The Second Edition of Symbols, Selves, and Social Reality introduces students to the symbolic interactionist perspective in sociology. This book differs from other texts on interactionism in several important respects. First, it offers a stronger empirical focus, linking discussions of the central ideas and premises of symbolic interactionism to pertinent research, including ethnographic studies conducted by each of the authors. Second, the book emphasizes topics that are inherently interesting to students, such as the dynamics of self-development, impression management, identity transformation, gender play, rumor transmission, and collective action. Third, it includes an analysis of the changing nature and experience of selfhood in contemporary society. Fourth, the authors provide a useful set of pedagogical tools at the end of each chapter, including a summary of key points and concepts, a glossary of key terms, a list of suggested readings, and questions for reflection and discussion. Finally, Symbols, Selves, and Social Reality offers a discussion of the personal relevance of symbolic interactionism, its salience for social policy, its broadening theoretical scope, and its relationship to new and increasingly prominent perspectives emerging within sociology.
The new edition covers an even broader range of ideas and topics than the First Edition. It also features several updated sections and boxed inserts. These address such topics as:
• The impact of postmodernity on students' experiences of self.
• The dynamics of mass panics.
• Status passages experienced by students.
• Ethnomethodology and the construction of reality.
• The necessity of language.
• Internet technologies and their effects on interaction.
• New methods of ethnographic analysis.
• The dramatic elements of social movements.
• The value and future of interactionism.