Relationships Between Neurosociology, Foundational Social Behaviorism, and Currents in Symbolic Interaction

  • David D. Franks
Part of the Handbooks of Sociology and Social Research book series (HSSR)


This chapter discusses the contributions of neurosociology to what symbolic interactionists refer to as the foundational social behaviorism of G.H. Mead. First, the varieties in symbolic interaction are described. A theme of this chapter is that if a field so different from symbolic interaction as neuroscience can contribute to it, then neuroscience can certainly contribute to all of sociology. This chapter starts with describing symbolic interaction’s early interest in aphasia, then how it supports accounts through evidence given by split-brain research. Then memory is shown to be highly unreliable and interpretive. Much of this chapter describes the issues that created pragmatism and closes with how mirror neurons support the philosophy of pragmatism and contribute to our ability to speak, another area critical to symbolic interaction.


Mirror Neuron Symbolic Interaction Correspondence Theory British Empiricist Speech Movement 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. Anderson, J. R. (1983). The architecture of cognition. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  2. Arendt, H. (1958). The human condition. New York: Double Day Anchor Books.Google Scholar
  3. Aziz-Zadeh, L., & Damasio, A. (2008). Embodied semantics for actions: Findings from functional Bain imaging. The Journal of Physiology, 102(1–3), 335–376.Google Scholar
  4. Becker, E. (1964). The revolution in psychiatry: The new understanding of man. New York: The Free Press of Glencoe.Google Scholar
  5. Christian, J. (1977). Philosophy an introduction to the art of wondering (2nd ed.). New York: Holt, Rhineheart and Winston.Google Scholar
  6. Churchland, P. (2011). Braintrust: What neuroscience tells us about morality. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  7. Damasio, A. (1994). Descartes’ error: Emotion, reason and the human brain. New York: Avon books NY.Google Scholar
  8. Denzin, N. (1992). Symbolic interaction and cultural studies: The politics of interpretation. Cambridge, MA: Blackwell.Google Scholar
  9. Dewey, J., & Bentley, A. (1949). The knower and the known. Boston: Beacon.Google Scholar
  10. Franks, D. (2003). Mutual interests, different lenses: Current neuroscience and symbolic interaction. Symbolic Interaction, 26(4), 613–630.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Franks, D. (2007). Neurosociology. In G. Ritzer (Ed.), Blackwell encyclopedia of sociology (p. 3185). England: Blackwell Publishing.Google Scholar
  12. Gazzaniga, M. (1985). The social brain: Discovering the networks of the mind. New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar
  13. Gazzaniga, M. (1998) The Mind’s Past. University of California Press: BerkeleyGoogle Scholar
  14. Gibbs, R. (2006). Embodiment and cognitive science. New York: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  15. Goldstein, K. (1948). Language and language disturbances: Aphasic symptom complexes and their significance for medicine and theory of language. New York: Grune and Sutton.Google Scholar
  16. Head, H. (1926). Aphasia and kindred disorders of speech (Vol. 1). New York: Macmillian.Google Scholar
  17. Iacoboni.M. (2008) Mirroring people: The new science of how we connect with others. Farrar, Straus and Giroux: New YorkGoogle Scholar
  18. Lakoff, G., & Johnson, M. (1999). The philosophy of the flesh: The embodied mind and its challenge to western thought. New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar
  19. Lindesmith, A., Strauss, A., & Denzin, N. (1988). Social Psychology (7th ed.). Englewood Cliffs: Prentice Hall. Inc.Google Scholar
  20. Loftus, E. (1999). Creating false memories. In The Scientific American (Ed.), The scientific American book of the brain. Guilford Conn: Lyons Press.Google Scholar
  21. Luria, A. R. (1976). Cognitive development: Its culture and social foundations (M. Martin-Morillas & L. Solotaroff, Trans., M. Cole Ed.). Cambridge, MA.: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  22. Maines, D. (1995). Some Comments on postmodernism: The so-called new interpretive turn. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Midwest Sociological Society, Chicago.Google Scholar
  23. Matza, D., & Sykes, G. (1961). Juvenile delinquency and subterranean values. American Sociological Review, 26(5), 712–719.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. McPhail, C., & Rexroat, C. (1979). Mead VS Blumer: The divergent methodological perspectives of social behaviorism and symbolic interactionism. American Sociological Review, 44(June), 449–467.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Mead, G. H. (1934). Mind, self and society: From the standpoint of a social behaviorist. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  26. Mead, G. H. (1938). The philosophy of the act. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  27. Mead, G. H. (1959). The philosophy of the present: The Paul Carus lectures. La Salle: The Open Court Publishing Co.Google Scholar
  28. Northrop, F. S. C. (1948). The logic of the sciences and the humanities. New York: Macmillan.Google Scholar
  29. Rizzolatti, G., & Singigalia, C. (2008). Mirrors in the brain: How our minds share actions and emotions. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  30. Schacter, D. L. (2001). The seven sins of memory: How the mind forgets and remembers. New York: Houghton Mifflin.Google Scholar
  31. Scheff, T. J. (1990). Microsociology: Discourse, emotion and social structure. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  32. Scott, M., & Lyman, S. (1968). Accounts. American Sociological Review, 31, 46.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Sook-lie, L., & Aziz-Zadeh, L. (2011). The neuroscience of language and action in occupations: A review of findings from brain and behavioral sciences. The Journal of Occupational Science Incorporated, 18(2), 1–18.Google Scholar
  34. Stryker, S. (1985). Symbolic interaction and role theory. In G. Lindzey & E. Aronson (Eds.), The handbook of social psychology (pp. 311–378). New York: Random House.Google Scholar
  35. Sykes, G., and Matza D. (1957). ‘‘Techniques of Neutralization: A Theory of Delinquency.’’ American Sociological Review . 22, 664–70Google Scholar
  36. Wentworth, W. M., & Ryan, J. (1992). Balancing mind body and culture: The place of emotion in social life. In D. D. Franks & V. Gecas (Eds.), Social perspectives on emotion (pp. 25–46). Stamford: JAI Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of SociologyVirginia Commonwealth UniversityRichmondUSA

Personalised recommendations