Who is Herbert Blumer?June 25, 2021
Herbert George Blumer is an American sociologist whose main academic interests are symbolic interactionism and social research methods.
st. Louis, Missouri. He studied at the University of Missouri and later worked with Herbert Mead at the University of Chicago. After working at this university for a period, he transferred to the University of California. His major works include Symbolic Interactionism: Perspective and Method (1969).
Blumer, along with Mead, became one of the important names of the symbolic interactionist approach. In line with this approach, in order to understand Blumer’s work, it is necessary to focus on the connections that affect his thinking.
One source of Blumer’s thought is his open admiration for his teacher, G. H. Mead. Blumer continued his lessons as a student of Mead and helped in publishing his works after his death (Plummer, 2008, p.108). In addition, Blumer systematically developed Mead’s ideas within the framework of a sociological understanding closely related to his theories. For this reason, the influence of Mead is seen predominantly in his works. Also, after Mead’s death, Blumer is considered the most important follower of his sociological studies.
Another source of Blumer’s thought seems to relate more generally to sociology being part of the Chicago School. The University of Chicago is recognized as the most important sociological center in the early 20th century. The main interest of this school was to study the city as a mosaic of social worlds, to do a real research in the city by leaving the library and to construct this conceptual and theoretically based view of the social world (Plummer, 2008, p.108). Blumer’s work is known to be closely linked to the intellectual tradition of the University of Chicago.
In this sense, it is seen that Mead’s philosophical thought and the empirical working principle of the Chicago School had important effects on Blumer’s work.
Herbert Blumer and Symbolic Interactionism
Blumer’s Methodical Approach
Prepared by: Sociologist Ömer Yıldırım