Meanings and Situations is an account of the ‘interactionist’ position. It is a committed account in the sense that it sees the central concerns of social psychology and sociology as being located in an interpretative and humanistic framework. At the same time, it argues for a bio-social image of man which does not do violence to the way in which men in interaction continuously construct and renegotiate ‘meaning’. This is in contrast to some of the highly fashionable ‘exchange’ and ‘game’ models of interaction which dominate the thinking of proponents of ‘respectable’ behavioural science. Hence, so the author urges, the current upsurge of interest in social phenomenology, ethnomethodology and symbolic interactionism is more than a reaction to the reigning paradigm in behavioural science. Arthur Brittan believes this new interest is essentially a return to the humanistic sources of these disciplines which have been in constant danger of being overwhelmed by the ‘behavioural ideology’.

chapter |29 pages


part part one|82 pages

Interaction as sociological grammar

part part two|53 pages

Models of interaction

chapter 6|12 pages

Interaction as drama

chapter 7|20 pages

Interaction as game and exchange

chapter 8|19 pages

Interaction as the negotiation of identity

part part three|38 pages


chapter 10|16 pages