This is a collection of articles dealing with the point of view of symbolic interactionism and with the topic of methodology in the discipline of sociology. It is written by the leading figure in the school of symbolic interactionism, and presents what might be regarded as the most authoritative statement of its point of view, outlining its fundamental premises and sketching their implications for sociological study. Blumer states that symbolic interactionism rests on three premises: that human beings act toward things on the basis of the meanings of things have for them; that the meaning of such things derives from the social interaction one has with one's fellows; and that these meanings are handled in, and modified through, an interpretive process.
Herbert George Blumer earned his doctorate in 1928 at the University of Chicago and went on to teach there until 1951. He later became the founding chair of the Department of Sociology at the University of California, Berkeley. In 1983 the American Sociological Association honored him with its Career of Distinguished Scholarship Award, acknowledging the importance of his codification of the fundamental theoretical and methodological tenets of the sociological perspective that he called symbolic interactionism.
"Blumer's collection of essays could be characterized as 'What everyone should know in words everybody can understand.' It is a lucid, straightforward statement of ideas that have been very important in the development of American sociology."--American Sociological Review "The best current source for the symbolic interactionist perspective and its methodological implications. . . . Today, when so many students and professionals are asking increasingly for relevant study, meaningful research, and a concern for the application of social science to social life, Blumer's book should become a best-seller."--Social Forces