'Atkinson and Housley have produced a book that is a very competent, interesting and useful addition to other work in the field. Its distinctive contribution for me, lies in the exploration of the relationship between, and developments within interactionist sociologies' - Sociology What is symbolic interactionism? This refreshing and authoritative book provides readers with: * A guide to the essential thinking, research and concepts in interactionism * A demonstration of the use of the interactionist approach * An explaination of why the interactionist influence has not been fully acknowledged in Britain. The authors argue that few sociologists in Britain have identified themselves with symbolic interactionism, even though many have engaged with interactionist ideas in their research and methodological work. We are all interactionists now, in the sense that many of the key ideas of interactionism have become part of the mainstream of sociological thought. Currently fashionable approaches to sociology display a kind of collective amnesia. A good deal of today's ideas that are presented as 'novel' or 'innovative' only appear so because earlier contributions - interactionism among them - are not explicitly acknowledged.