Book Review ‘Understanding Drug Worlds’ by Arthur McLuhan out on Early View

In 2012 Patricia Adler, Peter Adler and Patrick O’Brien published “Drugs and the American Dream: An Anthology” with John Wiley & Sons. This edited volume now has been reviewed by Arthur McLuhan who describes the anthology as “a most enabling anthology on drug worlds”. 


McLuhan particularly highlights that Adler, Adler and O’Brien’s book is theory driven rather than guided by a structure based on the different substances covered. Thus, the volume gains in sociological coherence and helps to cultivate students’ sociological eyes. His review now is out on Early View of Symbolic Interaction.

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Couch Stone Symposium 2015 – Call for Submissions #sssi

Dear SSSI Members,


Here is a friendly reminder that the deadline for abstract submission for the next Couch Stone Symposium, to be held in sunny St. Pete, Florida, in March 2015, is coming up in less than 3 weeks, on NOVEMBER 15, 2014! Please see the call for papers (attached and below) for details. We welcome submission from all members, and we will offer a number of student travel stipends after papers have been accepted.   


Please stay tuned for the Fall 2014 SSSI Newsletter, forthcoming in just a few days, with much more information … including a call for sessions for our next summer meeting in Chicago 2015 (deadline December 1, 2014).


All the best,


Maggie Kusenbach

President of the Society for the Study of Symbolic Interaction

Associate Professor and Graduate Director

Department of Sociology

University of South Florida

4202 East Fowler Avenue CPR 107

Tampa, FL 33620

office: (813) 974 2595

fax: (813) 974 6455





Society for the Study of Symbolic Interaction


St. Petersburg, Florida, Hampton Inn & Suites

March 13 & 14 (Friday & Saturday)


Tools of the Trade:

Advancing Qualitative Inquiry and Analysis



Call for Papers

The current broad popularity of qualitative work in academic departments around the world has produced new challenges and opportunities for symbolic interactionists as well as others working within interpretive traditions. This conference aims to explore how innovations and new collaborations in qualitative methods of research and analysis might further advance the quality and relevance of our work, both inside and outside sociology, inside and outside academia.

For this conference we welcome submissions that focus on data collection, data analysis, and theorizing within interpretive sociology in general and symbolic interaction in particular. We are especially interested in works that problematize and challenge boundaries, such as those between micro and macro approaches, qualitative and quantitative methods, theory and method, research and application, and other constructed binary oppositions.

Invited topics include (but are not limited to):

ethnography — qualitative interviews & oral history — spatial and mobile methods — social media, archival & found data — feminist, queer & critical methods — sensuous methods (including visual) — ethnomethodology & conversation analysis — historical & cross-cultural/indigenous methods — applied & participatory methods — mixed & interdisciplinary methods — alternative methods & forms of writing — grounded theory, narrative analysis, analytic induction & other forms of analysis


Submission Deadline:

November 15, 2014


Extended abstracts of proposed conference papers (400-600 words, Microsoft Word or PDF document) must be emailed to Maggie Cobb at On a cover page, include paper title, name and rank (faculty or student) of all authors with affiliations, and contact information. Notifications of acceptance will be given by December 1, 2014.


Due to limited space, submission is restricted to one paper (single or co-authored) per participant. Less developed work will be grouped in roundtable sessions. In addition to plenary, paper, and roundtable sessions, we will offer a series of methods workshops by established scholars, as well as a number of social events.


Conference participation is free for current SSSI members. To become a SSSI member, go to: All other participants must pay a $50 registration fee (banquet only: $25). Donations by senior members are welcome and will be applied toward student travel stipends.


Information about hotel accommodations, student travel stipends, conference program and so on is forthcoming on the conference website: For any questions, contact Maggie Cobb at


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Call for Contributions to SSSI Newsletter – SSSI Notes #sssi

The November issue of SSSI Notes will be available in early November. If you have any announcements about books, conferences, grants, awards, related organizations, or other relevant information please send a short description to my editorial assistant, Melina Constantine Miseo via e-mail ( by Friday, October 31. Please include submissions as Word attachments limited to 250 words. Feel free to contact me ( or Melina with questions.


- William Force (SSSI Notes, Editor)

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SSSI Awards – Call for Nominations! #sssi

Call for Nominations for SSSI Awards

Deadline for all nominations: 

Monday, March 2, 2014.

George Herbert Mead Award

The George Herbert Mead Award Committee announces its call for nomination for its 2015 Lifetime Achievement Award. The award is given annually to recognize a scholar’s contribution to the field of symbolic interactionism. Decisions are made by a committee selected by the President of the Society. Please send your nomination letters for the 2015 Mead Award by email attachment to the chair of the committee, Kathy Charmaz. The other members of the committee are Mark Hutter ( and Leslie Irvine ( Please note that nominations for this award from previous years will be passed on to this year’s committee.

Kathy Charmaz

Department of Sociology

Sonoma State University

1801 E. Cotati Avenue

Rohnert Park, CA 94928 (USA)


Telephone: 707-664-3955

Charles Horton Cooley Award 

The Charles Horton Cooley Award Committee announces its call for nominations for the 2015 Cooley award. This award is given annually to an author for a book or article that represents an important contribution to the perspective of symbolic interaction. To be eligible for the 2015 award, a nominated book should have a publication date between 2012 and 2014. Previously nominated works within this three-year publication period remain eligible but must be re-nominated.  Please send nominating letters and copies of books to all three committee members.

Donileen Loseke (Committee Chair)

Sociology, CPR107

University of South Florida

4202 East Fowler Avenue

Tampa, Florida 33620 (USA)

Doyle McCarthy

Department of Sociology DEALY Hall

Fordham University

441 East Fordham Road

Bronx, New York 10458 (USA)

Michael Ian Borer

Department of Sociology

University of Nevada

4505 South Maryland Parkway

Box 455033

Las Vegas, Nevada 89154-5033 (USA)

Herbert Blumer Award

The Herbert Blumer Award is presented annually to the author of the best graduate student paper in the tradition of symbolic interaction. To be eligible for this award, authors must be enrolled in a graduate program. Those who have been awarded a Ph.D. prior to May 2014 are not eligible. Submitted papers cannot have been accepted for publication at the time of this submission, although papers under review may be submitted. The winner of this award may submit the paper for publication in any appropriate journal, including but not limited to Symbolic Interaction. The committee for the 2014 award will be chaired by Staci Newmahr (

The other committee members are Stacey Hannem ( and Brandon Jackson ( Please send nominating letters to the committee chair.

Staci Newmahr

Associate Professor of Sociology

SUNY Buffalo State

1300 Elmwood Avenue

Classroom Building B-306

Buffalo, NY 14222 (USA)

(716) 878-6431

SSSI Mentor Excellence Award

The relationship between a student and a faculty member can have a profound, lifelong influence on both parties. Likewise, established and accomplished teacher-scholars can serve equally influential and encouraging roles for junior colleagues and provide crucial support for early and midcareer transitions. In sum, the mentoring relationship inspires, gives confidence, and culminates in valuable collegial relationships. The effective mentor serves as advisor, teacher, advocate, and role model. The SSSI Mentor Excellence Award recognizes these important contributions to our society and craft.  Nominees must be members of SSSI to be eligible for this award. We seek nominees who show evidence of:

  • a sustained career as a beneficial role model;
  • a sustained record of mentoring students and junior colleagues in acquiring the skills and resources necessary for career success;
  • promoting successful and timely completion of students’ degree programs;
  • supporting attendance and participation at conferences;
  • imparting informed advice relating to career opportunities and choices;
  • establishing opportunities for networking and professional connections;
  • motivating students and junior colleagues about research and teaching activities;
  • helping students and junior colleagues develop a range of talents including skills in research, teaching, professional presentations, writing, preparation of grant and fellowship applications, etc.;
  • integrating students and junior colleagues into the broader culture of the SSSI.

Please send or email nomination letters for this award to the committee chair, Dan Miller. The other committee members are Martha Copp ( and Jeffrey Kidder (

Dan E. Miller

Professor of Sociology

6 Glendora Ave.

Oakwood, OH 45409 (USA)

The SSSI Early-In-Career Award

The SSSI Early-In-Career Award Committee announces its inaugural call for nominations for the 2015 award.  This is a new award that will be given annually to recognize junior scholars’ contribution to the field of symbolic interaction and their future potential.  A plaque will be awarded at the annual SSSI banquet.  The award specifically honors those scholars who have made significant contributions within the first ten years since the completion of their PhDs.  Nominations are made through support letters sent (by SSSI members) to the chair of the award committee.  Support letters should include the following information: the candidate’s most noteworthy research and publications thus far; contributions to symbolic interaction; and the candidate’s CV.  The award committee selected by the President of the Society will make the decision.  The initial award committee consists of: Dr. Joseph A. Kotarba, Texas State University (Chair), Dr. Kerry Ferris, Northern Illinois University ( and Dr. Vessela Misheva, Uppsala University, Sweden (

Dr. Joseph A. Kotarba

Professor of Sociology and Director

Center for Social Inquiry

Texas State University

601 University Drive

San Marcos, TX 78666 (USA)

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#SSSI Music Blog Needs Help!

If one of your research areas is the sociology of music, please consider becoming a blogger for our SI Music Blog ( We are looking for someone who is willing to post news and announcements, reports of events, book tips and reviews, or anything else that might be of interest to others working in this area. If interested, please contact Dirk Vom Lehn at

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Call for Sessions: SSSI Annual Meetings in Chicago, IL (August 2015)

Society for the Study of Symbolic Interaction 

Annual Conference 

August 21-13, 2015

The Public Chicago Hotel, Chicago, IL

Symbolic Interaction and Public Sociology

Call for Sessions

Deadline: December 1, 2014

The Society for the Study of Symbolic Interaction (SSSI) will hold its annual meeting on August 21–23, 2015 in Chicago Illinois, at the Public Chicago Hotel, a short distance from the hotels used by the American Sociological Association for their annual meeting. The Public Chicago is the Gold Coast’s famed Ambassador Hotel, rich with cultural heritage, and a fitting setting for our annual conference.

Public Sociology as Conference Theme 

It has now been 10 years since Michael Burawoy’s famous presidential address to the American Sociological Association, which argued for a legitimate place for public sociology alongside other forms of research practice. Burawoy argued that public sociology, the kind of sociology that connects with, serves, and informs everyday people in civil society, has been largely unappreciated, and unfairly occupies a marginal space in the discipline. Since Burawoy’s call for a resurgence of public sociology, there have been countless articles, special issues, and edited books that have weighed in on the issue, written by scholars who have been both critical and supportive. Meanwhile, symbolic interactionists have had very little to say about the issue of public sociology, though there have been some notable exceptions. The literature that does exist indicates that interactionists have much to offer to conceptions of public sociology, and in turn, public sociology has the potential to reinvigorate interactionist research.

As such, we invite scholars to further explore this theme of public sociology and symbolic interactionism. We hope to have a number of sessions on this topic at our annual meeting. Further, a special issue on this same theme is planned for our flagship journal, Symbolic Interaction. The call for papers for this special issue will follow shortly after the 2015 annual conference. Some of the relevant topics to explore on this theme are not limited to, but may include:

• The historical legacy of public sociology in the interactionist tradition

• How a more public orientation might inspire novel approaches to interactionist research

• Arguing for or against a mandate of public sociology from an interactionist perspective

• Reflecting on past and present interactionist work as models for public sociology

• Considering how to better foster community and organizational partnerships, and pursue funding

• Exploring ways to best disseminate interactionist work to public audiences

• Asking whether and how symbolic interactionism might help to solve social problems, advocate for specific groups, and press for political, social, and policy changes

• Exploring how symbolic interactionists from different national traditions view the prospect of public sociology, and how this mandate is more or less relevant in different global contexts

Information on submission guidelines for individual papers to follow in December!

Call for Conference Sessions, Panels, and Organizers

As well as calling for conference sessions or other events on the above theme, we also welcome submissions on any and all topics related to symbolic interactionism. We welcome scholars from a diverse range of disciplines, and from all countries around the world. To this end, those who are interested in chairing sessions or organizing other conference events should send a proposed title and brief description to Antony Puddephatt, VP of SSSI ( no later than December 1st, 2014. Session topics may relate to any aspect of symbolic interactionism, whether theoretical, methodological, empirical, or pedagogical. We also welcome ideas for special panels on selected topics by this deadline as well. The session themes will be advertised to potential presenters shortly thereafter, along with a deadline for paper submissions, instructions, and email contact information.

Keynote Speaker

We are very pleased indeed to announce that Diane Vaughan has agreed to be the keynote speaker for our 2015 annual conference. Dr. Vaughan is Professor of Sociology and International and Public Affairs at Columbia University. The theoretical focus of her research is how the social – history, institutions, organizations – affect individual meanings, decisions, and action. She is the author of Controlling Unlawful Organizational Behavior, Uncoupling, and The Challenger Launch Decision. She has two books in progress, Theorizing:  Analogy, Cases, and Comparative Social Organization, and Dead Reckoning: System Effects, Boundary Work and Risk in Air Traffic Control. An extremely accomplished ethnographer, Dr. Vaughan’s work is also a great example of public sociology, and she has written prolifically on how qualitative research can lend itself to public sociological work.

Overall, we encourage all of you to join us for what is sure to be an invigorating and thought-provoking meeting in Chicago, 2015!


Please contact SSSI President, Dr. Margarethe Kusenbach (, or SSSI Vice-President, Dr. Antony Puddephatt (

SSSI Website:

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Looking for Representatives at Regional Sociology Conferences #sssi

SSSI Representatives Needed

If you are a SSSI member and also a member of another regional or national professional society/association, please consider becoming a SSSI Representative! Reps (for short) take on the job of being a liaison between SSSI and other organizations, and their mission is to represent SSSI and promote symbolic interactionist scholarship in other professional contexts. Typically, SSSI Reps attend the other organization’s conferences and organize sessions, talks, workshops, socials or other events that contribute toward the above goal. Unfortunately, SSSI cannot provide travel money or stipends to Reps but we can contribute smaller amounts toward the cost of organizing sessions and events. We can also provide SSSI membership forms and other kinds of information materials.

If you are interested in becoming a SSSI Rep for one the following associations, or any other professional sociological organization, please email Maggie Kusenbach at

MSS (Midwest Sociological Society)

SAA (Southwestern Sociological Association)

NESA (New England Sociological Association)

GPA (Great Plains Sociological Association)

NCSA (North Central Sociological Association)

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