Keynote Address - 2010 - Not Current

"Why I am a Pragmatist but not a Symbolic Interactionist"
Neil Gross, University of British Columbia 

No theoretical approach in sociology has been more influenced by the philosophical tradition of classical American pragmatism than symbolic interactionism. But has interactionism's appropriation of pragmatism been true to assumptions and spirit of the latter? In this talk I answer this question in the negative. Surveying both the merits and the demerits of interactionism, I suggest that a different use of pragmatism points the way toward a postpositivist sociology with greater explanatory potential.