Conversations on Irving Street: Josiah Royce’s Contribution to Symbolic Interactionism

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Vernon Press, Jul 15, 2019 - Social Science - 124 pages

What influence did Josiah Royce’s academic work (1913-1917) have on the development of classical Symbolic Interactionist thought? And which philosophical influences shaped Royce’s social and philosophical thought? 

This book provides a holistic approach to Royce’s academic work and the social philosophy that shaped Symbolic Interactionist theory. By critically evaluating the works of Royce, this book reveals how his ideas and social philosophy made significant contributions to both Symbolic Interactionist thought and sociological theory. Situating his contributions within a socio-historical time frame, Royce’s social philosophy is compared and contrasted to the major concepts of George Herbert Mead (Mind, Self, and Society) and Herbert Blumer’s core synthesized components of classical symbolic interactionist thought (Symbolic Interactionism: Perspective and Method). Thus, demonstrating that Royce’s later academic works closely resemble not only the basic ideas of Mead but also have a strong correspondence with Blumer’s synthesis of the three basic premises and eight root images that outline the theoretical core of Symbolic Interactionist thought. 

For those looking to investigate or discover new aspects of symbolic interactionist theory from a classical viewpoint, this book offers a unique insight into an American philosopher whose contribution to the development of Symbolic Interactionism has been largely unnoticed.


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About the author (2019)

Dr. Brake is an Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice at West Liberty University. Darrick has taught at Concord University, Ball State University, Glen Oaks Community College, Grand Valley State University, and Western Michigan University in the Department of Sociology and Criminology. He has also taught numerous courses in the discipline of Sociology, Social Psychology, and Criminal Justice. Most recently, he has been focused on teaching graduate courses in criminal justice that have strong ties to the symbolic interactionist perspective on crime and deviant behavior. 

Professor Brake has various areas of specialization within Sociology and Criminal Justice which include: symbolic interactionism, the development and origins of symbolic interactionism, pragmatism, social psychology, and sociological theory.

Currently, his main ongoing research interest is focused on studying the reconceptualization of the development of symbolic interactionist theory by studying classical works in the theoretical perspective and explaining gaps in knowledge. The information and research provided by this monograph is a step in illustrating that there are aspects and works produced by numerous academics that explain, discuss, and describe gaps or unexplained areas of theoretical knowledge, symbolic interactionist knowledge. As these new reconceptualizations continue to emerge, a more detailed account of theoretical development can be assessed and aspects of symbolic interactionism can be re-explored or explored for the very first time. This investigation into Josiah Royce’s contribution to symbolic interactionism and classical interactionist ideas stands to represent a movement towards reinvestigating these theoretical perspectives rich and varied history and yet producing knowledge that has application in a modern context.

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