For sophomore/junior-level courses in Social Psychology or Social Theory in departments of Sociology; and for Senior seminar courses that examine the symbolic interactionist perspective. Using a unique step-by-step, integrated approach, this text organizes the basic concepts of symbolic interactionism in such a way that students understand them clearly and are able to apply them to their own lives. It emphasizes the active side of human beings-humans as definers and users of the environment, humans as problem solvers and in control of their own actions-and it shows students how society makes us, and how we in turn shape society. An integrated approach-Each chapter builds on previous ones. Enables students to first grasp individual concepts and then understand the symbolic interactionism perspective as a whole. Applied examples-E.g., shows how the perspective can be applied to gender and ethnic group relations. Gives students workable examples for applying concepts to their own lives. Recent empirical studies - Shows students how symbolic interactionism has been used to study human action. A full chapter on the theories of Erving Goffman-With discussions on drama in interaction, the self of social interaction, rituals of interaction, and the environments of social interaction. Introduces students to the important works and thoughts of a prominent pioneer in the field.