© 2017

The Interactionist Imagination

Studying Meaning, Situation and Micro-Social Order

  • Michael Hviid Jacobsen

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xii
  2. Michael Hviid Jacobsen
    Pages 1-40
  3. Greg Smith
    Pages 41-70
  4. Suzie Guth
    Pages 71-94
  5. Antony J. Puddephatt
    Pages 95-119
  6. Edward B. Davis
    Pages 121-144
  7. Alex Dennis
    Pages 145-167
  8. Michael A. Katovich
    Pages 169-194
  9. Michael Hviid Jacobsen
    Pages 195-232
  10. Dirk vom Lehn
    Pages 233-261
  11. Jörg Strübing
    Pages 263-289
  12. Andrey Melnikov, Joseph A. Kotarba
    Pages 291-314
  13. Marc Perrenoud
    Pages 315-339
  14. Cecil E. Greek, Michael Hviid Jacobsen
    Pages 341-374
  15. Michael Hviid Jacobsen, Anders Petersen
    Pages 375-407
  16. Chiara Bassetti, Roberta Sassatelli
    Pages 409-434
  17. Back Matter
    Pages 435-442

About this book


This book outlines the history and developments of interactionist social thought through a consideration of its key figures. Arranged chronologically, each chapter illustrates the impact that individual sociologists working within an interactionism framework have had on interactionism as perspective and on the discipline of sociology as such. It presents analyses of interactionist theorists from Georg Simmel through to Herbert Bulmer and Erving Goffman and onto the more recent contributions of Arlie R. Hochschild and Gary Alan Fine. Through an engagement with the latest scholarship this work shows that in a discipline often focused on macrosocial developments and large-scale structures, the interactionist perspective which privileges the study of human interaction has continued relevance. The broad scope of this book will make it an invaluable resource for scholars and students of sociology, social theory, cultural studies, media studies, social psychology, criminology and anthropology.


interactionism classical sociological theory symbolic interactionism the Chicago School individualization Human Ecology the Iowa School ethnomethodology indexicality poststructuralsim Existential Sociology Sociology of the Absurd Ethnography

Editors and affiliations

  • Michael Hviid Jacobsen
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of SociologyUniversity of Aalborg at EsbjergAalborg OestDenmark

About the editors

Michael Hviid Jacobsen is Professor of Sociology at Aalborg University, Denmark. He has published extensively on sociology and social theory.

Bibliographic information


“A history of any important intellectual perspective inevitably involves linked biographies. In this powerful and well-considered volume, Michael Hviid Jacobsen and his collaborators describe some of the main contributors of the interactionist perspective, perhaps the most vibrant sociological tradition of the Twentieth Century, and reveal why this approach matters. This volume will persuade the reader of the value of interaction as crucial to understanding social order.” (Gary Alan Fine, Northwestern University, USA)

“This is a sterling collection of essays that explicates the work of the founding framers, late twentieth-century paladins, and some of today’s luminaries in symbolic interactionism. The “interactionist imagination” is the best sociological imagination because it weaves together structure and agency in sociological explanation. Jacobsen’s project demonstrates that the interactionist imagination deserves center stage in the interpretation of human events.” (Gil Richard Musolf, Central Michigan University, USA, and editor of “Studies in Symbolic Interaction”)