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Existential sociology provides scholars with a dramatic and adventurous way of understanding the workings of everyday life. It highlights the importance of individuals, their emotions, and their constructed interaction with social structures and cultural contexts built around them. The idea of an existential sociology, first developed a quarter century ago, has remained robust within symbolic interactionist circles. This collection of original essays, a sequel to two previous ones by the volume's editors, explores existential thinking in sociology after the advent of postmodernism. It focuses on key themes in this research arena through grounded examination of everyday situations and includes the work of Altheide, Clark, Fontana, Lyman and other leading figures in this area of sociology. It will be useful to scholars and for courses on symbolic interactionism, social theory, sociology of the emotions, sociology of culture, and sociology of everyday life.
Joseph A. Kotarba is professor of sociology at University of Houston. John M. Johnson is professor in the School of Justice at Arizona State University. Each has coedited a previous well-known volume on existential sociology: Kotarba (with Andrea Fontana) The Existential Self in Society (1984) and Johnson (with Jack Douglas) Existential Sociology (1977).