Annual SSSI 2016 Conference in Seattle (CfP) #sssi #sociology

“Environment, Body, and Other Complex Systems in Symbolic Interactionism”

The Annual Meeting of the Society for the Study of Symbolic Interaction

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.

Call for Papers: 

Please send ALL paper proposals to If you would like your paper considered for a specific session (listed below), please identify that session in the email subject line. If your proposed paper does not fit any of the currently proposed sessions proposed, additional sessions are always being developed to reflect the paper proposals received. If you are willing to organize such a session please identify your willingness to do so in your submission email. The deadline for submission is April 15, 2016.

Collective Behavior

Cooley & Sociology

Deviance, Identities and the Life Course

Embodied Experiences in the Natural World

Human Interactions with the Supernatural and Divine

Identities in Transition

Interaction, Identity, and Gender

Interactionism and Online Pedagogies

Interactionist Analyses of Death and Dying

Mass Mediated Meaning

Online Bodies

Organizations and Organizational Communication

Performance Ethnography

Religion and Spirituality

The Self in a Digital Age

Social Cognition

The Sociology of Everyday Life

Space and Place in Symbolic Interactionism

Sport, Recreation and Leisure

Strategies for Teaching Symbolic Interactionism

SI & Environmental Sociology: Theoretical and Methodological Inheritances Symbolic Interaction, Community, and the Environment

Symbolic Interaction, Culture, and the Environment

Symbolic Interactionism and Natural Resource Management

Symbolic Interaction and the Non-Human Animal

Visual Methods and Analysis

War, Conflict and the Military


 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 Excellence Award in 2010.


The W Seattle Hotel

On the edge of the financial district in downtown Seattle the W 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. Located at 1112 4th Avenue, Seattle, WA, 98101 the hotel 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.

The W Seattle is providing a negotiated conference room rate of $229/night for single or double occupancy and $259/night for triple or quadruple occupancy and all rooms in the SSSI room block include guest room as well as meeting room internet access.

Rooms in the SSSI room block are available from August 15, 2016 through August 24, 2016. Reservations must be made by July 22, 2016 and may be made online at SSSI Room Block ( or by calling either the W Hotels Central Reservation service at 1-877-WHOTELS or the W Seattle property at 888-627-8552.

Conference Registration Fees and Banquet Ticket Information

Information about conference registration fees, society membership, and annual meeting banquet tickets can be found on the SSSI website, as that information becomes available.


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


About Society for the Study of Symbolic Interaction - Blog

The Society for the Study of Symbolic Interaction (SSSI) is an international professional organization of scholars interested in the study of a wide range of social issues with an emphasis on identity, everyday practice, and language.
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