In this episode, we are joined by Dr. Amanda McMillan Lequieu, Assistant Professor in Sociology at Drexel University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and author of the forthcoming book Who we are is where we are: Making home in the American Rust Belt. Amanda joins us to discuss Kai Erikson’s Everything in its Path: Destruction of Community in the Buffalo Creek Flood (1976). Amanda introduces us to Erikson’s subtle approach to theorizing which he employs to better understand the Appalachian community’s response to environmental disaster. As she guides us through excerpts from the book, Amanda helps us understand Erikson’s concepts of community and communality, as well as the importance of time, space, and place to his theorizing. We conclude with a short discussion of potential critiques of Erikson’s classic work.

As always, a pdf of the two chapters discussed (‘Collective trauma: the loss of communality’ and the ‘Conclusion’) are available here.

In this episode, Dr. Andrew McCumber joins us to discuss Raymond Williams’s ‘Ideas of Nature’ from Problems in Materialism and Culture (1980). Andy introduces us to Willams’s overview of our changing understanding of nature and the natural and why it matters. Andy also discusses the influence of the essay on his dissertation research and current book project titled “The Pest We All Live With: The Cultural Meanings of the Life and Death of Rats.”

A pdf of this essay is available here.

In this episode we are joined by Dr. Christopher R. Matthews; a social scientist and epistemologist who specializes in the use of immersive research to understand ideas, people and society. Chris is the author of Doing Immersive Research Vol.1: Using Social Science to Understand the Human World and runs an impressive website with hours of content on methods, theory, and navigating academia. Chris introduces us to the work of Nick Crossley and reflects on the value of Crossley’s comprehensive synthesis of social theory centering the body. Chris also discusses his own approach to theory and his goals in doing research.

In this companion episode, Dr. Christopher R. Matthews walks us through a series of excerpts from Nick Crossley’s Intersubjectivity: The Fabric of Social Becoming (1996). Chris also provides us with screenshots of his own copy of the book so we can follow along with the text and see Chris’s approach to reading theory.


In this episode we are joined by Dr. Matthew Clair, an Assistant Professor of Sociology & Law at Stanford University. In our conversation, Matt introduces us to the work of W. E. B. Du Bois, discusses how Du Bois is one of the rare scholars who transcends sociology and the academy, and helps us understand how Du Bois’s approach to theory, relationship to sociology, and understanding of politics shifted across his career. Matt also introduces us to his own research on the experience of criminal defendants to illustrate the value of a Du Boisian approach.

In this episode, Dr. Michael DeLand, an Assistant Professor of Sociology & Criminology at Gonzaga University, joins us to read from Herbert Blumer’s article ‘Sociological Implications of the Thought of George Herbert Mead’ (1966).

Mike walks us through Blumer’s reading of Mead and discusses how the article offers a starting point to understand social construction and symbolic interaction.

Follow along HERE.


In this episode we are joined by Dr. Michael DeLand, an Assistant Professor of Sociology & Criminology at Gonzaga University. In our conversation, Mike introduces us to the work of Herbert Blumer and discusses how Blumer’s process-oriented theorizing of interaction and sense-making provide methodological inspiration and how Blumer’s critiques of more distant and structural ways of studying social life provided confidence in building his own research agenda. Mike also introduces his research on pickup basketball to illustrate a Blumer-inspired approach and the value of character-driven ethnographies.

In this episode we are joined by Dr. Jennifer McClearen, Assistant Professor of Sports, Media, and Culture in the Department of Radio-Television-Film at the University of Texas at Austin and author of the recently published Fighting Visibility: Sports Media and Female Athletes in the UFC. Jennifer introduces us to the work of Herman Gray and illustrates how his writings on the politics of representation transcend disciplinary boundaries through discussing Gray’s influence on her own study of mixed martial arts and marketing of women fighters.

In this episode Elizaveta Lepikhova, a second year MA student, teaching assistant, and supplemental instructor of sociology at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, discusses the work of Peter Berger and Thomas Luckmann.  Elizaveta discusses their contributions to the sociology of everyday life, introduces her schema of explaining their ideas (see here), and reflects on first reading the work in Russian. She also talks about Berger and Luckmann’s influence on her own research on social time.

In this episode we are joined by Jonathan Wynn, Associate Professor and Department Chair of Sociology at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and author of Music/City: American Festivals and Placemaking in Austin, Nashville, and Amherst. Jon introduces us to Erving Goffman, reflects on Goffman’s intellectual location and influence within the discipline, and discusses how his own work has built on Goffman’s call for a sociology of occasions.

*I also recommend checking out Jon’s frequent posts on the Everyday Sociology blog.