Interactionism in the Twenty-First Century: A Letter on Being-in-a-Meaningful-World

Gary Alan Fine, Iddo Tavory

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Half a century after its crystallization, interactionism faces new challenges. While elements of this theoretical tradition have percolated into the broader field of sociology, some of its most radical promises have been ignored. This essay provides a blueprint for how to approach interactionism today: not as a historical remnant, but as a living tradition with much to offer contemporary scholarship. Yet to do so, we argue, interactionism must develop some of its core tenets, offering more explicit links both to the sociology of culture, and to other areas in sociology. Focusing on our own experiences and writings, we point to ways in which the careful study of interaction can provide a font of ideas for the broader sociological discipline. We address the significance of affordances, situational webs, group commitment, embeddedness, and disruption, and show how such reorientation can help us better analyze oppression and privilege.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)457-467
    Number of pages11
    JournalSymbolic Interaction
    Issue number3
    StatePublished - Aug 2019


    • affordances
    • disruption
    • embeddedness
    • groups
    • situations
    • symbolic interaction

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • General Nursing
    • Social Psychology
    • Education
    • Communication
    • Sociology and Political Science
    • General Social Sciences


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