology, and on the (in)consistencies of its procedures and epistemological assumptions. Finally, I offer some possibilities for developing classic grounded theory based on the proposals included in the book. - Symbolic Interaction, EarlyView.
    March 30, 2018   doi: 10.1002/symb.361   open full text
  • A Tale of War Between Masculinity and Sensitivity.
    Thomas Roulet.
    Symbolic Interaction. March 12, 2018
    --- - - Symbolic Interaction, EarlyView.
    March 12, 2018   doi: 10.1002/symb.355   open full text
  • Narratives in the Flesh, Online.
    Keegan Lukas Mills.
    Symbolic Interaction. March 12, 2018
    --- - - Symbolic Interaction, EarlyView.
    March 12, 2018   doi: 10.1002/symb.356   open full text
  • Interaction Mechanics: Communicative Practices of an Auto‐Repair Shop Owner.
    K. Neil Jenkings.
    Symbolic Interaction. March 12, 2018
    --- - - Symbolic Interaction, EarlyView.
    March 12, 2018   doi: 10.1002/symb.354   open full text
  • Imitation of Life.
    Robert Wade Kenny.
    Symbolic Interaction. March 01, 2018
    --- - - Symbolic Interaction, EarlyView.
    March 01, 2018   doi: 10.1002/symb.353   open full text
  • “And What Do You Do for a Living?” Reflections on Making a Life in the University.
    Leslie Irvine.
    Symbolic Interaction. February 26, 2018
    --- - - Symbolic Interaction, Volume 41, Issue 3, Page 437-439, August 2018.
    February 26, 2018   doi: 10.1002/symb.352   open full text
  • Social Movements from the Bottom‐up: Diversity, Identity, and Participation in the Shetkari Sanghatana Movement.
    Lakshmi Srinivas.
    Symbolic Interaction. February 22, 2018
    --- - - Symbolic Interaction, Volume 41, Issue 3, Page 434-436, August 2018.
    February 22, 2018   doi: 10.1002/symb.351   open full text
  • The Queer Code of the Street.
    Christopher T. Conner.
    Symbolic Interaction. February 08, 2018
    --- - - Symbolic Interaction, Volume 41, Issue 3, Page 431-433, August 2018.
    February 08, 2018   doi: 10.1002/symb.350   open full text
  • Doing and Writing Culture as Ordinary Action and Interaction: Collected Essays.
    Will Gibson.
    Symbolic Interaction. February 06, 2018
    --- - - Symbolic Interaction, Volume 41, Issue 3, Page 421-424, August 2018.
    February 06, 2018   doi: 10.1002/symb.347   open full text
  • On the Grand Bazaar of Monies.
    Arne Dressler.
    Symbolic Interaction. January 25, 2018
    --- - - Symbolic Interaction, Volume 41, Issue 3, Page 428-430, August 2018.
    January 25, 2018   doi: 10.1002/symb.348   open full text
  • Agency‐Without‐Choice: The Visual Rhetorics of Long‐Acting Reversible Contraception Promotion.
    Emily S. Mann, Patrick R. Grzanka.
    Symbolic Interaction. January 25, 2018
    --- - |2 This manuscript reports the findings of a critical visual discourse analysis of long‐acting reversible contraception (LARC) promotion materials. The authors argue that these contemporary LARC promotion images produce a discourse they identify as “agency‐without‐choice,” in which LARC devices are framed as the only responsible contraceptive option precisely because they are so empowering. The authors situate LARC promotion within its historical and transnational travels and suggest that LARC promotion be understood within the context of twenty‐first century neoliberalism. Finally, they consider the implications of agency‐without‐choice in terms of ongoing scholar‐activism for reproductive justice. A video abstract is available at - Symbolic Interaction, Volume 41, Issue 3, Page 334-356, August 2018.
    January 25, 2018   doi: 10.1002/symb.349   open full text
  • The Social Promise of Economic Reproduction.
    Jakob Christian Jekat.
    Symbolic Interaction. January 10, 2018
    --- - - Symbolic Interaction, Volume 41, Issue 3, Page 425-427, August 2018.
    January 10, 2018   doi: 10.1002/symb.343   open full text
  • Narrative Methods for Differential Diagnosis in a Case of Autism.
    Jason Turowetz, Douglas W. Maynard.
    Symbolic Interaction. December 19, 2017
    --- - |2 Diagnosis is rarely a straightforward process. This is especially so in psychiatry, where diagnoses are not based on organic biomarkers (e.g., blood tests). Diagnosis can be particularly complicated for children, whose symptoms must be disentangled from typical developmental processes. In this paper, we examine how clinicians use narrative as a method for differentiating a child's autism from a possible co‐morbid seizure disorder. Our approach is conversation analysis, and we show that narrative is a pervasive and endogenous practice for producing warrantable diagnostic knowledge about patients and, as such, forms part of what we term “the practical epistemology of clinical work.” - Symbolic Interaction, Volume 41, Issue 3, Page 357-383, August 2018.
    December 19, 2017   doi: 10.1002/symb.344   open full text
  • “Sociologist as Hero”? Robert Park, the Chicago School, and the Origin and Destination of Sociology.
    Shane Blackman.
    Symbolic Interaction. December 08, 2017
    --- - - Symbolic Interaction, Volume 41, Issue 3, Page 411-414, August 2018.
    December 08, 2017   doi: 10.1002/symb.346   open full text
  • Generic Processes in Aligning the Multiple Bases of Identity: The Case of Becoming a Ministry Student.
    Arthur McLuhan.
    Symbolic Interaction. December 08, 2017
    --- - |2 Identity theory distinguishes three bases of identity—role, group, and person—but studies have typically focused on one identity at a time. The interrelationship among the multiple bases of identity remains understudied. This study examines the multiple bases of identity individuals engage on their way to becoming ministry students. The results reveal the advantage of examining the multiple bases of identity as subcultural processes, the utility of qualitative research for expanding the empirical scope of identity theory, and the possibility of employing structural symbolic interactionist concepts within a processual symbolic interactionist agenda. - Symbolic Interaction, Volume 41, Issue 3, Page 311-333, August 2018.
    December 08, 2017   doi: 10.1002/symb.345   open full text
  • The Chessworld and Its Tiny Publics.
    Taylor Price.
    Symbolic Interaction. November 08, 2017
    --- - - Symbolic Interaction, Volume 41, Issue 3, Page 418-420, August 2018.
    November 08, 2017   doi: 10.1002/symb.342   open full text
  • The Great Sociological Eye, Then and Now.
    Alex Dennis.
    Symbolic Interaction. November 08, 2017
    --- - - Symbolic Interaction, Volume 41, Issue 3, Page 415-417, August 2018.
    November 08, 2017   doi: 10.1002/symb.341   open full text
  • Narrative Manhood Acts: Batterer Intervention Program Graduates' Tragic Relationships.
    Douglas Schrock, Janice McCabe, Christian Vaccaro.
    Symbolic Interaction. October 30, 2017
    --- - |2 We analyze how twenty graduates of a Batterer Intervention Program constructed autobiographical stories about their relationships with women they assaulted. We focus on the presentation of gendered selves via narrative manhood acts, which we define as self‐narratives that signify membership in the category “man” and the possession of a masculine self. We also show how graduates constructed self‐narratives as a genre that was oppositional to organizational narratives: rather than adopting the program's domestic violence melodrama or preferred conversion narrative, graduates used the larger culture—especially “bitch” imagery and sometimes racialized discourse—to construct tragedies. Our study demonstrates the usefulness of narrative analysis for research on batterers' accounts and manhood acts, and also shows how oppositional genre‐making can be a method to resist organizational narratives. - Symbolic Interaction, Volume 41, Issue 3, Page 384-410, August 2018.
    October 30, 2017   doi: 10.1002/symb.340   open full text
  • Driving to Work: The Front Seat Work of Paramedics to and from the Scene.
    Michael K. Corman.
    Symbolic Interaction. October 09, 2017
    --- - |2 The work paramedics do in the front of the ambulance on their way to and from the scene is central to the safety and well‐being of both paramedics and patients. However, most research on paramedics and emergency medical services assumes rather than empirically explores the actual happenings of what paramedics do in the front of their ambulance. In this article, I move beyond this taken‐for‐granted understanding of front‐seat work by taking readers in the front of the ambulance and exploring the hidden work paramedics do on their way to and from the scene. I draw on data from an institutional ethnography into the socially organized work and work settings of paramedics, which included over 200 hours of observations and over 100 interviews with paramedics. This article adds to research on the sociology of work and health and illness by focusing explicitly on how paramedics give meaning to their work setting, the social conditions and relations central to their work practices, and how their work knowledge is actually put into practice. In doing so, I shed light on an ever‐important occupational group in health care that has garnered little sociological attention to date. - Symbolic Interaction, Volume 41, Issue 3, Page 291-310, August 2018.
    October 09, 2017   doi: 10.1002/symb.335   open full text
  • Central Bank Transparency as a Dialogical Accomplishment.
    Petr Kaderka, Ivan Leudar, Jiří Nekvapil.
    Symbolic Interaction. September 19, 2017
    This paper is a case study of the Czech central bank's communication with the public following the bank's decision to devalue the Czech currency. The aim is to contribute to knowledge of how central banks discharge their obligations to be transparent in communicating controversial decisions and actions. It is argued that transparency cannot be considered an individual act of the bank, but a joint dialogical accomplishment, which includes, among others, media and the public. The analysis of the interactions shows that the concepts of “dialogical networks” and “practical historians” are useful tools for elucidating how controversies in media develop over time.
    September 19, 2017   doi: 10.1002/symb.336   open full text
  • “Oh My God, I Sound Like a Horrible Person”: Generic Processes in the Conditional Acceptance of Sexual and Gender Diversity.
    J.E. Sumerau, Eric Anthony Grollman, Ryan T. Cragun.
    Symbolic Interaction. August 25, 2017
    This article outlines a generic process in the reproduction of inequality that we name “conditional acceptance.” Based on 20 in‐depth interviews with cisgender, heterosexual Christian women who support same‐sex marriage legalization, supplemented with reviews of LGBT, religious, and inequalities scholarship, we demonstrate how members of dominant groups may maintain boundaries that facilitate the persistence of social inequality by conditionally accepting members of marginalized groups. Specifically, our findings suggest that respondents both created the appearance of tolerance and maintained the devaluation of LGBT people by (1) supporting equality with a few caveats, (2) suggesting acceptance of those who cannot help being abnormal, (3) arguing that social change was not their responsibility, (4) defining sexual and gender difference as a personal choice, and (5) asserting that they could hate the sin while loving the sinner. In conclusion, we argue that examining processes of conditional acceptance may provide insight into (1) the persistence of social inequality despite social movement victories, and (2) the importance of integrating existing scholarship focused on sexual, gendered, and religious boundary maintenance.
    August 25, 2017   doi: 10.1002/symb.326   open full text
  • Helpers “Here on the Front Lines”: Welfare‐to‐Work Managers' Moral Identity Work.
    Tiffany Taylor, Brianna Turgeon, Christi L. Gross.
    Symbolic Interaction. August 15, 2017
    Using data drawn from telephone interviews with Ohio Works First program managers (N = 69), we examine managers' moral identity work. This work included using militarized rhetoric to evoke moral identities as honorable workers. It also involved signifying helper/helpful moral identities by defining what it means to be helpful, legitimating their helper identity through connections to caseworkers, and affirming their identity through telling success stories. Additionally, managers implicitly othered clients they viewed as needy and politicians they considered to be out‐of‐touch. Our research contributes to the literature on welfare‐to‐work, but also more broadly to our understanding of moral identity work and implicit othering.
    August 15, 2017   doi: 10.1002/symb.315   open full text
  • “Basically it's the Usual Whole Teen Girl Thing”: Stage‐of‐Life Categories on a Children and Young People's Helpline.
    Jakob Cromdal, Susan Danby, Michael Emmison, Karin Osvaldsson, Charlotte Cobb‐Moore.
    Symbolic Interaction. July 21, 2017
    This article explores the practices of membership categorization in the interactions of clients and counselors on a national Australian helpline (Kids Helpline [KHL]) for children and young persons. Our focus is on membership categories drawn from three membership category devices (MCDs): stage‐of‐life (SOL), age, and family. Analysis draws on data across different contact modalities—email and web‐counseling sessions—to examine how category‐generated features are relevantly occasioned, attended to, and managed by the parties in the course of interaction. This shows clients' use of MCDs in presenting their trouble and building a relevant case for their grievance. By examining counselors' subsequent receipts of the clients' complaints, we are able to trace some of the cultural knowledge that the clients' categorizations make relevant to the counselors. Moreover, the analysis demonstrates how the inherent flexibility of MCDs allows counselors to exploit these same categorial resources and to re‐specify the clients' trouble in a more positive fashion to accomplish counseling work. In explicating how taken‐for‐granted notions of the lifespan as well as of family relations are mobilized by participants in KHL's sessions, the findings contribute to previous studies of social interaction in counseling, and to research on social identity and categorization more broadly.
    July 21, 2017   doi: 10.1002/symb.320   open full text
  • Playing the Interrogation Game: Rapport, Coercion, and Confessions in Police Interrogations.
    Gary C. David, Anne Warfield Rawls, James Trainum.
    Symbolic Interaction. July 16, 2017
    The United States is having an “interrogation moment,” where increasing attention is being paid to what happens when suspects are questioned by the police. The manner in which confessions are secured can go directly to a society's sense of justice and fairness, as nowhere are positions of power and vulnerability so pronounced as in the interrogation room. This paper contributes to our understanding of police interrogation through discussing what we refer to as playing the interrogation game. We explore how rapport‐building helps to create a sense of collaboration between suspect and police. However, once a suspect agrees to answer questions and waives Miranda rights, the game changes. The new game can be more adversarial, aiming for the suspect to give a confession usable toward prosecution. We discuss how police, by knowing and shaping the rules of the interrogation game, have an advantage in the game which makes it very difficult for the suspect to win. Finally, we propose a number of recommendations that could foster a better balance in playing the game. A video abstract is available at
    July 16, 2017   doi: 10.1002/symb.317   open full text
  • Doing Gender Beyond the Binary: A Virtual Ethnography.
    Helana Darwin.
    Symbolic Interaction. July 14, 2017
    This article advances the “doing gender” framework by highlighting some unique interactive challenges that nonbinary individuals encounter within the binary gender system. In order to access testimony about these experiences from a large group of people, this study turns to a genderqueer community on the social media site Reddit. Discourse analysis of discussion threads and content analysis of selfies reveal various symbolic mechanisms through which nonbinary people do, redo, and undo gender. These findings illuminate a range of strategies that people utilize to negotiate gender attribution within the gender binary system. A video abstract is available at
    July 14, 2017   doi: 10.1002/symb.316   open full text
  • “Gimme a Pigfoot and a Bottle of Beer”: Food as Cultural Performance in the Aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
    Daina Cheyenne Harvey.
    Symbolic Interaction. July 14, 2017
    In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and the federal levee failures, hundreds of thousands of volunteers went to New Orleans to help rebuild. Food was quickly used as a way to welcome volunteers, to compensate them for their hard work, to celebrate progress in rebuilding community, and to interact with others. In time, however, the giving and consuming of food was renegotiated. Volunteers coming to New Orleans expected meals representative of New Orleans's foodways. This article looks at the cultural performance of food in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. In particular, I analyze the symbolic exchanges of food in what I call performances of reciprocity and performances of solidarity. This study adds to the burgeoning work in symbolic interaction on food, especially as it pertains to progressive spaces of cultural politics.
    July 14, 2017   doi: 10.1002/symb.318   open full text
  • Cooperative Accounts: Avoiding Conflict and Repairing Social Relations.
    Stephen C. Poulson, Timothy J. Carter, Daniel M. Crowley.
    Symbolic Interaction. July 14, 2017
    The analytical concept of accounts has long presented sociologists with an excellent tool for the study of talk. Nonetheless, studies of accounts often neglect the fact that cooperation is common when an account for untoward behavior is constructed. Many studies tend to flatten the process of how accounts are created by routinely describing them as being “offered” by offenders and then “evaluated” by reproachers. We assume that accounts are often negotiated between parties as a means of avoiding conflict and preserving a relationship. As such, this paper develops the concept of cooperative accounts that are offered to (or projected upon) offenders as a means of explaining their untoward behavior. While also examining hostile accounts, this paper concentrates on developing the cooperative account in order to investigate more fully Scott and Lyman's (1968) argument that accounts are crucial for managing conflict and maintaining social order. Because offering cooperative accounts to others is a routine social interaction their examination provides an opportunity to reanchor the study of accounts back into the symbolic interactionist tradition.
    July 14, 2017   doi: 10.1002/symb.314   open full text
  • Social Network Challenges to Reducing Consumption: The Problem of Gift Giving.
    Janet A. Lorenzen.
    Symbolic Interaction. July 05, 2017
    Social networks are typically associated with recruitment tactics. In this article, I offer an additional perspective on social networks as a constraint to social change and an under‐recognized challenge to reducing consumption. I draw on 45 interviews with: voluntary simplifiers, religious environmentalists, and green home owners. Informants, failing to withdraw from gift‐giving networks, instead (1) negotiate a reduction in gift giving, (2) green gift giving, and (3) attempt to transform gift giving into a tactic for lifestyle change. Rather than viewing social networks as channels for cultural cohesion, I argue that we need to better conceptualize the way culture and networks are co‐constituted by tactics of influence within areas of contention.
    July 05, 2017   doi: 10.1002/symb.312   open full text
  • Scared to Death: Reflections on Panic and Anxiety in the Field.
    Ashleigh E. McKinzie.
    Symbolic Interaction. June 02, 2017
    This paper examines reflections about researcher emotions and the experience of having panic attacks and panic disorder as a result of fieldwork. Anxiety and panic are sparsely discussed in methodological appendices and handbooks about qualitative research, and the embodiment of mental health in the field has received even less attention. I have two aims in the paper: to describe the experience of panic attacks and to open a discussion about panic and anxiety attacks in the field. The failure to address mental health problems as a result of fieldwork can negatively impact expert and fledgling ethnographers, and should be remedied.
    June 02, 2017   doi: 10.1002/symb.298   open full text
  • Stigmatized Identities: Too Muslim to Be American, Too American to Be Muslim.
    Patrick Michael Casey.
    Symbolic Interaction. June 02, 2017
    In the United States today, Muslim identity is highly stigmatized. Much of this can be attributed to an increasing climate of Islamophobia. The current study finds that some Muslim Americans are confronted with another source of stigma: other Muslims. Using interview data with 23 Muslim Americans in and around Houston, TX, this study examines the intersection of religious out‐group and in‐group stigma in the lives of Muslim Americans. Findings suggest that stigma comes not only from non‐Muslims, but also from other Muslims. Some Muslim Americans are especially vulnerable to religious in‐group stigma. Those who are most acculturated to non‐Muslim, Western culture often face criticism from Muslim communities, be they inside or outside the United States. These Muslim Americans find that they are not perceived as fully Muslim or fully American, and therefore denied the full benefits of either status while simultaneously bearing the burden of both. This paper articulates the multiple dimensions of stigma faced by Muslims in America.
    June 02, 2017   doi: 10.1002/symb.308   open full text
  • Advancing the Sociology of Empathy: A Proposal.
    Natalia Ruiz‐Junco.
    Symbolic Interaction. May 19, 2017
    Empathy is an increasingly popular term in the public sphere and in academia. Although the common belief is that empathy is a “psychological” topic, sociologists have made important contributions to this conversation. The goal of this article is to provide a theoretical effort in advancing the sociology of empathy. In the first part of the paper, I review classical and contemporary statements on empathy. I identify Charles H. Cooley as an important precursor of the sociology of empathy, and discuss how contemporary interactionists have further developed this notion. Based on these previous insights, I next propose a preliminary framework for the study of the social construction of empathy. This framework is presented in two steps. First, I introduce a vocabulary based on interpretivist concepts: empathy frames, empathy rules, and empathy performances. Next, I coin the idea of empathy paths. I theorize three ideal‐typical empathy paths: self‐transcendent, therapeutic, and instrumental. Throughout this presentation, I use empirical cases to illustrate the applicability of this framework. In the conclusion, I show how sociologists can inform public understandings of the meaning of empathy.
    May 19, 2017   doi: 10.1002/symb.306   open full text
  • Identity Work, Techniques of Neutralization, and Deviance: Exploring the Relationship Among Older Adult Gamblers.
    Jascha Wagner, D'Janna Hamilton, Tammy L. Anderson, Veronica F. Rempusheski.
    Symbolic Interaction. May 19, 2017
    This study investigates the value of techniques of neutralization in understanding how people involved in marginal to widely deviant behaviors perform identity work. Based on 33 in‐depth interviews with older adult gamblers, we show how techniques of neutralization are used to align personal and social identities. We describe the techniques of neutralizations our participants use along a continuum of gambling involvement, showing how techniques differ in variety and content and are contingent on larger narratives about appropriate behaviors, identities, and selves operating in contemporary society. Our research helps to refine sociologists' understandings of relationships between levels of involvement in deviant behaviors and identity work.
    May 19, 2017   doi: 10.1002/symb.304   open full text
  • “The Way That I Look at Things [Is] Different Because It's Me”: Constructing and Deconstructing Narratives About Racialized Sexual Selves.
    Beth Montemurro.
    Symbolic Interaction. May 15, 2017
    Many gender scholars have abandoned the notion that we can explore women's experiences without attention to other identities such as race, class, and/or sexual orientation. Until now, the ways race influences the development of sexual selves has been underexplored. In this paper, I focus on heterosexual women's accounts of the interplay of race, gender, and sexualities. Based on in‐depth interviews with sixty‐two white and African American heterosexual women between the ages of twenty and sixty‐eight, I examine the ways in which narrative work tells a story about the presentation of public sexual selves. I also explore how women's personal narratives are impacted by larger cultural narratives about race. Specifically, through a study of sexuality, I focus on the social construction of “postracialism.”
    May 15, 2017   doi: 10.1002/symb.300   open full text
  • “If I Can Offer You Some Advice”: Rapport and Data Collection in Interviews Between Adults of Different Ages.
    Jessica Vasquez‐Tokos.
    Symbolic Interaction. May 04, 2017
    Reflexively analyzing interactions between myself (young adult woman) and 150 adult research participants, I explore how interviewees responded to the interviewer's perceived age in combination with other social identity categories. Addressing a gap in scholarship on adult‐adult interview interactions, this article examines how age gradations, in combination with other axes of similarity or difference, affect researcher‐interviewee rapport and data acquisition. Racial similarity, regardless of age, unlocked access to the topic of race/ethnicity. Age intersected with gender such that women within a decade of the woman interviewer's age assumed similarity and were communicative. In interviews with similarly‐aged heterosexual men, awareness of sexuality inhibited answers around intimacy. With older interviewees, gender similarity bridged the age chasm with women. In contrast, age and gender difference inspired older men to act paternalistically and give unsolicited advice. Even among adults, interviewees' classification of the interviewer's age contours the interactional dynamic, impacts data acquisition, and reproduces social distinctions.
    May 04, 2017   doi: 10.1002/symb.305   open full text
  • The Aural and Moral Idylls of “Englishness” and Folk Music.
    Lee Robert Blackstone.
    Symbolic Interaction. May 04, 2017
    The idea of “Englishness” is explored as an historical social construction that is subject to ongoing negotiation. Important features of “Englishness” are embedded in the sacralized symbolism of the “rural idyll,” which represents traditional English values. “Landscapes” and “soundscapes” are utilized to construct personal and national identities in periods of “revivalism.” By viewing English folk music through an interactionist framework, responses to the music build upon earlier collective works that have shaped traditional song. “Englishness” is problematized as either an inclusive, or exclusive, identity. Ideational artifacts thus provide a foundation for social action.1
    May 04, 2017   doi: 10.1002/symb.302   open full text
  • The Interactional Construction of Social Authenticity: “Real” Identities and Intergroup Relations in a Transylvania Internet Forum.
    Csilla Weninger, J. Patrick Williams.
    Symbolic Interaction. April 03, 2017
    Authenticity has become an increasingly salient topic within various interactional traditions, including conversational and discourse analysis, discursive psychology, interactional sociolinguistics, pragmatics, and symbolic interactionism. However, there has been remarkably little cross‐fertilization of ideas and concepts. In this study, we consider the relevance of the interactional sociolinguistic concept of relationality for symbolic interactionist theories of authenticity. We first disambiguate two forms of authenticity that are commonly studied but not clearly differentiated in symbolic interactionist research—self‐authenticity, which emphasizes selves, and social authenticity, which emphasizes social identities. We then argue that relationality and its three pairs of interactional tactics—verification and denaturalization, adequation and distinction, and authorization and illegitimation—are particularly useful in conceptualizing social authenticity. We draw on data from an interethnic internet forum to show how members of two ethnic groups, Hungarian and Romanian, employ these relational tactics to authenticate their own ethnicity as the rightful inheritors of a place‐based Transylvanian identity, and to limit the other ethnicity's similar identity work. We then clarify the significance of social authenticity for the interactional study of category‐based identities by widening our discussion to other contestations over social identities in everyday life.
    April 03, 2017   doi: 10.1002/symb.294   open full text
  • Bathrooms, Boundaries, and Emotional Burdens: Cisgendering Interactions Through the Interpretation of Transgender Experience.
    Lain A. B. Mathers.
    Symbolic Interaction. April 03, 2017
    Building on findings demonstrating that social institutions may cisgender realities by creating and enforcing binary notions of gender rooted in cisgender experience, this study examines the ways cisgender people reinforce cisnormative gender binaries in their ongoing interactions. Utilizing interviews with 99 cisgender people, I show how respondents react to a vignette about a gender nonconforming person seeking to use a public bathroom by “cisgendering interactions,” which I define as the process whereby people reassert binary understandings of gender to make sense of transgender experience while placing an unequal emotional burden on transgender and gender nonconforming people to mend the interactional disruption of the gender panic. Additionally, my analysis extends transgender scholarship by demonstrating some ways cisgender people make sense of transgender people in public spaces. In conclusion, I draw out insights for understanding (1) the ways people cisgender their realities in the face of conflicting stimuli, (2) the ways in which emotions are a mechanism of inequality reproduction, and (3) the consequences these actions have for the perpetuation of gender inequality.
    April 03, 2017   doi: 10.1002/symb.295   open full text
  • Construction and Management of Stigma Based on a Voluntary‐Achieved Status.
    Lacey J. Ritter, Koji Ueno.
    Symbolic Interaction. April 03, 2017
    Previous research on stigma has focused on ascribed personal attributes that are either impossible or difficult to change. Less is known, however, about how people voluntarily join stigmatized groups and manage stigma based on an achieved status. This paper sought to answer this question by focusing on stigma management strategies used by a Humans vs. Zombies (HvZ) gaming organization in a southeastern university. Data were collected through four months of fieldwork and twelve interviews with HvZ gamers and moderators. Results showed that gamers' decision to join the group reflected their effort to strengthen a sense of moral worth. Furthermore, in order to keep receiving this benefit and minimize potential costs, they used three strategies to manage their stigma based on the voluntary, achieved status: (1) by “othering” stereotypical members; (2) by challenging the stereotype; and (3) by reappropriating the stigma. As they employed these strategies, gamers drew on social discourses available in the organizational and life course context.
    April 03, 2017   doi: 10.1002/symb.296   open full text
  • The Importance of “Empty Gestures” in Recovery: Being Human Together.
    Astrid Skatvedt.
    Symbolic Interaction. March 07, 2017
    What do clients/patients want or value from their encounters with healthcare providers? Based on ethnographic research conducted with individuals suffering from drug addiction and mental health issues, this article argues that clients/patients treasure “everyday” or “human” interaction with medical staff. Everydayness is accomplished through three generic social processes: **co‐silence, inclusion in back‐stage activity, and physical dramatizations of authenticity. These processes and other ordinary interactional strategies for “being human together” should be seen as vital tools for recovery.
    March 07, 2017   doi: 10.1002/symb.291   open full text
  • Just the “Typical College Diet”: How College Students Use Life Stages to Account for Unhealthy Eating.
    Deborah A. Harris.
    Symbolic Interaction. February 28, 2017
    I performed a qualitative content analysis of 136 college students' food diary reflection papers to examine the accounts used when explaining dietary failures. In addition to common justifications (denials of injury, appeals to higher loyalties, and condemning the condemners) and excuses (denials of responsibility and postponement), diarists referred to their status as a college student and the “typical college student lifestyle” as the major reason for eating an unhealthy diet. Exploring how students use life stages to neutralize stigma adds a new temporal and context‐focused dimension to studies of accounts and provides direction for potential health interventions.
    February 28, 2017   doi: 10.1002/symb.280   open full text
  • “Phil's Calling Grandma… ”: The Role of External Support in Human–Companion Animal Identity Pairings.
    Andrea Laurent‐Simpson.
    Symbolic Interaction. February 28, 2017
    This exploratory paper deals with human–animal role identity pairings such as parent–child or sibling–sibling and the necessity of support from other actors both for the formation of these idiosyncratic identities, as well as for their situational placement in social environments not limited to the nonhuman animal. Taken from a qualitative study examining identity formation counter to the nonhuman animal, I use in‐depth interviews of both people with and without human children to demonstrate how human‐to‐human relationships are formed by categorizing the companion animal as a “child” of sorts within the family structure. These relationships prove integral to the continued development and enactment of identities such as the animal “parent” or the animal “sibling” via three different groups: their own parents, partners, and, in one case, adult siblings. This creates positive affect and commitment to the identity across other social situations. Implications of these findings for identity theory and family research are discussed.
    February 28, 2017   doi: 10.1002/symb.281   open full text
  • Racial Authenticity and Familial Acceptance Among Transracial Adoptees: A Bothersome Bargain of Belonging.
    Devon R. Goss, W. Carson Byrd, Matthew W. Hughey.
    Symbolic Interaction. February 28, 2017
    Transracial adoption in the United States has increased significantly in recent years. Crossing the color line within the intimate familial sphere has important implications for how institutions such as the family enable and constrain individuals' identity work. We explore how transracial family members utilize racial stereotypes and racialist understandings in everyday life, employing 30 in‐depth, life‐story interviews with both transracial adoptees and their white siblings. In attempts to accomplish a sense of belonging and authenticity, we argue that both transracial adoptees of color and their white siblings experience divergent and paradoxical expectations of familial and racial authenticity. We find that although they often utilized “color capital” in a quest for racial authenticity, in certain spaces and environments, they were expected to eschew their nonwhite identity and embrace “acting white” as purported by white family members and their “white debt” approach to racial socialization. This study adds nuance to the question of how families navigate the enduring power of the color line in relation to the reproduction of both material inequalities and racial discrimination.
    February 28, 2017   doi: 10.1002/symb.282   open full text
  • Crisis Rhetoric, Stigma Play: The Contested Status of Humanities Majors on an Elite University Campus.
    Clara S. Lewis.
    Symbolic Interaction. February 28, 2017
    This article extends symbolic interactionist thought on authenticity and stigma allure into the context of higher education in the United States where the status of the humanities is contested. Our abductive analysis of twenty‐nine, semistructured interviews with undergraduates at an elite university reveals that selecting a humanities major has social costs. Yet the students who opt into these majors renegotiate ideologies, practices, and resources in ways that generate meaningful educational experiences. Navigating these problematic situations in which status is threatened enables the social production and personal aesthetic experience of authenticity. These findings add a new evidentiary basis to theory on stigma allure and, in doing so, demonstrate that when rhetorics of crisis collide with the late modern quest for authenticity voluntary stigma can become a powerful, if also unwieldy, resource.
    February 28, 2017   doi: 10.1002/symb.288   open full text
  • Muir, Roosevelt, and Yosemite National Park as an Emergent Sacred Symbol: An Interaction Ritual Analysis of a Camping Trip.
    Timothy J. Curry, Kiernan O. Gordon.
    Symbolic Interaction. February 21, 2017
    We argue that interaction ritual (IR) theory provides a temporal and interactional point of origin from which to trace an influential IR chain that became a deciding factor in the unification of Yosemite Valley and the Mariposa Grove under federal control within present‐day Yosemite National Park. The emotions generated by the rituals of Roosevelt's and Muir's camping trip in May, 1903 in the short term, however, failed to result in a lasting consensus on ideology. This is a point that Roosevelt's lack of support for Muir in the subsequent controversy over the damming of the Hetch Hetchy Valley clearly documents. A video abstract is available at
    February 21, 2017   doi: 10.1002/symb.279   open full text
  • Embodied versus Disembodied Information: How Online Artifacts Influence Offline Interpersonal Interactions.
    Xiaoli Tian.
    Symbolic Interaction. February 15, 2017
    This article examines how the sheer volume of personal information recorded and searchable online (online artifacts) has transformed the situated activity system central to Goffman's dramaturgical theories. In‐depth interviews reveal that individuals believe disembodied information based on online artifacts is a more accurate representation of others than embodied information from spatially and temporally bounded face‐to‐face (FTF) processes because they represent how others have behaved over time and are attested by their online contacts. However, the n‐adic structure of online interaction leads to mismatched expectations about whether disembodied information is taken into account during FTF encounters, and consequently can result in embarrassment.
    February 15, 2017   doi: 10.1002/symb.278   open full text
  • Parenting, Uncertainty, and Expert Advice: How Privileged American Families Work with Private Counselors in Their Children's College Race.
    Ken Chih‐Yan Sun, Jill M. Smith.
    Symbolic Interaction. February 03, 2017
    This article uses privileged families who hire Independent Educational Consultants (IECs) as an instance to examine how privileged parents collaborate with individuals whom they consider educational experts to support their children in the college race. We argue that advantaged parents' anxieties about their children have created a market for IECs who provide expert advice in order to mitigate the uncertainties that these parents experience and to manage various goals that they want to achieve at an important turning point in their children's lives. Drawing primarily on interviews with parents who work with IECs, we introduce the concept of “collaborative cultivation” to analyze the processes whereby advantaged parents rely on the expertise and expert status of private counselors to cope with their and their children's vulnerability in the college race while at the same time preparing their children for the unknown future. The parental method of “concerted cultivation” reveals how elite parents rely on individuals they perceive as experts to establish “bridges” between their own social worlds and the academic worlds that appear to beyond their control. This bridging labor points to the myriad cultural beliefs enacted to justify the child‐rearing goals that privileged parents wish to accomplish by working with IECs.
    February 03, 2017   doi: 10.1002/symb.258   open full text
  • Looking Forward, Looking Back: Collective Memory and Neighborhood Identity in Two Urban Parks.
    Sofya Aptekar.
    Symbolic Interaction. January 12, 2017
    Collective memory and narratives of local history shape the ways people imagine a neighborhood's present situation and future development, processes that reflect tensions related to identity and struggles over resources. Using an urban culturalist lens and a focus on collective representations of place, I compare two nearby New York parks to uncover why, despite many similarities, they support different patterns of meaning making and use. Drawing on ethnographic observation, interviews, and secondary analysis, I show that multi‐vocal and fragmented contexts of collective memory help explain the uneven nature of gentrification processes, with one park serving as its cultural fulcrum while the other is left at the sidelines.
    January 12, 2017   doi: 10.1002/symb.271   open full text
  • Responsibility‐Shifting in a Gambling Environment.
    Cormac Mc Namara.
    Symbolic Interaction. January 04, 2017
    Using data that was collected by observing and speaking with customers and members of staff in betting shops in Dublin, Ireland, this article provides a consideration of how regular customers of betting shops explain their bet related failures to themselves and to those around them. It is suggested in this article that a process of self‐reparation of self‐esteem occurs in betting shops after customers experience monetary losses and that this process is facilitated by shifting responsibility for the losses incurred to factors external to and beyond the control of customers.
    January 04, 2017   doi: 10.1002/symb.274   open full text
  • Navigating the Tavern: Digitally Mediated Connections and Relationship Persistence in Bar Settings.
    Matthew H. Rafalow, Britni L. Adams.
    Symbolic Interaction. December 12, 2016
    The widespread adoption of digital communications technologies has provided new avenues for social interaction to occur. We build on the sociological literature of fleeting encounters in bar settings to show how patrons' use of these technologies augments the bar experience and shapes the social networks that may develop through interaction. Using seven gay, lesbian, and heterosexual bars located in Southern California as research sites, we describe how patrons invoke digital technologies as props to aid the impression management strategies used to facilitate new connections. Second, we demonstrate how these encounters are subject to greater relationship persistence as a result of the way these technologies are used to quickly create a shared history. We conclude by arguing that fleeting encounters are no longer connections that either persist or completely fade away after face‐to‐face interaction. Rather, they often persist through technology‐mediated communications in ways that result in, at minimum, the development of weak ties. This greater relationship persistence can permit more opportunity to get to know a potential partner in digitally mediated settings like Facebook or via texting, but it could also require new strategies to evade interested others given this new lack of ephemerality and the influx of weak ties.
    December 12, 2016   doi: 10.1002/symb.268   open full text
  • Searching for a Narrative of Loss: Interactional Ordering of Ambiguous Grief.
    Maja Sawicka.
    Symbolic Interaction. December 12, 2016
    In this article I analyze the collective management of ambiguous emotions in the case of grief arising from perinatal loss/stillbirth. Based on a content analysis of selected Polish discussion lists for bereaved parents and interviews with moderators of these lists, I conceptualize the experience of grief arising from miscarriage/stillbirth as both culturally “disembedded”—not regulated by a coherent set of feeling and display rules, and interactionally “disenfranchised”—framed by the immediate social surrounding of the bereaved as illegitimate. This study then focuses on subsequent social processes surrounding the collective management of such emotions through interactions within online bereavement communities, leading to the creation of local definitions of the situation of loss and formation of subcultural feeling and display rules of grief. I posit that in a wider perspective these community processes can be seen as grassroots mechanisms that agents use to transform the existing emotional culture of grief.
    December 12, 2016   doi: 10.1002/symb.270   open full text
  • Constructing Hybridized Authenticities in the Gourmet Food Truck Scene.
    Cate Irvin.
    Symbolic Interaction. November 23, 2016
    In this article, I construct three ideal types of identities operating in the New Orleans gourmet food truck industry (Down‐Home, Foreign Foodie type, and Hipster). Using evidence from three years of ethnographic observations, as well as qualitative interviews, I then examine the process of hybridization, in which the two forms of authenticity (food truck and brick‐and‐mortar) blend together, modifying each original authenticity to create a temporal product, hybrid authenticity. The value of this product is derived from the concrete but temporary relations between the product, the producers, the consumers, and the spaces where the product is produced and consumed.
    November 23, 2016   doi: 10.1002/symb.267   open full text
  • Being Authentically American Indian: Symbolic Identity Construction and Social Structure among Urban New Indians.
    Michelle R. Jacobs, David M. Merolla.
    Symbolic Interaction. November 10, 2016
    This study investigates the individual and group level reconstruction of a racial‐ethnic identity. Specifically, we investigate the experience of “new Indians,” or people who did not previously identify as American Indian, but are now reclaiming this racial‐ethnic heritage. Because many new Indians lack both official (tribal and/or federal) recognition of their Indian status and the phenotypic traits associated with Indians in popular culture, their authenticity as American Indians is often questioned in interactions with others. We document how new Indians work to reconstruct the symbolic meaning of authentic Indianness by emphasizing specific values and actions rather than biological lineage. Moreover, we demonstrate how new Indians achieve interactional validation of their redefined Indian identities in the context of a proximate social structure.
    November 10, 2016   doi: 10.1002/symb.266   open full text
  • The Organization of Corrective Demonstrations Using Embodied Action in Sports Coaching Feedback.
    Bryn Evans, Edward Reynolds.
    Symbolic Interaction. November 03, 2016
    Focusing on video recordings of coaching sessions in the context of basketball and powerlifting, this paper investigates how the sports coaching process unfolds as situated interactions. The work of sports coaching is pervasively oriented toward teaching athletes the correct forms of motion and play. Correction then is one of the central constitutive practices of sports training sessions. In this paper, we draw on a collection of instances of correction demonstrations from powerlifting and basketball to describe their order. We demonstrate the three phases of these demonstrations: arranging bodies and gaze for visual access, presenting the error visually, and proposing a correction with an embodied demonstration. Findings underscore the management of shared visual access in multi‐party correction demonstrations. In demonstrating how multiple bodies may be involved in embodied reenactments of a correctable problem, and demonstrating that it is seeing an error, more than reenactment per se, that is necessary for correction activities, the study extends existing understandings both of sports coaching processes and of instructional correction in embodied activities.
    November 03, 2016   doi: 10.1002/symb.255   open full text
  • Interpreting Productivity: Symbolic Negotiation of Gendered Faculty Career Trajectories in the United States.
    Christina R. Steidl, Claire E. Sterk.
    Symbolic Interaction. October 28, 2016
    Growing awareness of gender disparities in rank, retention, and pay of faculty has resulted in a growing body of research seeking to assess the relative impact of factors ranging from publishing rates and funding levels to organizational climate and family responsibilities. However, few studies have focused on the microlevel symbolic processes through which faculty expectations are constructed, communicated to individuals, and applied during evaluations. We analyze in‐depth interview transcripts with mid‐career faculty to explore how faculty interactions result in differing symbolic meanings and interpretations of productivity articulated by male and female faculty members. We find that men articulate more conventional understandings of work and productivity aligned with Acker's (1990) gendered organizational logics, while women describe a more contested symbolic field. Divergent understandings of productivity and the processes by which they are negotiated may play a significant role in the reproduction of gendered faculty career trajectories. Our findings highlight the importance of understanding how social processes contribute to larger patterns of inequality within social institutions.
    October 28, 2016   doi: 10.1002/symb.254   open full text
  • An Interactionist Approach to the Social Construction of Deities.
    J.E. Sumerau, Alexandra C.H. Nowakowski, Ryan T. Cragun.
    Symbolic Interaction. October 18, 2016
    This paper examines the ways people construct and signify deities. Utilizing responses from an ethnographic study as well as analyses of existing studies of religion, we elaborate ways people construct the existence and characteristics of deities by engaging in “deity work,” which we define as the work people do to give meaning to deities as well as to themselves, others, or social phenomena related to deities. In so doing, we demonstrate how people may accomplish this in many settings by engaging in strategies of identity work including (1) defining, (2) coding, and (3) affirming the meanings of a given deity in social interaction. In conclusion, we draw out implications for understanding (1) the importance of examining deity work, and (2) some ways a focus on deity work processes may expand existing religious and interactionist studies.
    October 18, 2016   doi: 10.1002/symb.257   open full text
  • Collective Memory and Social Restructuring in the Case of Traditional Inuit Shamanism.
    Lisa‐Jo K. van den Scott.
    Symbolic Interaction. October 18, 2016
    This article explores the sociological processes of collective memory manipulation in unsettled times by analyzing a case study of the Church's displacement of traditional shamanism in Arviat, Nunavut. Collective memory studies, which examine regime transitions, focus on tracing the path of collective memory, rather than examining the mechanisms used to gain and keep control over collective memory. I argue that three elements are necessary for this kind of control: (1) shifting the “historical horizon” to temporally locate the competing institution firmly in the past within community memory, (2) manipulating the reputation of the competing, soon‐to‐be‐previous institution, and (3) establishing a new moral framework. I center my argument primarily on the accomplishment of these elements using narrative and rhetoric, which emerged through inductive analysis.
    October 18, 2016   doi: 10.1002/symb.261   open full text
  • “It's Only Sport”—The Symbolic Neutralization of “Violence”.
    Christopher R. Matthews, Alex Channon.
    Symbolic Interaction. October 18, 2016
    Within the commodified world of professional ice hockey, athletes sell their bodily performances in return for a salary. A central feature of this transaction is the very real risk of physical injury—a risk inherent within most contact sports, but particularly so within those that feature seemingly “violent” confrontations between competitors, as ice hockey is widely reputed to do. Yet, within the spectacle of sport, where physicality can be constructed as playful and unserious, it is possible for the consequences of such action to be concealed behind a symbolic, ludic veneer. Within this article, we explore this process with a particular focus on ice hockey spectators, for whom notions of sport violence as in some important way “mimetic” of the “real” enabled their propensity to both enjoy, and find moral validation through, potentially deleterious behaviors among athletes.
    October 18, 2016   doi: 10.1002/symb.265   open full text
  • The Habits of Normal, Innocent People, as Construed by the North American Juror.
    David R. Gibson.
    Symbolic Interaction. July 14, 2016
    Deliberating juries draw on commonsense notions of what counts as “normal” behavior in distinguishing facts which are inculpatory from those that lend themselves to more innocent interpretation. Though this is a commonplace observation, prior research has shed little light on the underlying model(s) of normalcy. Taking a generative approach to inculpatory statements made by two real‐life juries deliberating the same case, I first enumerate the distinct assertions made, by implication, about normal, innocent people (NIPs), and then reduce these to a smaller number of rules revolving around the general themes of rationality, emotions, language, and relationships.
    July 14, 2016   doi: 10.1002/symb.242   open full text
  • Editorial Statement on Ethics Review and Data Transparency.

    Symbolic Interaction. July 11, 2016
    There is no abstract available for this paper.
    July 11, 2016   doi: 10.1002/symb.240   open full text
  • Collaborative Music‐Making with Digital Audio Workstations: The “nth Member” as a Heuristic Device for Understanding the Role of Technologies in Audio Composition.
    Phillip Brooker, Wes Sharrock.
    Symbolic Interaction. July 05, 2016
    This article examines amateur music‐making using a digital audio workstation, showing how audio and software are used as resources for creating compositions. The article has two aims. Firstly, to depict how digital music‐making is formed from routine interactional techniques. Secondly, to probe how researchers might account for such multi‐modal activity through a heuristic device: the “nth member.” Whereas sociology has typically been concerned with the cultural facets of how music is made and consumed, we explore the material practices of collaborative song creation utilizing conversation analytic techniques—“turn‐taking” and “next‐selection”—to capture two key interactional moments.
    July 05, 2016   doi: 10.1002/symb.238   open full text
  • Accountability as an Inhabited Institution: Contested Meanings and the Symbolic Politics of Reform.
    Tim Hallett, Emily Meanwell.
    Symbolic Interaction. June 27, 2016
    This paper examines the failed attempt to reauthorize the American educational law known as No Child Left Behind (NCLB) in 2007. Drawing on existing research on cultural processes of policymaking and insights from inhabited institutionalism, we analyze data from 20 congressional hearings, viewing them as social interactions. We find that hearing participants identified problems with strict accountability policies and, in interpreting those problems, introduced alternative meanings, including “NCLB means children left behind.” Our approach stresses the symbolic politics of reform at the meso level of interaction and makes the case for a cultural analysis of policymaking that synthesizes both interactionism and institutionalism.
    June 27, 2016   doi: 10.1002/symb.241   open full text
  • Correcting Behaviors and Policing Emotions: How Behavioral Infractions Become Feeling‐Rule Violations.
    Amanda Barrett Cox.
    Symbolic Interaction. June 22, 2016
    This study examines interactions surrounding the transmission, enforcement, and assessment of compliance with feeling rules. Using ethnographic data, I investigate how actors within an organization that prepares low‐income black and Latino students to attend elite boarding schools serve as both emotional socializers, transmitting particular feeling rules, and emotional gatekeepers, enforcing and assessing compliance with those rules. I find that it was the interactional process surrounding rule reminders—rather than differences in students' behavioral infractions or in the feeling rules themselves—that was most consequential in shaping evaluations of students' compliance with the program's feeling rules. Gendered patterns in these interactions often resulted in male students being treated as behaviorally deviant and female students being treated as emotionally deviant.
    June 22, 2016   doi: 10.1002/symb.239   open full text
  • Goffman, Growing Up, and Experienced Relationality.
    Peter Johnson.
    Symbolic Interaction. May 17, 2016
    This article adopts a Goffmanian framework to grapple with the emotional‐relational experiences associated with teenagers growing up. Drawing upon focus group interviews with 14–15 year olds in East and West Belfast, the lack of full personhood attributed to nonadults is discussed in relation to spatial exclusion and stigmatizing service transactions, along with some emotional consequences. However, instances where teenagers embrace as well as reject this ostensibly negative social positioning are also elaborated. The overall thrust of the article seeks to demonstrate how the hierarchical adult‐child complex is built and maintained through everyday face‐to‐face interaction and the ritualistic expression of standards of worth assigned to participants.
    May 17, 2016   doi: 10.1002/symb.235   open full text
  • Pure Gold for Broken Bodies: Discursive Techniques Constructing Milk Banking and Peer Milk Sharing in U.S. News.
    Shannon K. Carter, Beatriz M. Reyes‐Foster.
    Symbolic Interaction. May 02, 2016
    Technological advances provide increased ability to transfer human tissues—blood, organs, milk—from one body to another. This article analyzes mechanisms of reality construction in U.S. news to construct shared human breast milk. Articles used typifications and human interest stories to convey participants as victims, lay heroes, and villains. Milk banking was portrayed as institutionally integrated through associations, expert testimonies, and formalized procedures, making banked milk “pure gold.” Peer sharing was portrayed as institutionally opposed through institutional warnings, expert testimonies, informal procedures, and hypothetical atrocities, making peer milk “fool's gold.” Findings suggest that “biovalue” of human milk is interconnected with institutional processing.
    May 02, 2016   doi: 10.1002/symb.233   open full text
  • The Symbolic Type Revisited: Semiotics in Practice and the Reformation of the Israeli Commemorative Context.
    Carol A. Kidron, Don Handelman.
    Symbolic Interaction. May 02, 2016
    Revisiting Grathoff's theory of symbolic type (ST), we examine the personal evolution and commemorative work of Tsipi Kichler, a cultural entrepreneur and founder of an alternative Israeli Holocaust museum/geriatric center. As hybrid product of Israeli social cleavages, Kichler exteriorizes her paradoxical vision in the museum aiming to reform Holocaust‐related discourse and practice. Early biographical positioning and resultant contradictions become translated into resistant commemorative performance where serious humor deconstructs the binaries of life/death and past/present. We consider the implications of the ST's self‐referential closure to interaction, and the transformative potential of the alignment of cultural entrepreneurs' personal memory with collective memory.
    May 02, 2016   doi: 10.1002/symb.234   open full text
  • The Turn from “What” to “How”: Garfinkel's Reach Beyond Description.
    Sarah Fenstermaker.
    Symbolic Interaction. April 26, 2016
    John Heritage described Harold Garfinkel's central question as “how do social actors come to know, and know in common what they are doing and the circumstances in which they are doing it.” The case of Agnes illuminates the methods by which members produce intelligible actions and recognizable—even “natural”—gender orderliness. With this central interest as a starting point, this article offers some observations about transgender women in prison and their creative adaptation to life behind bars.
    April 26, 2016   doi: 10.1002/symb.222   open full text
  • How to Be a Good Alcoholic.
    Øystein Skjælaaen.
    Symbolic Interaction. April 24, 2016
    Alcoholism is not one singular thing. It takes many forms, some more dignified and less destructive than others. This article explores how people drinking in the early hours of the day in bars present themselves and their relationship with alcohol and alcoholism. By means of ethnographic data, I analyze their strategies in dealing with the deviant use of alcohol. I find that the early morning drinkers use distinctions along three dimensions: managing drunkenness, taking breaks from drinking, and claiming certain motives for drinking. These distinctions are used in order to position oneself on a normative scale of different types of alcoholics.
    April 24, 2016   doi: 10.1002/symb.224   open full text
  • “Do Some Wondering”: Children and their Self‐Understanding Selves in Early Elementary Classrooms.
    Matt Aronson, Steve Bialostok.
    Symbolic Interaction. April 24, 2016
    Self‐knowledge has been a central theme in many diagnoses of late modernity, and it has cued scholars to investigate everyday situations in which people express reflexive selves. Using participant observation and interview data, we examined two American elementary classrooms where children learn to express a type of “self‐understanding self” called the enterprising child. We suggest that this form of self emerges through classroom talk characterized by the popular pedagogical concept of metacognition, which encourages the learner to be aware of her thinking and learning and, crucially, to express an awareness of herself as a thinker and learner. We emphasize an interactionist view toward the situational self, and argue that how teachers manage classroom discourse socializes children into venerating the dispositional tendencies that correspond with new capitalist workplaces. We conclude by discussing the implications this may have for modern personhood, symbolic inequality in classrooms, and the political economy of linguistic forms.
    April 24, 2016   doi: 10.1002/symb.223   open full text
  • Impression Management, Super PACs and the 2012 Republican Primary.
    Nathan Katz.
    Symbolic Interaction. April 24, 2016
    Super Political Action Committees (PACs) are new organizations within American politics allowing for unlimited donations to candidate campaigns. Super PACs helped make the 2012 Republican primary the most well‐funded primary in American history. Both candidates and Super PACs spend much of their money on televised campaign ads. My study of the 2012 Republican primary expands existing literature concerning political impression management by examining advertising imagery in the era of Super PACs. I developed a typology of performance types from a qualitative content analysis of television advertisements for both candidates and Super PACs. The significance of Super PACs as they interact and overlap with the images of candidate ads calls for analysis of the changing front stage in the political realm.
    April 24, 2016   doi: 10.1002/symb.232   open full text
  • The Importance of Being Agnes.
    Kristen Schilt.
    Symbolic Interaction. April 21, 2016
    Harold Garfinkel's 1950s case study of “Agnes” is broadly understood as the locus classicus of sociological research about transgender people. Drawing on an analysis of unpublished archival materials from Garfinkel and Robert J. Stoller, the lead psychiatrist on Agnes's case, I locate Agnes' experiences at UCLA within a larger history of theorizing about gender and sexuality within the social sciences, and within the emerging field of transgender studies.
    April 21, 2016   doi: 10.1002/symb.231   open full text
  • From Prowar Soldier to Antiwar Activist: Change and Continuity in the Narratives of Political Conversion among Iraq War Veterans.
    David Flores.
    Symbolic Interaction. April 21, 2016
    This study examines conversion narratives of Iraq War military veterans who have become antiwar political activists. I examine how antiwar veterans construct and emplot prewar, wartime, and postwar narrative periods to shape and reclaim their moral identities as patriots fighting for a just cause, and how through a communal antiwar story they work to both challenge and reappropriate the rhetorical framework they associate with justifications for the invasion of Iraq. The study draws on in‐depth interviews with forty members of Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW). In sum, the research describes how veterans engage with dominant narratives, shape new moral identities, and transition from soldiers to political activists.
    April 21, 2016   doi: 10.1002/symb.225   open full text
  • Stories of Non‐Becoming: Non‐Issues, Non‐Events and Non‐Identities in Asexual Lives.
    Susie Scott, Liz McDonnell, Matt Dawson.
    Symbolic Interaction. February 22, 2016
    In contrast to conventional models of positively “becoming” an identity through social interaction, this article explores the inverse, negational process of “non‐becoming,” whereby actors start but do not continue along an identity career trajectory. Through cumulative attrition, interactions and encounters at key moments create an overall pattern of non‐progression. Using asexuality as an example, we identify three main trajectory stages of non‐awareness, communicative negation and non‐consolidation, each involving interactional contingencies. With a wider applicability to other repudiated identities, this model shows how even negational symbolic social objects (non‐issues, non‐events, and non‐identities) are constituted through social interaction.
    February 22, 2016   doi: 10.1002/symb.215   open full text
  • Accomplishing Profession through Self‐Mockery.
    Matthew J. Cousineau.
    Symbolic Interaction. February 22, 2016
    One influential sociological approach to profession has it that a profession is something constructed by social actors themselves and that this work is performed through the swapping of atrocity stories. While atrocity stories are an important resource for constructing profession, they are not the only ones available to social actors. In this article, I draw on field work in an academic engineering research laboratory to document how social actors use self‐mockery to construct profession. They do this in five ways, including through the use of background knowledge to interpret self‐mockery, by reserving self‐mockery for specific conditions separate from conditions where engineering knowledge is put on display, by maintaining a preference for self‐presentations that exclude self‐mockery toward the speaker's self during presentations in lab meetings and lectures in courses, through the selection of locally insignificant selves for mockery, and by assembling their own accounts of self‐mockery.
    February 22, 2016   doi: 10.1002/symb.217   open full text
  • Processes of Place Attachment: An Interactional Framework.
    Jennifer Eileen Cross.
    Symbolic Interaction. October 14, 2015
    How do people form place attachments through interaction with others and with places over time? I propose that there are seven distinct processes through which people form bonds with places. This framework was developed from the analysis of 104 depth interviews conducted in California and Colorado, newspaper and magazine columns and letters, memoirs, and first person essays. This framework proposes that seven distinct processes interact at the individual, group, and cultural level to shape place attachment. Each of the seven processes has a unique nature and develops differently over time and space.
    October 14, 2015   doi: 10.1002/symb.198   open full text
  • The Magic of Oaxaca: An Emotional Geography of Age, Gender and Nation.
    Patricia L. Wasielewski.
    Symbolic Interaction. October 08, 2015
    This study analyzes interviews with expat women in Oaxaca, Mexico. The women use the “magic” of Oaxaca to elude traditional expectations of aging and gender. Oaxaca is crucial for the process of defining themselves as vital and independent in what Massey (1994) calls a progressive sense of place. A translocal emotional geography is constructed. However, the issues of place and nation are more problematic. Efforts to sufficiently enter their various communities in Oaxaca determine the success the women have at overcoming neo‐colonial interactions and assumptions.
    October 08, 2015   doi: 10.1002/symb.186   open full text
  • “He's Doing Fine”: Hope Work and Emotional Threat Management Among Families of Seriously Ill Children.
    Amanda M. Gengler.
    Symbolic Interaction. October 06, 2015
    In this study, I examine how people in emotionally fraught circumstances strategically structure social interactions in order to protect fragile emotional states. Data come from interviews and observations with 18 families of children being treated for life‐threatening conditions at an elite university research hospital. I show how families worked to ward off emotional threats to their ability to maintain hope that their children would recover by preempting and restructuring social interactions with friends and family members and pruning social networks. These efforts allowed families to minimize reciprocal obligations and avoid encountering pessimistic reflected appraisals that might trigger “emotional shortcuts” leading to states of fear and anxiety. Similar efforts to reconstruct social interactions and social networks may be common among those working to maintain fragile emotional states in a variety of challenging circumstances.
    October 06, 2015   doi: 10.1002/symb.195   open full text
  • Enacting Blind Spaces and Spatialities: A Sociological Study of Blindness Related to Space, Environment and Interaction.
    Per Måseide, Håvar Grøttland.
    Symbolic Interaction. October 01, 2015
    Lack of eyesight generates blind spaces. Blind spaces often enacted together with sighted are different from visual spaces in important ways. Sharing physical and social space with sighted may imply special challenges for blind persons with regard to interaction order and social identities. The article is based on ethnographic data with the purpose to describe enactment and management of physical and social spaces for blind born persons in different settings. It focuses on the physical and social plasticity of blind spaces and the mediated, practiced and often toolic relationship between body, self and physical and social environments.
    October 01, 2015   doi: 10.1002/symb.194   open full text
  • The Perpetuation of Neighborhood Reputation: An Interactionist Approach.
    Sarah Zelner.
    Symbolic Interaction. October 01, 2015
    How is neighborhood reputation performed and reproduced? Drawing on ethnographic observation in a Philadelphia neighborhood known for stable racial integration, I show how residents engage in Goffmanian interactional teamwork, particularly deference‐demeanor rituals, that perpetuate the neighborhood's reputation. My observations demonstrate how the ideology of racial integration is collectively performed and maintained through these deference rituals. I show that these deference rituals can also have the unintended and undesirable consequence of maintaining, rather than challenging, preexisting racial hierarchies. This work highlights the tenuous nature of reputations for inclusivity in the face of persistent social inequality.
    October 01, 2015   doi: 10.1002/symb.188   open full text
  • Waiting in the Lower Ninth Ward in New Orleans: A Case Study of the Tempography of Hyper‐Marginalization.
    Daina Cheyenne Harvey.
    Symbolic Interaction. October 01, 2015
    In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina residents were forced to wait. Here the state played a familiar role where waiting is used to dominate or subordinate or further marginalize the poor. Residents of the Lower Ninth Ward, however, used waiting as a basis for interacting with other community members and as a way to structure social life. In doing so, they created a timescape of hyper‐marginalization where waiting became normative. In examining this timescape, I conduct a tempography of the neighborhood and distinguish between three forms of waiting as interaction.
    October 01, 2015   doi: 10.1002/symb.185   open full text
  • Basic‐Level Categories, Mirror Neurons, and Joint‐Attention Schemes: Three Points of Intersection Between G.H. Mead and Cognitive Science.
    Ryan McVeigh.
    Symbolic Interaction. October 01, 2015
    Recent research in cognitive science has provided broad empirical support for the model of cognition and self‐development formulated by G.H. Mead. This is demonstrated specifically through three distinct cognitive mechanisms: basic‐level categories, mirror neurons, and joint‐attention schemes. These mechanisms illustrate a form of embodied sociality that underscores the intersubjective foundation of mind and self articulated by Mead. Research on basic‐level categories, mirror neurons, and joint‐attention schemes further extends Mead's relevance outside standard sociological and social psychological circles to the field of cognitive science and its emerging focus on sociality and social interaction.
    October 01, 2015   doi: 10.1002/symb.200   open full text
  • Here and Now, There and Then: Nostalgia as a Time and Space Phenomenon.
    Janelle Lynn Wilson.
    Symbolic Interaction. September 17, 2015
    This paper provides an overview of nostalgia focusing on the ways in which the nexus of time and space has been theorized. The meta‐analysis presented here highlights the complex, recursive, and nuanced features of the nostalgic experience, suggesting that nostalgia is not only directed toward the past, but also the future.
    September 17, 2015   doi: 10.1002/symb.184   open full text
  • Redefining the Refuge: Symbolic Interactionism and the Emergent Meanings of Environmentally Variable Spaces.
    Braden Leap.
    Symbolic Interaction. September 08, 2015
    I utilize ethnographic data to illustrate how the meanings of a National Wildlife Refuge were being rearticulated following a shift in Canada goose migrations that undermined previously established meanings of the space. Beyond highlighting the ability of symbolic interactionism to incorporate a range of interdisciplinary works on space, I illustrate how the Meadian approach to temporality can be useful for understanding how the meanings of spaces are rearticulated in response to variable socio‐environmental processes like goose migrations or climate change. Through this analysis, I hope to highlight the usefulness of symbolic interactionism for future research on space generally and adaptations to socio‐environmental variabilities specifically.
    September 08, 2015   doi: 10.1002/symb.182   open full text
  • Special Issue on Space and Time.

    Symbolic Interaction. May 12, 2014
    There is no abstract available for this paper.
    May 12, 2014   doi: 10.1002/symb.110   open full text
  • “Why Would Our Heavenly Father Do that to Anyone”: Oppressive Othering through Sexual Classification Schemes in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter‐Day Saints.
    J. Edward Sumerau, Ryan T. Cragun.
    Symbolic Interaction. May 02, 2014
    In this article, we examine how leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter‐Day Saints (LDS or LDS Church) responded to the emergence of homosexuality as a prominent social issue by engaging in “oppressive othering” (Schwalbe et al. 2000), which refers to the process whereby elites classify members of other groups as morally inferior. On the basis of LDS archival materials, we analyze how LDS elites accomplished “oppressive othering” by constructing sexual classification schemes defining homosexuality as the result of (1) familial, (2) gendered, and (3) sexual dysfunctions. In conclusion, we draw out implications for understanding (1) how elites, religious, or otherwise, construct sexual classification schemes that facilitate the ongoing subordination of sexual minorities, (2) the importance of taking an intersectional approach to oppressive othering, and (3) the ways elites revise institutional doctrines in response to shifting societal issues and concerns.
    May 02, 2014   doi: 10.1002/symb.105   open full text
  • “This was a Sexual Assault”: A Social Worlds Analysis of Paradigm Change in the Interpersonal Violence World.
    KelleyAnne Malinen.
    Symbolic Interaction. April 10, 2014
    This article presents a portion of my research on woman‐to‐woman sexual assault. Research was based on interviews with survivors and service providers who have worked with them. Transcripts underwent a grounded theory method analysis. The article considers how sexual assault service provision is changing as rigidly gendered discourses on sexual violence are challenged. It draws on Becker's social worlds approach, introducing the “Interpersonal Violence World,” the “Violence Against Women Subworld,” and the “Anti‐Violence Project Subworld.” These subworlds are notably distinguishable by their discourses on how violence and gender interact. Woman‐to‐woman survivors' interactions with the Violence Against Women Subworld often prove problematic, an issue the Anti‐Violence Project Subworld addresses.
    April 10, 2014   doi: 10.1002/symb.103   open full text
  • Accounting for the Performance of Environmentally Significant Behavior: The Symbolic Significance of Recycling.
    Gail Markle.
    Symbolic Interaction. March 19, 2014
    The scientific community has pronounced climate change unequivocal and its consequences disastrous. Yet Americans' behavioral response to the global social problem of environmental degradation has been largely confined to the individual act of recycling. This article examines why Americans are not doing more to address climate change and other environmental issues. Taking a cognitive sociological perspective, I describe how Americans think about environmental issues and pro‐environmental behavior. I draw on Swidler's concept of a “cultural tool kit,” to examine the cultural narratives Americans use to account for the small amount of pro‐environmental behavior they perform. The act of recycling functions as a synecdoche for pro‐environmental behavior in general, allowing individuals to over‐claim the significance of a modest amount of pro‐environmental behavior. I argue that Americans' failure to engage with environmental issues at a collective level is rooted in the individualized culture of American environmentalism.
    March 19, 2014   doi: 10.1002/symb.102   open full text
  • “It's Just a Likelihood”: Uncertainty as Topic and Resource in Conveying “Positive” Results in an Antenatal Screening Clinic.
    Alison Pilnick, Olga Zayts.
    Symbolic Interaction. February 25, 2014
    The recognition of uncertainty as a pivotal issue for the sociology of medicine is longstanding. More recently, the widespread integration of new medical technologies into healthcare has led to a renewed analytic focus on uncertainty. However, there remains little work on the interactional manifestations of uncertainty. This article uses conversation analysis to examine how uncertainty is introduced and used in one specific setting: an antenatal screening clinic in Hong Kong. We focus on women who have received “screen positive” or higher risk results, and reflect on the ways in which uncertainty is an “essential tension” (Mazeland and ten Have 1996) in the activity of conveying these results to them. We conclude that as well as posing potential difficulties for interaction, the uncertainty of test results is also used here as an interactional resource in managing the institutionally defined category of “high risk.”
    February 25, 2014   doi: 10.1002/symb.99   open full text
  • Divided and Drifting: Interactionism and the Neglect of Social Organizational Analyses in Organization Studies.
    Patrick J. W. McGinty.
    Symbolic Interaction. February 12, 2014
    The analysis of organizational phenomena within interactionism has become bifurcated between social organizational analyses and organizational ethnographies. This division has had the effect of allowing organizational ethnographies to more readily contribute to organization studies while marginalizing studies of social organization. The historical conditioning of this development and current evidence for this case is demonstrated through an analysis of the existing literature from the past thirteen years of interactionist organizational research. To end the continued neglect of social organizational analyses in the interdisciplinary field of organization studies the article concludes by suggesting a number of possible inspirations for promoting future research.
    February 12, 2014   doi: 10.1002/symb.101   open full text
  • Eroticism as Embodied Emotion: The Erotics of Renaissance Faire.
    Staci Newmahr.
    Symbolic Interaction. February 07, 2014
    This paper conceptualizes eroticism as emotional experience. I use the Renaissance Faire to illustrate the construction of asexual eroticism along three dimensions: the carnal experience of Faire, its focus on physicality, and intimations of increased interpersonal access. This approach forefronts the complexity of eroticism and situates the erotic squarely in the sociology of emotion, providing a model for understanding a range of emotional, embodied, and nonsexual charges as erotic. More broadly, the analysis seeks to contribute to the study of all emotion as embodied.
    February 07, 2014   doi: 10.1002/symb.92   open full text
  • Neutralizing Problematic Frames in the Culture Wars: Anti‐Evolutionists Grapple with Religion.
    Eric Orion Silva.
    Symbolic Interaction. February 03, 2014
    This article contributes to the literature on culture wars work by examining how anti‐evolutionists neutralize the framing of their position as religious. Their efforts are uncovered by analyzing 570 letters to the editor published in American newspapers in the months surrounding a nationally covered 2005 federal judicial decision on the legality of the Dover PA, school board's decision to undermine evolutionary theory in the classroom. Anti‐evolutionists neutralized the framing of their position as religious through the processes of selective acknowledgement and disagreement with the problematic framing. These findings provide insights into the anti‐evolutionist movement, the nature of the culture wars, and the basic ways in which problematic frames are neutralized. First, it shows how public anti‐evolutionist discourse has not followed its leaders' efforts to minimize the religious motivations of the movement. Second, the wide variety of neutralizations partially explains the persistence of many cultural disputes. Third, this study calls attention to the under theorized role of disagreement and agreement in undoing problematic definitions of the situation.
    February 03, 2014   doi: 10.1002/symb.97   open full text
  • A Sociology of No‐Self: Applying Buddhist Social Theory to Symbolic Interaction.
    Matthew Immergut, Peter Kaufman.
    Symbolic Interaction. January 28, 2014
    Although fraught with complexity, the self is a central phenomenon of discussion and analysis within sociology. This article contributes to this discourse by introducing the Buddhist ideas of anatta (no‐self) and prattyasamutpāda (interdependence) as analytic frameworks to deconstruct and rethink the self within sociology. We argue that the sociological self, most clearly articulated by symbolic interactionism, is premised on a self‐other dualism. This dualism leads to a conceptualization of the self as constantly threatened and anxious. Using these Buddhist concepts we propose an alternative interpretive schema, a sociology of no‐self, for analyzing social interaction and understanding the roots of social angst.
    January 28, 2014   doi: 10.1002/symb.90   open full text
  • Cooling the Mother Out: Revisiting and Revising Goffman's Account.
    Gareth M. Thomas.
    Symbolic Interaction. January 28, 2014
    This article revisits Erving Goffman's important yet neglected metaphor of “cooling the mark out.” Drawing on a study of mothers whose child has Down's syndrome, I explore the value of Goffman's work for capturing how mothers interpret their child's diagnosis as a loss and rectify this breach by constructing an acceptance of their new situation. The mothers' accounts highlight how Goffman's contentions can be enriched by acknowledging the gendered, temporal, and public character of a loss. This article, thus, can be read both as a celebration and critical revision of his theoretical contribution.
    January 28, 2014   doi: 10.1002/symb.91   open full text
  • Goffman on Gender, Sexism, and Feminism: A Summary of Notes on a Conversation with Erving Goffman and My Reflections Then and Now.
    Mary Jo Deegan.
    Symbolic Interaction. January 08, 2014
    Often known as cynical, contentious, and exhibiting a complicated approach to objectivity, Erving Goffman could also be generous, civil, insightful, open to feminist ideas, and surprisingly political. A 1977 collective feminist writing project led to my conversation with Goffman in 1980 about his ideas on gender, sexism, and feminism. A summary of that conversation is presented, together with my formal reflections then (1980) and now (2013). While documenting the sociological practice of an earlier era, this paper concludes that feminist sociological theory must move beyond its locations in the past and the present into the liberating knowledge of the future.
    January 08, 2014   doi: 10.1002/symb.85   open full text
  • Goffman at Penn: Star Presence, Teacher‐Mentor, Profaning Jester.
    Michael Delaney.
    Symbolic Interaction. December 23, 2013
    This essay is based on my encounters with Erving Goffman as his student at Penn in the 1970s. It concerns Goffman's largely self‐orchestrated “place” at Penn in various respects: his uneasy relationship with the Penn sociology department despite his academic fame; his disenchantment with “mainstream” sociology; his calibrated interactional style as a “profane jester,” offset by his thoughtful seriousness as a mentor; his classroom deportment and no‐nonsense teaching style. Goffman's casual classroom use of unseemly epithets is discussed as a pedagogical device for demonstrating the stigmatizing power of language. Goffman's suggestions for possible field‐site studies contrast with his commentary on the current state of sociology and, by implication, his place in it.
    December 23, 2013   doi: 10.1002/symb.88   open full text
  • Goffman on Emotions: The Pride‐Shame System.
    Thomas Scheff.
    Symbolic Interaction. December 17, 2013
    This essay proposes that Goffman's basic method was the intuitive recognition of generic examples of social interaction. This focus on examples, when considered from the point of view of two of Cooley's general propositions, helps explain the meaning of Goffman's metaphor of theatrical performance, and his insistence on the risk of shame in all interaction. These ideas make sense following Pascal's emphasis on the intuitive element in finding new knowledge, and Spinoza's part/whole idea. This latter approach leads to what will be called the Goffman/Cooley conjecture: we run the risk of shame in all human interaction. Although they didn't explain why, it seems that the pace of modern alienated societies punishes the mammalian urge that humans have for connectedness (pride) with others. These ideas seem to be supported by studies by Helen Lewis and Norbert Elias, and by my own recent study of Ngrams. As Elias's study proposed, virtually all shame is hidden in modern societies. The idea of hidden shame requires a new definition of shame that is quite different than vernacular usage.
    December 17, 2013   doi: 10.1002/symb.86   open full text
  • Goffman on Mental Illness: Asylums and “The Insanity of Place” Revisited.
    Dmitri N. Shalin.
    Symbolic Interaction. December 13, 2013
    This case study is designed to demonstrate that sociological imagination can feed on personal experience, that research practice interpolates our biographical circumstances, and that a systematic inquiry into the interplay between our professional and everyday life offers a fruitful avenue for sociological analysis. The discussion focuses on Erving Goffman's treatment of mental illness. The argument is made that the evolution of Goffman's constructionist views on mental disorder had been influenced by his family situation and personal experience.
    December 13, 2013   doi: 10.1002/symb.84   open full text
  • When Erving Goffman Was a Boy: The Formative Years of a Sociological Giant.
    Sherri Cavan.
    Symbolic Interaction. November 06, 2013
    This exploratory paper addresses the intersection of character and social structure by looking at the childhood and youth of Erving Goffman. Drawing from historical and contemporary documents, I reconstruct the social world of Canada between WWI and WWII and Goffman's place in it, identify Goffman's social position as an outsider, and document his early familiarity with dramaturgy. The argument is made that Goffman's formative years illuminate his interest in stigma, showing how stigmatizing circumstances can discredit claims to identity, and suggesting how impression management helps mitigate the discrepancy between a person's real life circumstances and prevailing cultural ideas.
    November 06, 2013   doi: 10.1002/symb.83   open full text
  • Interfacing Biography, Theory and History: The Case of Erving Goffman.
    Dmitri N. Shalin.
    Symbolic Interaction. October 29, 2013
    This study aims to show that much of Erving Goffman's writing is crypto‐biographical and that key turns in his intellectual career reflected his life's trajectory and attempts at self‐renewal. The case is made that Goffman's theoretical corpus reflects his personal experience as a son of Russian–Jewish immigrants who struggled to raise himself from the obscurity of Canadian Manitoba to international stardom. The concluding section describes the Erving Goffman Archives and the contribution that the large database of documents and biographical materials assembled therein can make to biocritical hermeneutics, a research program focused on the relationship between biography, theory, and history.
    October 29, 2013   doi: 10.1002/symb.82   open full text
  • Interpretive Asymmetry, Retrospective Inquiry and the Explication of Action in an Incident of Friendly Fire.
    Michael Mair, Chris Elsey, Patrick G. Watson, Paul V. Smith.
    Symbolic Interaction. October 03, 2013
    In this article, we examine a controversial friendly fire incident that took place during the early stages of the Iraq war. Our focus is on how a cockpit video of the incident was used post facto in a military inquiry to arrive at an understanding of the actions of the pilots involved. We shall concentrate specifically on a series of interpretive difficulties that highlighted the problematic status of the video as evidence and explore what their resolution might tell us about military practice, and the place of friendly fire within it more broadly.
    October 03, 2013   doi: 10.1002/symb.78   open full text
  • Review essay: The importance of being Erving—Erving Goffman, 1922 to 1982.
    P. M. Strong.
    Symbolic Interaction. September 24, 2013
    There is no abstract available for this paper.
    September 24, 2013   doi: 10.1002/symb.80   open full text
  • Profaning the Past to Salvage the Present: The Symbolically Reconstructed Pasts of Homeless Shelter Residents.
    Emily Meanwell.
    Symbolic Interaction. September 18, 2013
    Homelessness presents challenges for maintaining a positive self-concept, and those seeking help from homeless shelters face a particular irony: establishing service-worthiness requires them to present themselves as homeless, not self-sufficient, and genuinely in need of help, yet also morally worthy of that help. How do shelter residents manage this tension and salvage the self within the institutional context of the shelter? A theoretical framework linking Mead, Goffman, and narrative helps clarify strategies of self-presentation and salvaging the self within the homeless shelter context. Drawing on interviews with 44 shelter residents, this paper demonstrates that residents construct narratives that symbolically reconstruct the past from the standpoint of the present, and draw on the stages of the shelter's moral career to present a temporally-divided self, allowing residents to strategically profane the past self while keeping the present self separate and sacred. Implications for research on other institutional selves are also discussed.
    September 18, 2013   doi: 10.1002/symb.79   open full text
  • Let's Have a Cup of Coffee! Coffee and Coping Communities at Work.
    Pernille S. Stroebaek.
    Symbolic Interaction. September 04, 2013
    Coffee breaks are the main target in this investigation as the paper draws upon a qualitative focus group among Danish public family law caseworkers employed in a newly merged workplace Coffee breaks were identified as the utmost important factor for social and personal well‐being within an emotional taxing occupation. Indeed, communities of coping were created through coffee break encounters. However, coping communities were deeply embedded in informal workgroup cultures, which made them difficult to enter for newcomers. Newcomers entered the communities of coping through office meetings with an informal tone and atmosphere of sharing a cake. Thus, coping communities and informal workgroup cultures were found to intersect in the sociality that formed in formal as well as spontaneous coffee break encounters.
    September 04, 2013   doi: 10.1002/symb.76   open full text
  • Goffman in the Gallery: Interactive Art and Visitor Shyness.
    Susie Scott, Tamsin Hinton‐Smith, Vuokko Härmä, Karl Broome.
    Symbolic Interaction. August 27, 2013
    In an effort to facilitate public engagement, contemporary art galleries and museums house interactive exhibits incorporating digital media. Despite removing traditional barriers of cultural capital, however, these exhibitions now presume a level of technological and performative competence, which can feel equally intimidating to visitors. Reporting on an UK‐based ethnographic study and using dramaturgical theory, we show how interactive exhibitions can evoke situational shyness in visitors, through the combination of a demand for active, performative engagement and the deliberate restriction of instructional and explanatory information. In this ambiguous setting, visitors search for a social script to guide their action, the absence or opaqueness of which creates self‐conscious inhibition. Actors adapt to this resourcefully by looking toward others to provide a replacement script; these may be companion visitors, strangers, or imaginary audiences. Some visitors, meanwhile, demonstrate resistance by refusing to engage with the interactive art agenda altogether, preferring to assume a role of detached spectatorship.
    August 27, 2013   doi: 10.1002/symb.74   open full text
  • Revisiting Impartiality: Social Media and Journalism at The BBC.
    Valérie Bélair‐Gagnon.
    Symbolic Interaction. August 07, 2013
    This article contributes to the literature of news production studies by providing a powerful example of how processes of deliberation bring change to journalism. It explores the reconstruction of impartiality using the single case‐study of social media in the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) international journalism. In this case‐study, symbolic interactionism and mesostructure analysis enable us to explore social organizations and social processes, placing them in larger embedded contexts (structural, historical, and mode of action) and extended temporality. Following D. L. Altheide's (1996) ecology of communication framework, this study on BBC impartiality demonstrates that in the newsroom, techies have responded strategically to the logic of their environment. Techies have joined in the process of the new symbolic architecture of impartiality, which has transformed news agenda‐setting. This new logic, ushered in by techies, has shaped editorial decisions at the public broadcaster. This article discusses how social media have contributed to the nature, organization, and consequences of communication activities of the BBC.
    August 07, 2013   doi: 10.1002/symb.72   open full text
  • Pregnant Bodies in Social Context: Natural, Disruptive, and Unrecognized Pregnancy.
    Elena Neiterman.
    Symbolic Interaction. June 28, 2013
    This article examines the role of social context in the construction of meanings attached to the pregnant body. Analyzing interviews with 42 women who, during the time of the interview, were either pregnant or had given birth to a child within the last 12 months, I explore (1) the role of social context in assigning social value to the pregnant body; and (2) how the meaning attached to pregnancy changes as pregnant women move from one social context to another. I suggest that the role of social context is central to our understanding of how pregnant women are perceived and evaluated by others.
    June 28, 2013   doi: 10.1002/symb.71   open full text
  • The Emergent Organization: Improvisation and Order in Gulf Coast Disaster Relief.
    Robert Owen Gardner.
    Symbolic Interaction. June 17, 2013
    This article employs the interactionist concept of emergence to explore volunteer behavior in organizational settings after natural disasters. Through a several‐year ethnographic study of volunteer relief groups in the Post‐hurricane Gulf Coast, I examine how emergent social groups navigate situations where interactional norms, practices, and procedures are ambiguous, unclear, or in continual flux. Grassroots volunteer groups improvised organizational decision‐making and leadership structures to develop timely and appropriate responses to the post‐disaster environment. In particular, I focus on two distinct groups of volunteers whose response to these emergent interactional structures: improvisers embraced the ambiguity of group norms as an opportunity to innovate and express their creativity, whereas ritualists rejected the lack of structure and order characterized by the volunteer organizations.
    June 17, 2013   doi: 10.1002/symb.70   open full text
  • Musical Ties That Bind: Nostalgia, Affect, and Heritage in Festival Narratives.
    Lori Holyfield, Maggie Cobb, Kimberly Murray, Ashleigh McKinzie.
    Symbolic Interaction. June 17, 2013
    Affective heritage embracement, a collective narrative of nostalgia, is identified at two popular music festivals. “MusicFest” embraces a tradition of “Red Dirt” country music through performance (music festival), whereas the “Walnut Valley Festival” embraces a bluegrass/folk musical heritage through performance and participation (musicians' festival). The symbolic importance of musical interaction is explored to highlight the experienced emotionality that leads to the affective ties that bind these otherwise temporary communities. This collective narrative reveals the various functions of nostalgia wherein collective sentiment both reflects and creates the perceived authentic experiences of festival attendees.
    June 17, 2013   doi: 10.1002/symb.67   open full text
  • Getting Angry to Get Ahead: Black College Men, Emotional Performance, and Encouraging Respectable Masculinity.
    Brandon A. Jackson, Adia Harvey Wingfield.
    Symbolic Interaction. June 11, 2013
    This article draws on two years of ethnographic fieldwork to explore how a group of black men on a college campus displayed anger in order to encourage other black men to adopt a respectable form of masculinity. Although prior research suggests that black men may work to avoid public displays of anger to evade negative stereotypes of black men, we uncover the contexts in which black men were comfortable expressing feelings of anger, frustration, annoyance, and irritation. Specifically, group leaders displayed these emotions when they observed recruits to their group engaging in actions or behaviors that threatened to reinforce certain stereotypes about black men.
    June 11, 2013   doi: 10.1002/symb.63   open full text
  • Crime Control as Mediated Spectacle: The Institutionalization of Gonzo Rhetoric in Modern Media and Politics.
    R. J. Maratea, Brian A. Monahan.
    Symbolic Interaction. June 11, 2013
    This study examines contemporary crime and punishment discourse in mass media to better understand the institutionalization of hyper‐punitive sanctions as acceptable forms of social control. Our principal focus is on gonzo rhetoric, or the discourse and symbolism used to promote and justify exaggerated acts of punishment. Using a content analysis of 136 broadcast transcripts, we examine the rhetorical techniques employed by Sheriff Joe Arpaio, of Maricopa County, Arizona, in order to show how this brand of “crime talk” has become a central component of modern crime control culture. We suggest that the appeal of gonzo rhetoric is rooted in longstanding cultural assumptions about crime and disorder.
    June 11, 2013   doi: 10.1002/symb.59   open full text
  • The Segregation of Social Interactions in the Red Line L‐Train in Chicago.
    Eva Swyngedouw.
    Symbolic Interaction. June 10, 2013
    This study documents how residential segregation is visible in social interactions in the (semi) public space of the red line L‐train in Chicago. While public spaces are often celebrated as spaces of cosmopolitanism, people tend to interact mainly with people who look similar and appear to be living in the same area in Chicago. People of different race and class, represented by the station where they board the train, do not encounter each other much in the L‐train because of the existing residential segregation in the city of Chicago. Blacks ride from the south to downtown while whites ride from the north to downtown. Different time frames are reserved for different people. Furthermore, on the train itself people prefer to be interacting with and sit next to people who appear alike; who seem to be from the same part of the city. Hence, I argue that social interactions on the subway are mainly an expression of geographical and social exclusion in the city. Residential segregation is visible in the “segregation of social interactions” in the red line L‐train. Consequently, while de jure segregation has been abolished in the 1960s in Chicago, segregating practices are still going on de facto in everyday life.
    June 10, 2013   doi: 10.1002/symb.64   open full text
  • Disaffiliation from a New Religious Movement: The Importance of Self and Others in Exit.
    Dominiek D. Coates.
    Symbolic Interaction. May 21, 2013
    Challenging the popular belief that people who join new religious movements (NRMs) become “entrapped,” this study describes the way in which 23 former members of 11 different “cults” personally negotiated disaffiliation. The current findings support previous studies that posit exit as a resolution to unresolved doubts and dissonances, and contribute to this literature by suggesting that the nature of these dissonances, and the way in which exit constitutes a “solution” to these dissonances may vary. It is suggested that for approximately half of the participants in this study, the dissonances that precipitated exit, were relatively minor, primarily caused by organizational changes and inconsistencies in the teachings. While generally doubts were resolved privately and commitment sustained, exit occurred when alternate discourses or other identity resources became available through which doubts could become resolved. The remaining participants describe the conflicts that precipitated disaffiliation as pertaining to tensions between the groups' expectation of conformity and their sense of autonomy. These participants describe exit as a solution to the stress and emotional exhaustion of membership. To make sense of these different disaffiliation narratives, symbolic interactionist notions of the self as constructed in both the realm of “Self” and “Others” are applied.
    May 21, 2013   doi: 10.1002/symb.60   open full text