Call for Session Proposals – Annual Conference SSSI 2016 (Seattle)

Environment, Body, and Other Complex Systems in Symbolic Interactionism

August 19-21, 2016

Seattle, Washington

Conference Theme 

The complexities of social life have been interactionism’s playground since the very earliest expressions of the perspective. Mead’s understanding and treatment of complex social systems, and the historical manner in which pragmatist scholars explored the complexities of large social and institutional forces have promoted the growth and development of symbolic interactionism in dynamic and robust ways. The theme for the 2016 Annual Meetings “Environment, Body, and Other Complex Systems in Symbolic Interactionism” is envisioned as one way contemporary symbolic interactionists can explore the dynamic and robust nature of our contemporary perspective relative to complex social and natural systems.

With respect to the environment and environments, the theme focuses our attention on the uniquely flexible manner in which the symbolic interactionist perspective can be used to explore human action and interactions within, as well as with respect to manipulations of, the natural world. However, not to be overlooked is the use of conceptual language within interactionism that invokes the complexities of larger systems, such as organizational environments. Other complex, systemic concerns might include climate change, disaster, war, migrations, droughts, natural resources and resource management, and issues associated with public versus private lands. Regardless of the specific application, it is the Meadian/pragmatist/interactionist analysis and exposition of the topical concern that is being sought.

Our physical bodies, also complex systems and part of the natural world, are also subject to treatment within the interactionist perspective. Even though Mead had a firm conceptual grasp on the nature of embodiment over a century ago, his treatments of embodied phenomenon do not invoke the same imagery or conceptual treatment as do environments and seemingly larger social systems. However in the contemporary social and behavioral sciences, we are still unlocking the complexities of neurocognition, the senses, gestures and gesticulations, habits, and activity and mind in space and time. Yet, all these contemporary concerns are reflected in the interactionist perspective and require our continued attention and analysis.

Together, the conference theme unites these seemingly distinct areas of inquiry through the reminder that even in the most mundane of settings, the symbolic interactionist perspective is a valuable resource in unpacking the complexity of symbols, meanings, intentions, actions, interactions, practices, and processes that are the building blocks of social life.

Distinguished Lecturer: Joseph A. Kotarba

We are very pleased indeed to announce that Dr. Joseph Kotarba will be the SSSI Distinguished Lecturer at the 2016 Annual Conference. Dr. Kotarba is Professor of Sociology at Texas State University in San Marcos. The author of nine books and over 100 articles and essays, Joe has consolidated his broad interests in everyday life into a focus on culture. However, his first love remains the sociology of popular music, and it is that love which culminated in his book Baby Boomer Rock ‘n’ Roll Fans in 2013 for which he received the Charles Horton Cooley Award for Best Book from the Society for the Study of Symbolic Interaction. While his first love is music, Dr. Kotarba’s second love is the culture of medicine and he is presently writing a book on the evolving self-identity of the contemporary scientist in light of the movement towards translational, team science.   In addition to the Cooley Award as previously noted, Dr. Kotarba served as President of the SSSI in 1998, he received the SSSI’s George Herbert Mead Award for Lifetime Achievement in 2009, and the Society’s Mentor’s Excellence Award in 2010.

The W Seattle Hotel

The W Seattle Hotel on the edge of the financial district in downtown Seattle is a contemporary, slightly edgy, luxury hotel property that reflects the vibrant technology and music culture of Seattle and is a fitting setting for our annual conference. The hotel is located at 1112 4th Avenue, Seattle, WA, 98101 and is easily accessible by public transportation from Sea-Tac Airport. The facilities being used by the American Sociological Association (ASA) and Society for the Study of Social Problems (SSSP) are within walking distance. Conference attendees can find more about the hotel on their website at Room rates and reservation information remains forthcoming.

Call for Sessions and Session Organizers

The conference organizers hope to have a number of sessions that highlight our conference theme as well as promote related topics at our annual meeting and at this time invite scholars to submit proposals for paper sessions, plenary session, author meets critic opportunities, or other opportunities that will help bring this conference theme to life.

Submit session proposals to Patrick McGinty, SSSI Vice-President, via email at:

Please include in the subject line, “SSSI Session Proposal”. The deadline for session proposals is October 30, 2015.

Based on the session proposals received, a call for paper submissions and proposals will be forthcoming in early 2016.


Please contact SSSI President, Dr. Dennis Waskul (, or SSSI Vice-President, Dr. Patrick McGinty (

SSSI Website:

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COUCH STONE SYMPOSIUM 2016: CFP: Ethnography and video #sssi #sociology

CFP: Ethnography and video

A session organized for the: Society for the Study of Symbolic Interaction COUCH STONE SYMPOSIUM 2016

Nanaimo, British Columbia, Vancouver Island Conference Centre April 21-23 (Thursday pm to Saturday)

Presentations (either traditional or video-based) on “ethnography and video” are invited for a panel to be submitted to the 2016 Couch-Stone Symposium organizers. This session will examine (a) ways in which social worlds can be evoked and represented through video methods and/or (b) video-centered social worlds, as well as individual experiences and practices of/with video, can be understood through ethnographic approaches and interactionist concepts.

Submissions of short ethnographic video documentaries (ca. 15 minutes) are especially encouraged.

Submission Deadline:  November 1, 2015

Submit a 500 word summary of your video (and preferably a link to it) or abstract of you paper presentation to

P.S. I also welcome expressions of interest for a collaborative workshop on ethnographic film/video, to be held prior to the conference. The workshop would be open to both beginners and intermediate aspiring ethnographic film-makers.

Phillip Vannini

Professor and Canada Research Chair

Royal Roads University

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SSSI 2016 Conference in Seattle, WA #sssi #sociology #interactionism

Seattle Promotional Flyer 4

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SSSI 2015 Award Winners – #sssi #sociology #awards #interactionism

At the Annual Conference in Chicago, the 2015 Award Winners were announced. Please see a list of the winners below. Some pictures from the banquet at the Public Chicago Hotel will be published shortly on our website.

Mead Career Award (chair Kathy Charmaz)

Ruth Horowitz

Cooley Book Award (chair Donileen Loseke)

Thomas DeGloma, for his book “Seeing the Light”

More information on the book can be found here.

Blumer Student Paper Award (chair Staci Newmahr)

Hyeyoung Kwon

Mentoring Excellence Award (chair Dan Miller)

Donileen Loseke and David G. Embrick

Early-In-Career Award (chair Joe Kotarba)

Michael Borer

Video abstract award (no chair, Robert Dingwall has details)

Sandy To

The video-abstract for Sandy’s paper “Understanding Sheng Nu (“Leftover Women”): the Phenomenon of Late Marriage among Chinese Professional Women” published in Symbolic Interaction Vol.36(1) is here:

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COUCH STONE SYMPOSIUM 2016 – Call for Papers #sssi #sociology #interactionism

Society for the Study of Symbolic Interaction


Nanaimo, British Columbia, Vancouver Island Conference Centre

April 21-23 (Thursday pm to Saturday)

Diversities of Social Engagement:

Where Dialogue Happens

Call for Papers

The way we engage in the world is changing: the way we communicate with one another, how we present ourselves to the world, how we experience our differences. We invite you to join us in a very special liminal space – a finite space (our island) for a finite time to talk about infinite ideas and make sense of the changes we are seeing and the impetus behind those changes. We view these changes as evident in diverse narratives about our world that come from many directions. Social media, digital identities, the enormous growth in image production brought on by technological change, the growth of surveillance and our awareness of and resistance to it, all contribute to the diverse ways in which we engage with each other. And they require an understanding of how dialogue can continue within such diversity. Please join us to share and explore narratives and images about these changes and how they are recreating space for interaction. Beyond these ideas we hope to engage you in exploring the ease with which such narratives are now shared.

For this conference we welcome submissions with a focus on how changes have impacted the narratives and/or images associated with contemporary issues. We are especially interested in stories, narratives, and images that have been impacted directly by our new plugged-in world. The topics are many but we are particularly interested in – but not restricted to – portrayals related to contemporary topics such as indigenous peoples, climate change, and science, terrorism and justice.

Submission Deadline: November 20, 2015

Submit your abstract for proposed conference papers (400-600 words, Microsoft Word or PDF) to Couch Stone 2016 Please include a cover page with the paper’s title, name and role (faculty or student) of all authors with affiliation and contact information. Notifications of acceptance will occur during December.

Detailed information about hotel accommodation, conference registration, student travel stipends, and the planned conference program are forthcoming. Please direct other inquiries to Elizabeth McLin at Vancouver Island University (

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SSSI 2015 Business Meeting – Minutes #sssi #sociology #organization #businessmeeting

The SSSI 2015 Business Meeting was held at the Public Hotel in Chicago on August 22, 2015. The Minutes of the meeting are online on our website.

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Documentary “Behind the Wall” by Carolyn Ellis on YouTube #sssi #sociology

Carolyn Ellis’ film ‘Behind the Wall’ now is on our YouTube Channel –

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