CFP Deadline Approaching: Symbolic Interaction and New Social Media

*Studies in Symbolic Interaction*, a research bi-annual, edited by Norman
K. Denzin (University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign), invites submissions
for a special issue on symbolic interaction and new social media, to be
edited by Shing-Ling Sarina Chen and Laura Terlip (University of Northern

While the works of George H. Mead, Georg Simmel, Erving Goffman and other
leading symbolic interactionists have been integral to the study of social
interaction, researchers from this tradition have been somewhat hesitant to
engage in the study of mediated communication. It is critical that symbolic
interactionists move boldly forward to study what has become for many a
dominant form of communication in their everyday life.

Symbolic interactionism, a powerful perspective in studying social
interaction, seemingly lacks readily available conceptual tools to help
researchers fully grasp the nuances of mediated communication.  For
instance, Mead?s works are full of conceptual tools for studying mind,
self, and society yet obviously void of specific tools to study social
interaction made possible by advances in communication technology and
mediated communication.

The prevalence of new social media, Facebook, Twitter, etc. has made it
impossible for symbolic interactionists to ignore the effects of mediated
communication when they study social relationships in everyday life.  Whether
we research identities, emotion, memory, family, work,
career, presentations of self, deception, love, loss or other areas, the
impact of mediated communication is felt by those interacting within it.

C. Wright Mills advised that we live in a second-hand world, one mediated
by culture, language, and communication.  Harold Innis, Marshall McLuhan,
and Carl Couch argued that information technologies fundamentally changed
the way we form relationships with one another.  Stuart Hall further
advocates that a politics of representation mediates our relationship to
reality, as we no longer confront the world directly.

The new social media build on and further complicate all of the issues and
processes of symbolic interaction.   This special issue provides an arena
for researchers to build on and expand the existing symbolic interactionist
perspective to include the study of social interaction made possible by the
use of new social media.  This special issue offers researchers an
opportunity to demonstrate the interface between willful social interaction
and structured technological features?how social media are defined by
social interactions, as well as how social interactions are dictated by the
use of social media.

There is no shortage of topics that offer insights into the investigation
of the relationships between social interaction and social media, such as,
but not limited to:

Avatars, digital bodies, and identity
Gaming communities
Facebook and Twitter in education
Facebook and Twitter in Congress
Microblogs and relationships building
Online dating research
Self-representation online
Social media and deviance
Social media and divorce
Social media and elections
Social media and fan communities
Social media and grieving
Social media and health/illness
Social media and homelessness
Social media and immigrants
Social media and privacy
Social media and religion
Social media and social capital
Social media and social movements
Social media and the elderly
Social media network analysis
Social media journalism
Wikileaks and secrecy
Wireless and mobile media studies

Interested scholars should submit an abstract of no more than 500 words for
consideration.  Submissions should be e-mailed to Shing-Ling Sarina Chen at by January 31, 2012.

Abstract submission deadline:  January 31, 2012
Author notification deadline:  February 15, 2012
First-draft manuscript deadline:  May 15, 2012
Final manuscript deadline:  August 15, 2012
Issue Publication:  December 1, 2012

We look forward to receiving your abstract submissions.  For more
information about this special issue, please contact Shing-Ling Sarina Chen
at, or Laura Terlip at


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