Message from the SSSI President Professor Thomas DeGloma #sssi #sociology

The following message was sent by the SSSI President Professor Thomas DeGloma via the SSSI Newsletter Notes Vol.46(2) in November 2017.


Friends and colleagues,

It is an incredible honor to serve the SSSI as President for the 2017-2018 year. This society has been deeply important to me throughout my career. My first publication was in our wonderful journal. Moreover, I have always found an intellectual home in the society and have developed many lasting connections at our conferences, which, as many of you know, is a common experience in our community. I have also had the privilege of serving as an Associate Editor of Symbolic Interaction, working under the editorial leadership of Robert Dingwall. Over the years, I have come to greatly value what the SSSI offers, and I pledge to do my best to further its mission and objectives.

Before I get into our current agenda, I want to thank my predecessor, Leslie Irvine, for her outstanding leadership during this past year. I also want to thank Beth Montemurro for organizing an incredibly rich and exciting conference in Montreal. In addition, I would like to acknowledge the rest of the 2016-2017

Executive Council, as well as all of the committee chairs and members, all of whom dedicated time and effort to make this society as strong and intellectually vibrant as it currently is. Without their work, we would not be where we are today. I would also like to acknowledge and welcome the new and continuing members of our Executive Council, including Thaddeus Muller (Vice President), Lisa-Jo van den Scott (Treasurer), Laurie Linhart (Secretary), and Julie Wiest (Publications Committee Chair), along with Melinda Milligan (President-elect) and Stacey Hannem (Vice President-elect). I can assure you that your elected officers and official representatives are already hard at work building the year ahead of us. A special word of thanks and acknowledgement also goes out to William Force, our SSSI Notes editor, Joe Kotarba, who chaired our Task Force on Diversity, as well as Scott Harris and his editorial team at Symbolic Interaction.

Looking forward, we are in a unique situation full of both challenges and opportunities. Here are some thoughts on our current state of affairs.

Across the field of sociology and beyond, we are witnessing a renewed interest in pragmatist theory and methods and symbolic interactionism. Consider, for example, the 2015 pre-ASA conference on pragma- tism at the University of Chicago, the 21st Century Interactionism Panel at the 2017 Couch-Stone sympo- sium in Milwaukee, and the vibrant mini-conference (one that I co-organized with Daina Harvey) on Prag- matism and Symbolic Interaction at the 2017 Eastern Sociological Society meeting in Philadelphia. These events drew scholars speaking on multiple topics from many different institutions. Consider also new books (way too many to provide a comprehensive list!) that demonstrate new interest in the roots of prag- matism (for example, Daniel Huebner’s Becoming Mead, our 2016 Cooley Book Award winner, or Norbert Wiley’s Inner Speech and the Dialogical Self, one of two 2017 Cooley Award winners), new directions and studies in interactionism (for example, Elizabeth Hordge-Freeman’s The Color of Love: Racial Features, Stigma, and Socialization in Black Brazilian Families, a 2017 Cooley Book Award Winner), and pragmatist methods (for example, Iddo Tavory and Stefan Timmermans’s Abductive Analysis, which builds on the work the C. S. Peirce to present a fresh methodological perspective). There are many more fine exam- ples, as well as numerous articles within the pages of Symbolic Interaction and other important journals which show that our area is alive, well, and blossoming.

Given this revival, this is an exciting time for the SSSI. However, this is also a time of challenges as our organization faces a number of structural changes. This is the first year we are operating on our new meeting model, which raises a number of issues concerning our identity as a society. It also raises some basic questions about matters like the continuity of membership in the society and opportunities for members to connect with one another and access the resources of the society. The Executive Council is working to address these and other issues.

This combination of revival and change presents us with great opportunities – both to define who we are as a society and to reach out and engage the broader field of sociology. To this end, we are committed to a number of projects and initiatives that, I hope, will allow us to capture some of this innovative potential. Please keep in mind – we need all of our current members to play their parts as we march into the future – by recruiting new members, participating in the society’s conferences and engaging in its dialogues (both within and outside of the organization), promoting the journal, and, when possible, by serving on SSSI committees.

With all of this in mind, here are some highlights for the coming year, along with some issues we hope to address.

  • The Couch-Stone Symposium (our annual SSSI meeting this year) supported by The Lancaster University. Lancaster, UK, July 4-6, 2018. Thaddeus Muller is hard at work planning our Couch-Stone Symposium, which is our official annual meeting this year (and will be structured like a full annual SSSI meeting). The

2018 Couch-Stone Symposium will take place on the beautiful campus of the Lancaster University and be a cooperative venture with the European SSSI. Evidencing our growing international network, this conference promises to draw a diverse group of interactionists from several countries who will gather to share their research and discuss cutting-edge ideas in the field. I encourage all members to submit their work and contribute to this important and exciting event (see announcement in the current issue of SSSI Notes Vol46(2)).

We envision the conference to be a space where scholars from cultural sociology, symbolic interaction/ pragmatism, and psychoanalytic sociology can come together and discuss their different approaches to common themes. Indeed, we hope to intentionally organize sessions to promote such dialogue. I encourage all members to submit an abstract (see call for abstracts and panels, this issue).

  • The Roots and Branches of Interpretive Sociology: Cultural, Pragmatist, and Psychosocial Approaches. A Pre-ASA Conference, August 10-11, Philadelphia, PA. The SSSI, the Yale Center for Cultural Sociology, and the Psychosocial Scholars Group, among others, are working together to organize a conference to precede the 2018 ASA meeting in Philadelphia. The conference will take place at the Philadelphia cam- pus of Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education (, about 10 blocks from the ASA hotel. This is a beautiful, contemporary facility, and we will have the capacity to host three or four simultaneous sessions each day, along with morning and evening plenaries.
  • Membership: Renewing, Recruiting, and Building the Society. It is vital, given the transitions we are go- ing through, for current SSSI members to renew their memberships promptly. We must also reach out and find new members, from students to senior scholars in a variety of different institutions in different areas. Whenever possible, we ask that all members encourage their colleagues and students to join our great society. Julie Wiest, the Chair of our Publications Committee, along with Beth Montemurro, our out- going Vice President who is currently serving as our society’s Membership Liaison, are both working to facilitate this process. We need everyone’s help. Recruitment can by aided by promoting our conferences and our journal, and by sharing other opportunities and resources (such as this newsletter). As an added incentive, we are holding a membership raffle this year. The prize is a collection of the five most recent C. H. Cooley Award winning books! All members who renew will be entered to win. All members who recruit a new member will be entered an additional time for each new member recruited (report recruitments to me:


  • The Continuing Importance of Diversity. Last year, Leslie Irvine and Joe Kotarba spearheaded an effort to address the issue of diversity and representation in our society. They organized a fantastic diversity luncheon in Montreal where several ideas were discussed among attendees. They also produced a report that contained a number of recommendations for actions geared to promote diversity in the SSSI. In my view, much of this work can and should be accomplished as we build our conferences and events, organ- ize our committees, and nominate our leaders. Inclusion and representation must take form in our ac- tions. Our successes and failures will be measure in our work itself. We will continue to work to address issues of diversity and representation in the SSSI.


  • A Challenging Political Climate. Let us be clear. We are currently witnessing a heightened wave of at- tacks on the professoriate and on our institutions of higher education. Faculty are increasingly targeted for political speech in various public venues. Academic freedom is now quite commonly challenged or dismissed outright. Such attacks have already occurred multiple times, and very publicly, with regard to faculty at my own institution. I believe that, as a trend, these attacks on individual scholars represent an organized assault on the core principles of higher education. Simultaneously, we are seeing attacks on ac- cess to education (especially on our immigrant students such as those who are DACA eligible) and on certain areas of scholarship (like critical race and gender studies). Professional scholarly organizations are taking their stands and I think it is important that we do, too. I invite those who are interested in helping to develop a statement on these matters to reach out to me. Let us keep in mind that some of the most important founding thinkers in our field were also advocates of accessible and quality public education and academic freedom (notably, Dewey and Mead), and that the institutions we inhabit – those that house our work and our contributions to the world around us – are also historic centers of progress, civil rights, and democracy. Taken together, they are a vital cornerstone of any free society. Friends and col- leagues, we cannot afford to be fearful and silent in our time, so let us be loud, and proud, and defiant, and organized.

Over the course of the year, we will send updates through our listserv on these and other important matters. Until then, I wish you all the very best. Thank you for the honor of serving as President of this wonderful society.


—Thomas DeGloma

Hunter College and the Graduate Center, CUNY

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Newsletter: SSSI Notes 2017 – Vol.46(2)

The latest issue of our Newsletter 2017 Vol.46(2) has just been published. You can access the newsletter by clicking the link below.


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MSS Deadline today, Oct. 31st)

Fellow Interactionists:
This is a reminder that today is the deadline for submitting papers or closed sessions for the 2018 Midwest Sociological Society meeting, to be held in Minneapolis on March 23-25.
If you go to the MSS portal—
— and submit under the “Symbolic Interactionism” topic, Laurie Linhart and I will be organizing those papers into sessions.
If you organize your own session, consider asking it to be labeled as co-sponsored by SSSI.
The meeting will also include the SSSI banquet and the Peter Hall Lecture.
Best wishes,
Dave Schweingruber


David Schweingruber 318 East Hall

Associate Professor

Department of Sociology (515) 294-4079

Iowa State University

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2017 SSSI Award Winners (list) #sssi #sociology

2017 SSSI Award Committees


The George Herbert Mead Award

Winners: Will and Deborah van den Hoonaard


The George Herbert Mead Award is given annually to recognize a scholar’s career contributions to the field of symbolic interactionism. Submit nominating letters and relevant materials by March 31, 2017.

Committee Chair: David Snow

Michael Dellwing

Vessela Misheva


Charles Horton Cooley Book Award

Winners: Norbert Wiley, Inner Speech and the Dialogical Self, and Elizabeth Hordge-Freeman, The Color of Love

 The Society for the Study of Symbolic Interaction announces its call for nominations for the 2017 Charles Horton Cooley Book Award. This award is given annually to an author for a book that represents an important contribution to the perspective of symbolic interaction. To be eligible for the 2017 award, a nominated book should have a publication date between 2014 and 2016. 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 by March 31, 2017.

Committee chair: Matt Hughey

Department of Sociology

University of Connecticut

344 Mansfield Road, Unit 1068

Manchester Hall

Storrs, CT  06269

Jesse Smith

41525 Pheasant Street

Mattawan, MI 49071

Natalia Ruiz-Junco

7030-H Haley

Department of Sociology, Anthropology & Social Work

Auburn University,

Auburn AL 36849-5049


The Herbert Blumer Award

Winner: Andrea Laurent-Simpson, for “Considering Alternate Sources of Role Identity: Childless Parents and Their Animal ‘Kids’.” 

 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. Submit papers by March 31, 2017.

Committee Chair: Jessica Burke

Patti Adler

Amanda Shigihara


Helena Lopata Mentor Excellence Award

Winner: Eviatar Zerubavel 

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 Helena Lopata 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.

All nominations should include (a) a letter of nomination and, (b) multiple letters of support, ideally from people with different mentoring relations with the candidate, that testify to a sustained career of outstanding mentorship. Submit materials by March 31, 2017.

Committee Chair: Ara Francis


Baptiste Brossard

Marc Eaton


Martha Copp


Early-in-Career Award

Winner: Carrie Sanders


The SSSI Early-In-Career Award Committee recognizes junior scholars’ contribution to the field of symbolic interaction and potential. 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.

Submit nomination letters and relevant materials by March 31, 2017.

Committee Chair: Ross Haenfler


Karyn Marvasti


Dan Huebner


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2 Interviews with Carl Couch published via the CCCSIR #sssi #sociology

We have added 2 video-taped interviews with Carl Couch to SSSI YouTube Channel. The videos have been distributed via the Carl Couch Center for Social and Internet Research (CCCSIR). The videos of the interviews can be accessed HERE.

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#SSSI 2017 Annual Meeting – Author meets Critics – Elizabeth Hordge-Freeman #sociology

At this year’s SSSI Annual Meetings in Montreal we had organised an Author meets Critics session. In the session Kathy Charmaz, Natalia Ruiz-Junco, Brandon A. Jackson and Martha Copp discussed with Elizabeth Hordge-Freeman about her book “The Color of Love: Racial Features, Stigma and Socialization in Black Brazilian Families“. The discussion was led by Kathy Charmaz. The lovely photo was taken by the outgoing SSSI President Leslie Irvine.


Christopher Conner’s review of “The Color of Love” was published in Symbolic Interaction Volume 40(3). The review can be downloaded by clicking HERE.

More information about Elizabeth Hordge-Freeman and her work can be found HERE.

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Annual Conference – SSSI 2017 – Final Program

Dear Friends and Colleagues

the Final Program of our conference in Montreal has just been published on our website.

Please follow the link below, have a look at the conference and then join SSSI in Montreal. Beth Montemurro has done a splendid job in putting it together.

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