Sociologies of Interaction
Alex Dennis, Rob Philburn, Greg Smith
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
Social interaction lies at the heart of our everyday experience. We make our way down the street and avoid crashing into others, take our place in the supermarket queue, take care in the way we talk about others in conversation, acknowledge the social status of people we meet, and enjoy leisurely pursuits in the company of friends and like-minded others. All these things are fundamental parts of human sociality that can be discovered and understood through ‘sociologies of interaction’.
This book provides an invaluable introduction to the theoretical foundations and practical applications of interactionist approaches to everyday life. Beginning with an overview of three core traditions - symbolic interactionism, ethnomethodology and conversation analysis, along with Goffman’s work on the interaction order - the text moves on to examine in detail topics such as leisure, work, health and illness, deviance, class, status and power, education, ethnic relations and gender. Highlighting a range of empirical studies, the book shows how sociologies of interaction have the capacity to reframe and make us rethink conventional social science topics.
This illuminating book will be of interest to undergraduates across the social sciences, particularly in sociology, social psychology and communication studies, as well as those who have an interest in understanding the interactional underpinnings of everyday life.
or mimicking certain relationships), whilst also creating a very ‘real’ experience. Physical pain – its infliction and sensations on the body – lay at the heart of much of this reality construction. Whereas with, for example, sporting pursuits, pain is routinely ignored, hidden or avoided, in the context of SM interaction it is often sought, not for its own sake as such, but as an important ingredient in the social construction of SM experience. Leisure rules and normative order Although
use different research methods and focus on very different questions. They provide an initial sketch of the diverse ways in which Garfinkel’s orienting notions have been put into practice. ‘K is mentally ill’: members’ methods for describing actions Dorothy Smith’s (1978) breakthrough paper, ‘K is mentally ill’, analyses a series of events that appear to show how a young woman slides into mental illness. The origins of the article are an undergraduate assignment that Smith set for a class
interactionism and the Second Chicago School The symbolic interactionist approach to doing sociology was developed at the University of Chicago in the decades following the Second World War, through the work of a gifted generation of graduate students supervised or influenced by Herbert Blumer and Everett C. Hughes. Blumer was at Chicago from 1925 to 1952, when he moved to the University of California at Berkeley, while Hughes returned to Chicago in 1938 (after having completed his Ph.D. there
numerous other sociologists, point to the centrality of the physical embodiment of persons in interaction, and the ease with which deviant meaning, and deviant identity, can be ascribed due to certain features of the body. To be physically disabled, abnormally short, tall, fat, thin, to have some visible scar or disfigurement, to have blemishes, marks or unusual features of the skin, to ‘give off’ particular smells or sounds, or to have limited control over one’s bodily movements – in interaction
discussed at the start of this chapter. What might be loosely described as games are also a good example of leisure as action. Such activities, from tossing a coin and betting on the outcome to gambling in casinos, can all be conceptualized as action activities. These involve and require a close focus (with others involved in the game) on both the activity itself and the wider social situation in which it is taking place – what Goffman refers to as ‘fields of action’. There is always an element