You are here

Interpretive Interactionism

Interpretive Interactionism

Second Edition

December 2001 | 208 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc
Praise for the First Edition:

`Interpretive Interactionism argues strongly for a new approach to qualitative research methods. Writing primarily for established practitioners and advanced graduate students, Denzin seeks to fuse influences of symbolic interactionist, hermeneutical, feminist, post-modern and critical-biographical thought into his personal approach to research, which he calls interpretive interactionism' - Contemporary Sociology

The expanded and updated Second Edition includes: information on how interpretive work can be used to further the workings of a free, democratic society; a new chapter on interpretive criteria in the Seventh moment; a re-examination of the key notion of thick description, in light of the narrative and performance turns in the social sciences; new material on multisited ethnographies, the politics of place, the ethnoscapes of group life; links made with recent qualitative turns, from literary ethnography to feminist, cultural, critical race, interpretive and Foucauldian studies; and new coverage of narratives and sacred places and new writing forms (layered texts, poetry, short stories).

1. Interpretive Criteria in the Seventh Moment
Interpretive Criteria in the Seventh Moment

The Performance Turn

Experiences and Performances

Performing Montana


2. The Interpretive Point of View
Performing Racial Memories

Personal Biography

The Interpretive Heritage

Opening Up the World for Interpretation

What Is Interpretive Interactionism?

Interpretation and Science

History, Power, Emotion, and Knowledge

The Criteria of Interpretation

The Agenda


3. Securing Biographical Experience


Narrative's Moment

Selves, Narratives and Sacred Places

Interpreting and Biographical


4. The Interpretive Process The Steps to Interpretation
Framing the Research Question






Evaluating Interpretive Materials


5. Situating Interpretation
Time, History, and Mapping

Learning the Language and Its Meanings

Researcher as Newcomer and Knowing Subject


6. Thick Description
A Double Crisis

Thick Description as Performative Writing

Examples of Thick Description-as-Inscription

Thin Description-as-Inscription

Good and Bad Thick Description


7. Doing Interpretation
Exemplars of Interpretation

What Interpretation Does

Types of Interpretation and Exemplars

Performing and Representing Interpretation



8. Conclusion: On Interpretive Interactionism

Biographical Experience

Reading and Writing Experience

Fiction and Interpretation

Interpretive Interactionism in the Postmodern Period

Glossary of Terms

An insighful and very thought provoking book that explores the craft of qualitative research. Denzin as always brings the soul into the 'scientific research' and beautyfully talks about data analysis and research paradigms

Mr Fergus Hogan
Department of Applied Arts, Waterford Institute of Technology
May 22, 2015

This book is a serious player for anyone who is considering a research higher degree. Professor Denzin lays out his research method in a logical and readable way. Interpretative Interactionism is a hugely useful research method!!

Mr Nick Purkis
Interprofessional Studies, Winchester University
August 30, 2013

Excellent text book which addresses the complexities of philosophical aspects research

Mr Michael Hall
Management , City College Norwich
August 27, 2011

For instructors

This book is not available as an inspection copy. For more information contact your local sales representative.

Purchasing options

Please select a format:

ISBN: 9780761915140
ISBN: 9780761915133

SAGE Research Methods is a research methods tool created to help researchers, faculty and students with their research projects. SAGE Research Methods links over 175,000 pages of SAGE’s renowned book, journal and reference content with truly advanced search and discovery tools. Researchers can explore methods concepts to help them design research projects, understand particular methods or identify a new method, conduct their research, and write up their findings. Since SAGE Research Methods focuses on methodology rather than disciplines, it can be used across the social sciences, health sciences, and more.

With SAGE Research Methods, researchers can explore their chosen method across the depth and breadth of content, expanding or refining their search as needed; read online, print, or email full-text content; utilize suggested related methods and links to related authors from SAGE Research Methods' robust library and unique features; and even share their own collections of content through Methods Lists. SAGE Research Methods contains content from over 720 books, dictionaries, encyclopedias, and handbooks, the entire “Little Green Book,” and "Little Blue Book” series, two Major Works collating a selection of journal articles, and specially commissioned videos.