We use cookies to enhance your experience on our website. By continuing to use our website, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. You can change your cookie settings at any time. Find out more

E-book purchase
Choose a subscription

Downloaded copy on your device does not expire. Includes 4 years of Bookshelf Online.


Where applicable, tax will be added to the above price prior to payment.

E-book purchasing help


Symbols, Selves, and Social Reality

A Symbolic Interactionist Approach to Social Psychology and Sociology

Fourth Edition

Kent L. Sandstrom, Kathryn J. Lively, Daniel D. Martin, and Gary Alan Fine

Publication Date - 16 January 2013

ISBN: 9780199933754

352 pages
6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

In Stock

Comprehensive. Concise. Contemporary. Symbolic Interaction for Today's Students.


The fourth edition of Symbols, Selves, and Social Reality provides students with a succinct, engaging, and affordable introduction to symbolic interactionism--the perspective that social reality is created, negotiated, and changed through the process of social interaction.

Focusing on how elements of race and gender affect identity, the authors use real-world examples to discuss the personal significance of symbolic interactionism, its expanding theoretical scope, and its relationship to other prominent perspectives in sociology and social psychology. They skillfully cover empirical research topics that are inherently interesting to students, such as the dynamics of self-development, impression management, identity transformation, gender play, rumor transmission, and collective action.

New to this Edition

  • * A new chapter (7) on emotions
  • * Increased coverage of race, class, and sexuality in topical discussions
  • * Updated discussions of recent social phenomena and movements

About the Author(s)

Kent L. Sandstrom is Professor of Sociology and Dean of the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences at North Dakota State University.

Kathryn J. Lively is Associate Professor of Sociology at Dartmouth College.

Daniel D. Martin is Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Minnesota, Duluth.

Gary Alan Fine is the John Evans Professor of Sociology at Northwestern University.

Previous Publication Date(s)

March 2009
March 2006
January 2003


"Symbols, Selves, and Social Reality offers the best overview of an interactionist approach to social psychology available on the market. The writing is superb and capable of engaging students from a wide variety of backgrounds."--Jason Sumerau, Florida State University

"I am incredibly pleased with the way that this text is crafted; it is sophisticated without being impenetrable. Part of its unique brilliance is the contemporary relevance of the material. From theories of animal selfhood to autoethnographic methods, Symbols, Selves, and Social Reality reflects the contemporary vibrancy of interactionist scholarship."--John Bryce Merrill, Indiana University-South Bend

Table of Contents

    In Appreciation
    About the Authors
    Introduction to Instructors

    1. The Meaning of Symbolic Interactionism

    2. The Interactionist Toolkit: Methods, Strategies, and Relevant Perspectives

    3. People as Symbol Makers and Users: Language and the Creation of Social Reality

    4. Socialization: The Creation of Meaning and Identity

    5. The Nature and Significance of the Self

    6. Role Taking, Role Making, and the Coordination of Action

    7. Emotions in Everyday Life

    8. The Politics of Social Reality: Constructing and Negotiating Deviance

    9. Collective Behavior and Social Movements

    Author Index
    Subject Index