Interactionism: Exposition and Critique

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Rowman & Littlefield, 1993 - Political Science - 312 pages
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This book presents an overview of that theoretical framework known as symbolic interactionism. It details the major intellectual and philosophical antecedents of the interactionist perspective, i.e., evolutionism, Scottish moral philosophy, German idealism, pragmatism, and functional psychology. Under the heading evolutionism, the Darwinian notion of the mutually determinative relationship existing between environments and organisms is discussed, as are Henri Bergson's conceptions of the nature of radical, abrupt departures from earlier life forms and of the emergence of novel events. Scottish moral philosophers are dealt with in terms of their contribution to the conceptual inventory of symbolic interactionism. Of particular relevance here are concepts such as the impartial spectator "sympathy," the "I," the "Me," "role taking," "generalized other," and "looking-glass self." Those German idealists exerting an impact on George Herbert Mead and symbolic interactionism, namely, Fichte, Von Schelling, Kant, and Hegel receive mention. American pragmatic philosophy is then summarized, and special attention is given to the writings of Charles S. Pierce, William James, and John Dewey. The second chapter discusses the major early interactionists, i.e., Charles Horton Cooley, William Isaac Thomas, and George Herbert Mead. Part two discusses the principal varieties of contemporary symbolic interactionism. Major "schools" receiving attention are the "Chicago School," the "Iowa School," the "Dramaturgical Genre," and "Ethnomethodology." A unique feature of this section is that it ends with an attempt to provide a single sentence description of the symbolic interactionist viewpoint. Mead's writings are dealt with in terms of his utilization of such pivotal concepts as symbols, role taking, self, society, and mind. A listing of the primary characteristics of the early interactionism closes out this section of the book. The third section provides a representative set of criticisms of interactionism. They are provid
 

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Contents

PREFACE
1
SYMBOLIC INTERACTIONISM
3
INTELLECTUAL ANTECEDENTS
5
Evolution
6
The Scottish Moralists
9
German Idealism
10
Pragmatism
13
Charles S Peirce
17
A Note on the Astructural Bias
154
THE NEW STUDIES IN SOCIAL ORGANIZATION OVERCOMING THE ASTRUCTURAL BIAS
158
The Astructural Bias
161
Studies in Social Organization
166
Social Organization of TV Drama
168
Criminogenic Market Structures
169
Reproductive Sciences
171
Agricultural Sciences
176

William James as Pragmatist
20
John Dewey as Pragmatist
22
Functional Psychology
25
Dewey as Functional Psychologist
29
THE EARLY INTERACTIONISTS
32
W I Thomas
39
George Herbert Mead
42
Symbols and Role Taking
49
SeLf
56
The Elements of Self
60
Mind
63
A Brief Summary of Meads Views
67
Summary Characteristics
70
CONTEMPORARY INTERACTIONISM MAJOR VARIETIES
73
THE CHICAGO SCHOOL
76
THE IOWA SCHOOL
84
THE DRAMATURGICAL GENRE
95
ETHNOMETHODOLOGY
103
CONTEMPORARY INTERACTIONISM SUMMARY CHARACTERISTICS
118
A PERSPECTIVE CRITIQUED
128
INTERACTIONIST SELFCRITICISM
129
Brittan on the Metaphysic of Meaning
130
Kuhn on the Evils of an Oral Tradition
131
Denzin on Methodological Difficulties
132
Lofland on Analytic Interruptus
133
Hall on Apolitical Interactionism
134
NONINTERACTIONIST CRITIQUES
135
Idealist and Astructural
137
Shaskolsky on Americana and Interactionism
139
Lichtman on the Quaintness Question
141
Huber on the Bias of Emergent Theory
142
Maryl on Sociology without Society
145
Collins on Interactionism as Common Sense
146
Gouldner on Ahistorical Noninstitutional Interactionism
148
The Hollywood Film Industry
180
Conclusion
182
Notes
184
HUMAN EMOTION SOCIAL STRUCTURE AND SYMBOLIC INTERACTIONISM
186
Emotion
187
The Nature of Emotion
190
Types of Emotions
193
Social Sources of Emotions
195
Social Consequences of Emotions
199
Unresolved or Neglected Issues
202
Social Structure
204
Role Theory
210
Negotiated Order
214
Network Analysis and Other Approaches
221
Unresolved or Neglected Issues
224
Summary and Appraisal
225
NOTES
229
SOME RECENT DIRECTIONS IN SYMBOLIC INTERACTIONISM
231
Major Themes
232
A Postmodern Study
238
A Few Similarities
240
Critique of Postmodern Themes
241
Summary
248
Structuring Emotions and Reproducing Gender Emotions
249
DiscourseConversationAnalysis
261
Dramaturgy
265
Semiotics and SI
272
The Future
278
Conclusion
281
NOTES
282
REFERENCES
284
SUBJECT INDEX
306
NAME INDEX
308
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About the author (1993)

\Larry T. Reynolds is Professor of Sociology at Central Michigan University and Adjunct Professor at the University of West Florida. He is former Chair of the Marxist Section of the American Sociological Association, recipient of the first annual Charles Horton Cooley Award, and past president of the North Central Sociological Association. A Fellow of the Rockport Institute, he has published in such journals as Sociometry, Sociological Quarterly, Phylon, and Current Anthropology. He is the author of A Critique of Contemporary American Sociology (1993); and Symbolic Interactionism (1994).

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