Social Research Glossary

 

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Citation reference: Harvey, L., 2012-17, Social Research Glossary, Quality Research International, http://www.qualityresearchinternational.com/socialresearch/

This is a dynamic glossary and the author would welcome any e-mail suggestions for additions or amendments. Page updated 2 January, 2017 , © Lee Harvey 2012–2017.

 

A fast-paced novel of conjecture and surprises
   

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Blumer, Herbert George


core definition

Herbert George Blumer (1900–1987) was an American sociologist who was one of the main architects of symbolic interactionism.


explanatory context

Introduction

Blumer was a strong advocate of the work of Georege Herbert Mead and Blumer created a ‘retrospective’ version of a Median inspired Chicago School of sociology.


Blumer is said to have been a strong advocate of naturalistic research and to have championed participant observation as a technique. There is little of his own published output, though, that is based on any ethnographic research.


Herbert Blumer is concerned that the development of sociology should not ignore the meaning construction nor the dynamic nature of the social world in its attempt to be scientific. He does not explicitly deny the possibility of a science of society but suggests that naive positivism misses the essential aspects of human interaction.

On concepts

In ‘Science Without Concepts’ (1931) Blumer argues that science cannot be contemplated without concepts and yet scientific enterprise should not be conceptual cogitation as this produces sterile science. [It must be grounded in empirical data].


Blumer proposes to show the role of concepts in scientific procedure. Blumer is not interested in epistemological debates about the nature of concepts, i.e whether they are nominal or real; whether abstractions are disclosure or distortion; or whether concepts are ‘ideas’ or ‘objective entities’.


Blumer takes as his base a psychological notion of the interplay of conceptualisation and perception. Concepts are not products of direct perception but are constructs that order perceived experience.


‘Sensitizing’ and ‘definitive’ concepts

Blumer sees natural science as characterised by theory that relates definitive concepts to each other. This, he maintains, is what sociological theory ought to do but which it has been unable to achieve. In his attack on variable analysis in sociology (Blumer, 1956) he expands his earlier comments on the nature of sociological concepts. For Blumer, variable analysis provides no pathway to theoretical exposition because it has failed to develop adequate variables to reflect sociological concepts. This failure is apparent in two related ways.


1. Generic variables have not been developed. By this, Blumer means ‘variables that stand for abstract categories’ (Blumer, 1956, in Lazarsfeld et al., 1972, p. 158) of the sort found in natural science. Such abstract categories, he maintains, are difficult to isolate in the social world. However, it is not clear from his writing whether he regards them as a theoretical possibility or not and the discussion of sensitizing concepts is confused with the possibility of generic concepts. Nonetheless, he is clear that the concentration on variable analysis with its disconnected findings hinders the development of such generic variables.


Blumer contends that variable analysis actually satisfies itself with pseudo-generic variables, whose universality is restricted because they are operationally defined and constrained by time and place, or, are simply general statistics applied to a particular location, or, are essentially sensitizing rather than definitive concepts.


2. Blumer is insistent that clear conceptualisation is essential to the development of theory. However, concepts in social theory are vague and at best sensitizing rather than definitive. Sensitizing concepts are ‘grounded on sense instead of on explicit objective traits’ but nonetheless may be formulated and communicated primarily by ‘apt illustrations which enable one to grasp the reference in terms of one’s own experience’ (Blumer, 1954, p. 10)


Such concepts are indicative of the direction for theoretic exploration and, although not directly testable, are modified by ‘stubborn’ empirical data.


It is not clear whether Blumer conceives of the emergence of definitive concepts from sensitized concepts, or even whether sensitizing concepts provide the basis for definitive concepts.


He is torn between his emphasis on the unique character of the ‘natural social world of everyday experience’, which hinges on the meanings conferred upon that world by its inhabitants, and the prevailing concern with an objective analysis of that world.


Blumer’s position appears to be an interim one.


[Thus even here, Blumer is implicitly accepting an empiricist approach, which hints at falsificationism. He was not, therefore, very far away from the preponderant approach. Merely objecting to the idea of definitive concepts in sociology but not the constitutive process of scientific knowledge except in so far as it implied, at least in social science, an intermediary step of ‘sensitization’. Whether one could or should transcend this is not clear, but it seems Blumer thought it unlikely to be a possibility, nor was it necessary to form some kind of pragmatic understanding and/or explanation of social processes.]


Sensitizing Concepts as a Basis for Objective Analysis

The dilemma Blumer faces is not resolved in his writing. The social world consists of unique individuals with distinctive minds and meaning constructs, as well as networks of relationships. Blumer argues that these are not amenable to objective or definitive conceptualisation. He maintains that the analysis of the social world must proceed through sensitizing concepts, for it only through sensitizing ourselves to what is the distinctive incidence of the common characteristics of social interaction that we are able to conceptualise at all. But this implies that there are fundamental or definitive concepts that the sensitizing process will reveal. Yet Blumer shows no sign of developing this link, indeed he insists that the very dynamic nature of society prevents objectification in the sense of definitive conceptualisation.

Since the immediate data of observation in the form of the distinctive expression in the separate instances of study are different, in approaching the empirical instances, one cannot rely on benchmarks or fixed, objective traits of expression. Instead, the concept must guide one in developing a picture of the distinctive expression. (Blumer, 1954, p. 8)

Thus, Blumer denies the possibility of definitive conceptualisation on one plane, calling into question any notion of definitive conceptualisation of sociological variables, yet is strongly aware that such a denial also calls into question any kind of objectivity in the social sciences. Blumer, however, is not happy to project an ‘objetivityless’ sociology. Relativism, he notes, is unacceptable to the sociological fraternity; and he wants no part of it himself.


Blumer argues for a progressive development of sociology through the refinement of sensitizing concepts. The implication is that sensitizing concepts, as they are refined, approach ever nearer definitive conceptualisations. Blumer, however, merely hints that this process is never completed, and does not discuss the implications of this for an ‘objective’ sociology. The result of the development of sociology through refinements of definitive concepts is that theory becomes elaborated, through some unspecified concordance with empirical evidence, as a resuklt of its plausibility than its testability. Blumer goes further. He argues that sensitizing concepts are not inferior to definitive ones. On the contrary, they have the distinct advantage of being more flexible.


What seems to be emerging from the sensitizing and definitive distinction is a parallel explanation-understanding distinction. Blumer is not proposing a phenomenological (Verstehen) understanding in opposition to nomothetic (causal) explanation. For him, sensitizing concepts are not fundamentally at variance with the concerns of a ‘scientific’ sociology; but what he sees as a scientific sociology is somewhat different from standard nomothetic perspectives.

 

Blumer asserts that the central problem for sociology as a scientific enterprise is the ambiguity of its concepts. For him, what is wrong with social theory,

consists in the difficulty of bringing social theory into a close and self correcting relation with its empirical world so that its proposals about the world can be tested, refined and enriched by the data of that world. This difficulty, in turn, centres in the concept of theory, since the concept is the pivot of reference, or the gateway to that world. Ambiguity in concepts blocks, or frustrates contact with the empirical world and keeps theory apart in a corresponding unrealistic realm. Such a condition of ambiguity seems in general to be true of concepts of social theory. How to correct this condition is the most important problem of our discipline insofar as we seek to develop it into an empirical science. (Blumer, 1954, p. 10)

Blumer’s answer to this question is his exposition of humanistic sociology embodied in his symbolic interactionism. Blumer claims that this provides the epistemological elaboration of the Chicago heritage. Central to his solution is the necessity to develop an empirical science that considers the interpretive process of human interaction. It is only through interpretation that meanings can be aligned to action.

The process of interpetation may be viewed as a vast digestive process through which the confrontations of experience are transformed into activity, [thus] any scheme designed to analyse human group life in its general character has to fit this process of interpretation. (Blumer, [1956] 1972, p. 162)

Blumer shows that variable analysis fails to fit this process of interpretation because, by concentrating on statistical association, it takes for granted the relationship between two associated variables; it regards it as necessary rather than attempts to understand the

events of experience presupposed by the independent variable.... The intervening interpretation is essential to the outcome. It gives the meaning to the presentation which sets the response.... an object, event or situation in human experience does not carry its own meaning; the meaning is conferred on it. (Blumer, [1956] 1972, p. 162)

No attempt to develop intervening variables to incorporate the interpretive process will work, argues Blumer, as ‘interpretation is a formative or creative process in its own right’. Interpretation cannot be reduced to component parts framed as variable because such parts would necessarily be processural, (such as perception, cognition, discussion, and so on,) and they would be as impossible to translate into variables separately as it would be to make the whole interpretive process into one variable. These processes, ‘vary from one instance of interpretation to another, and, further, shift from point to point in the development of the act’ (Blumer, [1956] 1972, p. 163).


Indeed, Blumer maintains that variable analysis is misleading by its very use of clear-cut discrete variables. Blumer asserts,

the empirical reference of a true sociological variable is not unitary or distinct. When caught in its actual social character it turns out to be an intricate and inner moving complex. (Blumer, [1956] 1972, p. 163)


[This suggests that Blumer is ‘ideographic’ in his insistence on the interpretive process and the inability to frame it as component parts. But definitive-sensitizing implies nomothetic possibilities, even if it is an unapproachable goal. Blumer is inductivist. Blumer is not a relativist. Blumer seems, in many ways to be close to the phenomenology of Schutz ].


Other areas of work

Blumer made an impression in 1939 when he published Critiques of Research in the Social Sciences: An Appraisal of Thomas and Znaniecki's The Polish Peasant in Europe and America. This attacked a ‘classic’ of American sociology for its inability to distinguish between attitude as subjective and value as a societal collective element. In the same year he espoused an interest in collective behaviour


Earlier (Blumer, 1933) he had undertaken a qualitative study of over 1500 college and high-school students by asking them to write autobiographies of their movie-going experiences as part of the Payne Fund research project, which was concerned about the effect cinematic films might have on children and young adults.


analytical review

Innes (undated) wrote:

Herbert Blumer is undoubtedly best known for his justly famous conceptually oriented work that did much to formalise and stabilise the ontological and epistemological bases of the symbolic interactionist perspective. Indeed, it is a testament to the ways in which he developed Mead's formulations that Blumer continues to exert a degree of influence upon contemporary scholarship in a number of different areas. However, certainly amongst younger scholars, contemporary knowledge of Blumer's work remains largely limited to the collection of essays in 'Symbolic Interactionism' and to a lesser extent, the posthumously published 'Industrialization as an Agent of Social Change'. The various writings in the collection edited by Lyman and Vidich (previously published as "Social Order and the Public Philosophy: An Analysis of the Work of Herbert Blumer") do much to extend our awareness of the breadth of Blumer's scholarship....


Nelson (1998) stated:

Symbolic Interactionism as thought of by Herbert Blumer, is the process of interaction in the formation of meanings for individuals. Blumer was a devotee of George H. Mead, and was influenced by John Dewey. Dewey insisted that human beings are best understood in relation to their environment.... With this as his inspiration, Herbert Blumer outlined Symbolic Interactionism, a study of human group life and conduct.

Blumer came up with three core principles to his theory. They are meaning, language, and thought. These core principles lead to conclusions about the creation of a person's self and socialization into a larger community (Griffin, 1997)

The first core principle of meaning states that humans act toward people and things based upon the meanings that they have given to those people or things. Symbolic Interactionism holds the principal of meaning as central in human behavior.

The second core principle is language. Language gives humans a means by which to negotiate meaning through symbols. Mead's influence on Blumer becomes apparent here because Mead believed that naming assigned meaning, thus naming was the basis for human society and the extent of knowledge. It is by engaging in speech acts with others, symbolic interaction, that humans come to identify meaning, or naming, and develop discourse.

The third core principle is that of thought. Thought modifies each individual's interpretation of symbols. Thought, based-on language, is a mental conversation or dialogue that requires role taking, or imagining different points of view...

International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences (2008) states:

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.... This oft-cited passage from his most influential and widely read work, Symbolic Interaction: Perspective and Method, sets out the cardinal premises of symbolic interactionism and the central message of his scholarship:

The first premise is that human beings act toward things on the basis of the meanings that the things have for them…. The second premise is that the meaning of such things is derived from, or arises out of, the social interaction that one has with one’s fellows. The third premise is that these meanings are handled in, and modified through, an interpretative process used by the person in dealing with the things he encounters (Blumer 1969, p. 2).

Accordingly, individual and collective actions of any scale or complexity reflect the meanings that people assign to things, as these meanings emerge in and are transformed within the context of human group life. Blumer incorporated these assumptions into his vision of social life as an ongoing stream of situations handled by people through self-indication and definition.

Blumer synthesized the pragmatist philosophy of George Herbert Mead (1863–1931) with Charles Horton Cooley’s (1864–1929) notion of sympathetic introspection, particularly as it informs contemporary ethnography, to develop a sociologically focused approach to the study of human lived experience. In opposition to behaviorist, structuralist, and positivist views that have dominated the social sciences, Blumer championed using an interpretivist perspective when examining social life. He contended that theoretical and methodological approaches to the study of human behavior must recognize human beings as thinking, acting, and interacting entities and must, therefore, employ concepts that authentically represent the humanly known, socially created, and experienced world....


associated issues

The debate about Blumer's interpretation of Georege Herbert Mead's work (and role in the Chicago School)

Herbert Blumer moved Georege Herbert Mead to centre stage in Chcago socisology, particularly as a guiding force behind Blumer's symbolic interactionism. A paper Blumer published in 1966 'Sociological Implications of the Thought of George Herbert Mead ' resulted in several exchanges questioning Blumer's intepretation of Mead's work.


Comment on Herbert Blumer’s Paper by Robert Bales (1966)

Bales, in 1966, replied to a paper by Herbert Blumer that ‘tried to suggest the freshness, the fecundity, and the revolutionary implications of [Mead’s] point of view’ (Blumer, 1966, p. 544).


In this reply, Bales takes some initial steps in distancing Blumer from elements of Mead’s own position. For example, Bales notes: ‘Mead distinguishes between the “I” (the process) and the “Me” (the object or structure) - both aspects of the self. Blumer prefers to emphasize the “I”; he says that the self is a process and that those who say it is a structure are mistaken’ (Bales, 1966, p. 545).


Bales critique does not set out to detach Blumer from his theoretical mentor, on the contrary it is one that attacks Blumer for his disregard of conceptual operationalisation. This disregard, Bales argues, leads Blumer to reconstruct competing ontological positions in the form of overly rigid dichotomies.

‘It is my impression that Mead’s social behaviorism was for Mead a philosophical key which allowed him to break out of the very semantic prisons in which I feel Blumer locks himself in his discussions of the self, the act, social interaction, and the object. For Mead the process of social interaction was central —not Mind, not Self, not Society. He showed that whoever starts with any one of the latter three as the fundamental phenomenon, supposing that the properties of the others may be deduced from it, has already entered one of the prisons. Blumer seems to start with the self, and in this sense he is not a social behaviorist, as was Mead. But, on the other hand, Blumer gives a good account of social behaviorism as he discusses joint action, and in this sense he holds the key. Why does he not let himself out ?’ (Bales, 1966, p. 546).


Bales goes on to suggest that Blumer’s assertion that self is fundamental to sociology and psychology is at variance with Mead because the self arises out of human interaction and, thus for Mead, is an ‘interposed process between stimulus and response’. Blumer sees the self as fundamental and thus argues for ascertaining the meaning that objects have for the social actor. He is opposed to an external ‘objective’ view of actors and actions. Mead, Bales argued, adopted both perspectives, indeed, one could hardly conceive that social interaction, out of which emerge mind, self and society, is merely what the participant defines it to be.


In conclusion, Bales accuses Blumer of being a philosophical idealist, unlike Mead, who was a ‘pragmatist and social behaviorist’.


Blumer's reply

Blumer’s (1966a) reply asserts that, contrary to Bales’ claims, there is no evidence in Bales comment which shows that he, Blumer, has misinterpreted Mead. Blumer reasserts that Mead definitely saw the self as a process and not as a structure. ‘The “I” and the “Me” Bales has introduced into the discussion were regarded by Mead as aspects of an ongoing process—the “Me” setting the stage for the response of the “I”, with the expression of the “I” calling in turn for control and direction by the “Me”. To say that one (the “I”) is process and the other (the “Me”) is structure is nonsense; both were treated by Mead as aspects of action. Mead saw the “self” not as a combination of the “I” and the “Me” but as an interaction between them.’ (Blumer, 1966, p. 547).


Blumer continues his counterattack by suggesting that Bales fails to appreciate one of the cornerstones of Mead’s pragmatism, that being the nature of objects. Bales construes two kinds of objects, ‘things’ that exist in the environment, and ‘meaningful objects’ that emerge from thought processes. This is contrary to Mead’s analysis, which saw objects only in terms of their designation. Blumer maintains that for Mead objects do not have an inherent or self constituted character.


Finally, Blumer reasserts that Mead did see the self as central. For Mead, human action is action that is built up through interaction with one’s self and that objects come into being only in relation to the self. That the self is formed through interaction, Blumer argues, is irrelevant to this central proposition.


Blumer concludes that Bales is misinformed about Mead’s thought, and his thesis merely shows that non-symbolic interaction may be approached ‘objectively’ from the outside. This does not mean that symbolic behaviour may be approached likewise.


Further contributions to the debate in 1967

The debate continued in the journal. Woelfel (1967) and Stone and Farberman (1967) also added to the attack on Blumer who responded to them.

Woelfel refers to symbolic interactionism as a ‘school of thought’. This short note attempts to show the logical absurdity of Blumer’s attempt to lay out what Mead really meant (which is what Woelfel assumes Blumer to be doing). As Mead argues that ‘nature is dependent on the orientation and action of people toward it’ (according to Blumer) then there can be no definitive reality of Mead’s or anyone else’s thought.


Stone and Farberman (1967) argued that neither Bales nor Blumer have penetrated to the core of Mead’s thought. ‘What is lacking in Blumer’s presentation is a firm grasp and an explicated statement of the significant symbol as a universal—its meaning fundamentally established, transformed and re-established in an on-going conversation.’ (Stone and Farberman, 1967, p. 409).


They point to the dichotomy that fundamentally divides Blumer and Bales. For Bales, people are beings who selectively apprehend and sustain a unique perspective of the universe. This is rejected by Blumer, in favour of a view which sees people as acting interactively to test apprehensions and attitudes.


‘Now we presume that Mead’s great contribution is the demonstration that this dilemma is false: the production of a significant symbol everywhere and always is a particular production which mobilizes shared perspectives by its very universality.’ (Stone and Farberman, 1967, p. 410).


For some problems, Stone and Farberman contend, the focus of attention is the particular act, for others, it is the universal. The stance of the observer is the universal stance for this requires a grasp of the world through generalisations.


Blumer, they maintain, for the most part explicitly accepts this position, but that often he drifts towards a ‘subjective nominalism’ similar to ‘Cooley’s sympathetic introspection’.

Mead’s critique of Cooley, Stone and Farberman argue, led him to assert that permanence and structure is anchored in universal symbolism, that explanation is not effected by concentrating on process rather than structure but that the ‘explanation of one cannot be accomplished without the explanation of the other’.


Finally, Stone and Farberman agree with Bales’ interpretation of the “I” and the “Me”.

‘The “I” is transforming; the “Me” transformed. As Mead put it, “the me is a me which was an I at an earlier time,” and not the other way around”. As Louis Wirth used to emphasize: “In the beginning was the act!” Clearly, only as a result of action can we transform unformulated experience into formulated knowledge. We must socialize, formulate or universalize experience to maintain the human dialogue that is human life. In this way, the unique, relative and percipient “I” emerges as the universal, structured and communally organized “me”.’ (Stone and Farberman, 1967, p. 410)


Blumer's (1967) reply to Woelfel and to Stone and Farberman

Blumer concurs with Woelfel that for Mead no object has an indigenous or self-existing character apart from the way in which it is identified by human observers. However, it is nonsense for Blumer to proceed from there to say that what Mead said and meant cannot be discovered. Blumer is not seeking some ‘intrinsic nature’ but to reveal what Mead’s scheme meant to Mead himself.


In replying to Stone and Farberman, Blumer points out that space limitations prevented a full discussion of many aspects of Mead’s thought, including the nature of universals, but that the ‘implications of the concept’ were alluded to. He refutes the dichotomisation that he is supposed to have set up to distinguish between himself and Bales. Blumer refers to the original article in which he outlined that group life consists of fitting together participants’ actions through a process of adaption of developing acts so as to grasp each other’s perspectives. In so doing, they use universal significant symbols. These universals do not however imply common action but are the basis for articulated action.


Blumer notes that Mead did not explain process as an expression of structure (as is the vogue in attempting to account for group behaviour using norms, values, status etc.). For Mead, ‘The structural aspects of group life enter into—not determine—the process of fitting lines of action to each other. Mead regarded group life as consisting of this process.’ (Blumer, 1967b?, p. 412)


Blumer finally reaffirms that Mead did not see the “I” and the “Me” as process and structure, respectively. Stone and Farberman’s discussion, he suggests, is badly confused and unexplicated.

On creating myths: Blumer-Mead tradition

The way that Blumer emphasised the role of Mead in the development of the Chicago School could be seen as a process of myth making, as Mead clearly had mch less influence in his lifetime than Blumer supposes. One might argue that Blume's emphasis of the role of George Herbert Mead in the the 'Chicago School' was a mythical construction aimed ultimately at his own self-aggrandissement. However, even if there is some veracity in this interpretation, does it tell us anything other than that the myth of Mead's importance in the school, through the construction of a heritage, is a legitimation of particular work practices?


Does such an analysis lead on to a critique, or even the identification, of ideological frameworks within which (in this case) an academic discipline operates. The answer is that it can. If we leave the analysis at the level of 'Blumer legitimated his work through the creation of a spurious heritage', we have not, from a metascientific point of view, progressed beyond the taken-for-granted of the myth, other than to suggest a motivator for its genesis. And this is quite insufficient as it merely leads to the danger of replacing one myth with another. In the example, Mead's assumed centrality is due to far more than Blumer attempting to legitimate his position. Blumer did not act deliberately to lay a false trail. Genuinely, Blumer (who taught Mead's social psychology courses after the latter's death in 1931) believed he had grasped the essence of Mead's thought and applied it to developing a more 'critical' form of interactionism, which he called symbolic interactionism. Many subsequent scholars have tended to take the Mead-Blumer heritage for granted. They, too, view the 'Chicago School' as bound up with symbolic interactionism and make Mead (often through Blumer) the provider of a theoretical context and a direct influence on the sociological practitioners of symbolic interactionism. (others e.g. Bales (1966) have challenged the Mead-Blumer line).


However, an uncritical acceptance of a Mead-Blumer tradition as indicative of 'Chicago School' sociology still begs a number of questions. Why did the critique of this view take so long to emerge? How was Blumer able to gain credibility for his Meadian view of the Chicago School? While it served Blumer's perspective, did he deliberately set out to create a view of the 'School' that saw Mead as the key founding father, or did other circumstances operate to facilitate or generate this myth? Are these other circumstances 'fortuitous' and random or are they indicative of an ideology of sociology? And what relation does that ideology have with a more general ideology of science or wider social ideology ?


related areas

See also

Becker

Chicago School of sociology

interactionism

symbolic interactionism


Sources

Bales, R.F. 1966, 'Comment on Herbert Blumer’s Paper', American Journal of Sociology, 71(5), pp 545–7.

Blumer, H.G., 1931, ‘Science Without Concepts’, American Journal of Sociology, 34(4), pp. 515–33.

Blumer, H.G., 1933, Movies and Conduct, New York, Macmillan.

Blumer, H.G., 1939, Critiques of Research in the Social Sciences: An Appraisal of Thomas and Znaniecki's The Polish Peasant in Europe and America, New York, Social Science Research Council.

Blumer, H.G., 1954, 'What is wrong with social theory?', American Sociological Review, 18, pp. 3–10.

Blumer, H.G., 1956, ‘Sociological analysis and the “variable”’, American Sociological Review, 21(6) pp. 683–90, reprinted in Lazarsfeld, P., Pasanella, A.K. and Rosenberg, M. (Eds.), 1972, Continuities in the Language of Social Research, New York, Free Press.

Blumer, H.G., 1966, 'Sociological implications of the thought of George Herbert Mead', American Journal of Sociology, 71(5), pp. 535–44.

Blumer, H.G., 1966a, 'Reply', American Journal of Sociology, 71(5), pp. 547–48.

Blumer, H.G., 1967, 'Reply to Woelfel, Stone, and Farberman', American Journal of Sociology, 72(4), pp. 411–12

Blumer, H.G., 1969, Symbolic Interactionism: Perspective and Method, New Jersey, Prentice-Hall.

Griffin, E., 1997, A First Look at Communication Theory, New York, McGraw-Hill.

Innes, M., 'undated, Review of 'Selected Works of Herbert Blumer: A Public Philosophy for Mass Society'', Sociological Research Online, available at http://www.socresonline.org.uk/5/4/blumer.html, accessed 22 May 2013, still available unchanged 14 December 2016.

International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences, 2008, 'Herbert Blumer', available at http://www.encyclopedia.com/topic/Herbert_Blumer.aspx, accessed 22 May 2013, still available unchanged 14 December 2016.

Lindsey D. Nelson, L.D., 1998, 'Herbert Blumer's Symbolic Interactionism', University of Colorado at Boulder, Spring, available at http://www.colorado.edu/communication/meta-discourses/Papers/App_Papers/Nelson.htm, accessed 22 May 2013; page no longer available 14 December 2016.

Stone, G.P. and Farberman, H.A., 1967, 'Further comment on the Blumer-Bales dialogue concerning the implications of the thought of George Herbert Mead', American Journal of Sociology, 72(4), p. 409–10.

Woelfel, J., 1967, 'Comment on the Blumer-Bales dialogue concerning the interpretation of Mead's thought' American Journal of Sociology, 72(4), p. 409.


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