In 1985, Herbert Blumer sent a message to the Qualitatives conference, which was printed in the program that year. At a time when symbolic interactionists were side-lined as interpretivists interested only in the micro, he sent this cheering message as we embarked on a journey of exploring the macro through the micro, of unearthing generic social processes (Prus 1987).
I am impressed very much by what you have in mind. Your objectives are excellent and your guiding rules are very much in order. Basically what is at stake is the question of how to see, to study, and to analyze human group life. The answer . . . is to probe into human group life as it is lived, to get intimately close to it, and to develop analytic schema that reflect honestly its empirical character. In my opinion, the prevailing approaches in the social and psychological sciences do not do this successfully, chiefly because of an unwillingness to get close to what is going on and then a reliance on substituting guess work and untested images. . . I wish you the greatest of success in you undertaking!
As qualitative researchers, we are committed to “getting close.” As Gary Alan Fine advocates, we must turn to the micro to study the macro. As such, groups emerge as a “hinge,” mediating influence, contingencies, and constraints of the macro on the micro and vice versa. We can move beyond conversations, then, of the macro and the micro dichotomy by studying groups and, as Blumer suggests, developing analytic schema and uncovering Robert Prus’ generic social processes.
We invite papers in the spirit of Blumer’s message, as well as any qualitative research papers unrelated to the theme
We are pleased to announce that Dr. Gary Alan Fine, Northwestern University, will present the Keynote Address and we are pleased to feature further plenaries by Dr. Waverly Duck and Dr. Susie Scott.
Abstracts can be submitted online at www.qualitatives.ca/submit-abstract. If you have any questions, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.