Structural symbolic interaction and identity theory: Current achievements and challenges for the future

Robin Stryker, Richard T. Serpe, Brian Powell

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

2 Scopus citations


This chapter summarizes the findings in prior chapters of this book and synthesizes these chapters' theoretical and methodological contributions to advancing identity theory and structural symbolic interaction. Consistent with the book's core thematic, this chapter discusses contributions made by prior chapters both to the foundational core of identity theory and to efforts to bridge between identity theory and structural symbolic interaction and other theories and paradigms in social psychology, sociology, and the social and behavioral sciences more broadly. The chapter argues that priorities for future research include addressing explicitly the question of where identity standards come from, the causes and consequences of commitment, and more generally, issues at the interface of identity theory's structural and perceptual control research agendas. The chapter also emphasizes the utility of identity theory for answering important questions in many areas of macro-sociology and urges more engagement between social psychologists of identity and macro-sociologists researching such topics as immigration, education, health, crime, law and deviance, culture, the state and politics, inequality, including class, race and gender, networks, social movements, and religion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationIdentity and Symbolic Interaction
Subtitle of host publicationDeepening Foundations, Building Bridges
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Number of pages21
ISBN (Electronic)9783030412319
ISBN (Print)9783030412302
StatePublished - Apr 22 2020


  • Affect control
  • Behavior
  • Cognition
  • Commitment
  • Culture
  • Emotion
  • Group identity
  • Identity
  • Identity challenge
  • Identity change
  • Identity competition
  • Identity control
  • Identity dispersion
  • Identity hierarchy
  • Identity maintenance
  • Identity management
  • Identity prominence
  • Identity salience
  • Identity standard
  • Identity theory
  • Identity verification
  • Macro-sociology
  • Meaning
  • Network
  • Non-verification
  • Norms
  • Organization
  • Perceptual control
  • Person identity
  • Racial identity
  • Rational choice
  • Reflected appraisal
  • Role
  • Role conflict
  • Role strain
  • Role-taking
  • Self
  • Self-esteem
  • Social identity
  • Social movements
  • Social neuroscience
  • Social psychology
  • Social structure
  • Status
  • Stress process
  • Structural symbolic interaction
  • Values

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)
  • Social Sciences(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)


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