The extensive legacy of symbolic interactionism in criminology

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Symbolic interactionism (SI) is a vital part of sociology today, and many of its key ideas and concepts have become ubiquitous among criminologists, though SI’s influence is not always recognized. SI itself derives from a psychological and philosophical perspective known as American Pragmatism. This perspective later strongly influenced sociologists, such as W.I. Thomas, Robert Park, Herbert Blumer, as well as criminologists such as Edwin Sutherland, Clifford Shaw, and Edwin Lemert. This chapter describes key themes and concepts from SI, and then sketches the early influence of SI on American criminology. It concludes by noting some prominent contemporary advocates of SI approaches in criminology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Handbook of the History and Philosophy of Criminology
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9781119011385
ISBN (Print)9781119011354
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Social Sciences


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