Interactionism: Meaning and Self as Process

Iddo Tavory

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


    Symbolic interactionism is a theoretical tradition that accounts for the emergence of meanings, selves and social life as the outcome of concrete interactions between actors. This chapter traces the rise of interactionism and outlines the different research traditions inspired by symbolic interactionism. It focuses on three traditions: (a) an account of the crystallization of particular social selves over time; (b) the study of recurrent patterns of situations, and; (c) the emergence and structure of collectives. The chapter then confronts some critiques of interactionism. It shows how interactionism confronted questions of micro-macro links and emotion. Turning to the question of culture and the importance of embodied habits, it then shows how new interactionist work moves from the situation to inter-situational analysis, and locates interaction between emergent meaning and widely available cultural affordances.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Title of host publicationHandbooks of Sociology and Social Research
    PublisherSpringer Science and Business Media B.V.
    Number of pages14
    StatePublished - 2016

    Publication series

    NameHandbooks of Sociology and Social Research
    ISSN (Print)1389-6903
    ISSN (Electronic)2542-839X


    • Emergence
    • Self
    • Situations
    • Social action
    • Social psychology
    • Symbolic interaction

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Psychology (miscellaneous)
    • Social Psychology
    • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
    • Sociology and Political Science


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