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 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.


In this episode we are joined by Jaclyn Wypler, a PhD candidate in Sociology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Jaclyn joins us to reflect on her shift from not being a fan of theory to being an organizer of the 2020 Junior Theorists Symposium. Jaclyn shares what her approach to theory and cookies have in common and uses her research on the experience of queer farmers in rural United States to demonstrate the value of a practice-oriented approach to engaging with the sociological canon.

In this episode we are joined once again by Seth Abrutyn, Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of British Columbia. Seth joins us to discuss what sociology can potentially add to the public conversation that surrounds COVID-19. In our conversation, Seth touches on the value of a number of theorists including Emile Durkheim, Erving Goffman, Jaak Panksepp.