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The Timeliness of George Herbert Mead$
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Hans Joas and Daniel R. Huebner

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780226376943

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226377131.001.0001

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Social Worlds: The Legacy of Mead’s Social Ecology in Chicago Sociology

Social Worlds: The Legacy of Mead’s Social Ecology in Chicago Sociology

(p.165) Chapter Eight Social Worlds: The Legacy of Mead’s Social Ecology in Chicago Sociology
The Timeliness of George Herbert Mead

Daniel Cefaï

University of Chicago Press

Daniel Cefaï examines the research of major and minor figures of the Chicago School of Sociology. He traces the importance of Mead’s examination of fields of experience organized by universes of discourse to the development of so-called social worlds in that school—for example, in the works of eminent sociologists Tamotsu Shibutani, Anselm Strauss, and Howard S. Becker. Cefaï utilizes the numerous (often unpublished) dissertations of sociologists trained at the University of Chicago in the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s to present a novel, detailed analysis of the theoretical complexity of ecologies of social worlds, including their multiplicity, their various forms, and their intersections. He finds in Mead’s understanding of ecology an important counterpoint to the human ecology practiced in Chicago in the 1920s and an important contribution to the rethinking of the place of objects in social theory.

Keywords:   George Herbert Mead, Chicago School of Sociology, history of sociology, University of Chicago, social ecology, social theory

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