Herbert Blumer (1900-1987) was a prominent figure in the field of sociology, known for his significant contributions to symbolic interactionism.
Blumer's completed his studies in 1928 and became a lecturer at the University of Chicago. He succeeded George Herbert Mead. For nearly a quarter of a century, from 1928 to 1952, Blumer served as a distinguished professor of sociology at the University of Chicago, further developing and refining the principles of symbolic interactionism. His work during this period laid the foundation for his enduring influence on the field. In 1952, Blumer moved to Berkeley, California, where he continued his academic pursuits as a professor of sociology. His expertise and leadership in the field were widely recognized, as he also served as the President of the American Sociological Association during his illustrious career.
One of Blumer's most notable achievements was the publication of his seminal work, "Symbolic Interactionism: Perspective and Method", in 1969. This influential book provided deep insights into the three fundamental premises of symbolic interactionism. According to Blumer, human beings act based on the meanings things hold for them, these meanings emerge from social interactions, and individuals engage in an interpretative process to handle and modify these meanings.
Blumer illustrated the importance of effective communication in social interactions through examples like a robbery. He emphasized that miscommunication in any of the three aspects involved—what the victim should do, what the robber intends to do, and the joint act of the robbery—can lead to interaction failure. To support his theories empirically, Blumer's ideas found practical applications in studies related to crime and violence, as evidenced by the work of researchers like G. Kroese and R. Staring in the field of armed robberies.
Herbert Blumer's contributions to sociology, particularly symbolic interactionism, have had a profound and lasting impact on our understanding of how individuals interact with their social environment. He passed away in 1987.