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Analyzing Seinfeld using Symbolic Interactionism
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How to Cite

Kitchen, Deeb. 2021. “Analyzing Seinfeld Using Symbolic Interactionism”. TRAILS: Teaching Resources and Innovations Library for Sociology, July. Washington DC: American Sociological Association.


The theoretical paradigm of symbolic interaction has the potential to resonate with students because they can apply it to their everyday lives and to specific social exchanges. However, due to the abstract nature of theory, students may struggle to understand the ways we can apply this framework to actual human interactions. This activity is a tool for...


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Usage Notes

This activity requires one long class period (75-85 minutes) or two shorter (45-50) class periods. It is possible to complete this is a single short class period if you do not show the entire episode of Seinfeld and limit discussion on each of the core ideas.
Before class when you will begin the activity, assign students reading on symbolic...

Learning Goals and Assessments

Learning Goal(s):

  1. Goal 1: Students practice reading comprehension of a text on theoretical perspectives.
  2. Goal 2: Students confirm understanding the core ideas of symbolic interaction by identifying them in an episode of Seinfeld.
  3. Goal 3: Students apply the core ideas of symbolic interaction to their own lives.

Goal Assessment(s):

  1. Assessment 1: Students discuss symbolic interaction’s core ideas based on Paul Colomy’s text The Three Sociological Perspectives or another text on symbolic interaction.
  2. Assessment 2: Students identify examples of these assumption in episode 4 from season 7 of Seinfeld titled The Wink.
  3. Assessment 3: Students independently find examples of these propositions in their own lives and present them in class discussion or a short essay.

When using resources from TRAILS, please include a clear and legible citation.

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