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.
Alex Dennis is lecturer in sociology at Sheffield University.
Rob Philburn is lecturer in sociology at the University of Salford.
Greg Smith is lecturer in sociology at the University of Salford.