Making, Untangling, and Forecasting the Future of Symbolic Interactionism

Nigel Fielding

in The Eternal Recurrence of Crime and Control: Essays in Honour of Paul Rock

Published in print July 2010 | ISBN: 9780199580231
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191702280 | DOI:

Series: Clarendon Studies in Criminology

Making, Untangling, and Forecasting the Future of Symbolic Interactionism

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This chapter discusses Paul Rock's contribution to the theoretical development of symbolic interactionism and to the methods associated with empirical investigations informed by symbolic interactionism's analytic framework. It revolves around Rock's landmark book The Making of Symbolic Interactionism. Drawing on this text, the chapter considers Rock's account of the formative period in the original statements of symbolic interactionism and of subsequent debates informed by the critics and critical friends of symbolic interactionism. It focuses on the problematic intersection between symbolic interactionism and the social phenomenologies. It also identifies Rock's contribution to our understanding of fieldwork and, especially, to what he called the ‘pivotal strategy’ of participant observation. It also includes a discussion of the trajectory of symbolic interactionism's later and future development.

Keywords: Paul Rock; symbolic interactionism; The Making of Symbolic Interactionism; social phenomenologies; pivotal strategy

Chapter.  4164 words. 

Subjects: Criminal Law

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