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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Updates on #SSSI Officers and Awards

Our SSSI website has been updated. Our current president, Maggie Kusenbach, has posted a welcome message, the list of officers has been updated and the various award committees have been announced.

In 2015 the Society will be launching a new Early-in-Career Award. More details soon.

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Review on Recent Developments in French Interactionist Sociology #sssi

There is a strong but fragmented interactionist tradition in various European countries. One of these countries is France where in particular Howard S. Becker and his sociology are very well received. In fact, Becker has made it his habit to spend some of the summer months in Paris.

In his review “An overview of French Interactionist Sociology ” of  “Les mondes pluriels de Howard S. Becker: travail sociologique et sociologie du travail” by Marc Perrenoud and colleagues Loic Riom discusses the influence of interactionism on French sociology and Becker’s role in the development of this influence.


Relatedly, you might be interested in Clinton Sanders’ reflection on working with Howard Becker and Tom DeGloma’s interview with Clinton Sanders at the 2013 SSSI Conference.

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Review of Goffman’s Forms of talk by Alan Bennett

Earlier this year Symbolic Interaction published a Special Issue on Erving Goffman and his work. A few days ago a tweet by Ealasaid Munro (@ealasaidMunro) pointed me to a book review Alan Bennett had written about Goffman’s Forms of Talk published in the London Review of Books in 1981. Here it is. Thanks to Ealasaid for referring me to this.

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