University Libraries Welcomes Guest Lecturer

Illustration of a stack of suitcases and plane tickets with the text Dr. Sheldon Stryker Guest Lecture

Dr. Sheldon Stryker, distinguished faculty emeritus from Indiana University Bloomington, will visit the Macomb Campus on Thursday, September 13, 2012 as a guest lecturer. He will present, "The Travels of Self and Identity Theory: From Packing the Suitcases to Brief Visits to Ports Close (Other Orientations to Social Psychology and Other Fields of Interest Within Sociology, Other Social Sciences) and Distant (Art, Evolutionary Neurology, Structural Linguistics, Contemporary Cognitive Psychology)" at 7:00 p.m. in Morgan Hall 109.

"My talk first briefly reviews the import and substance of a structural symbolic interactionist theoretical frame and a derivative of that frame, identity theory", says Dr. Stryker. "This review argues the utility of the former and the validity of the latter, criteria of sound theoretical work in any discipline. However, given that all frames and theories are, necessarily, partial, their value also derives from their capacity to relate to issues in other frames, theories, disciplines. The bulk of my talk deals with this "bridging" capacity of the interactionist frame and identity theory, giving meaning to the travelling metaphor of the title of my talk."

Dr. Sheldon Stryker has served in multiple leadership roles at Indiana University since he began his tenure in 1951, most importantly, serving as Director, from 1977-2000, of the National Institute of Medical Health (NIMH) sponsored Predoctoral and Postdoctoral Training Program in Social Psychology. His current research focuses on extending Identity Theory, on applying that theory to social movement phenomena, and on advancing the project of meeting the responsibility of a sociological social psychology to examine social psychological processes in their social structural contexts.

According to Bridget Welch, Assistant Professor of Sociology, "The Department of Sociology and Anthropology is delighted to work with University Libraries to bring Dr. Stryker to Western Illinois University. This is a wonderful opportunity for our students to hear from the theorist who developed structural symbolic interaction and has extended social psychology into so many other fields."

Dr. Stryker’s lecture kicks off University Libraries "Art and Self Perception" event series. A complete list of the events can be found at

Dr. Sheldon Stryker Biography:

Sheldon Stryker is a Distinguished Professor of Sociology Emeritus at Indiana University Bloomington. His career expands some 62 years, the most recent 45 has been devoted to the development of a structural symbolic interactional frame and of Identity Theory that seeks to understand both the facilitation of and social constraints on role related choices that inhere in being a member of an organized society. In the course of his career, he has published several books, book chapters, and journal articles. Additionally, for more than 20 years he directed an NIMH-sponsored predoctoral and postdoctoral interdisciplinary training program in social psychology focusing on self and identity, served as Editor of the American Sociological Review, the Social Psychology Quarterly, and the Arnold Rolse Monograph Series. He has been the recipient of Cooley-Mead Award for lifetime research achievements from the Social Psychology Section of the American Sociological Association, the George Herbert Mead Award for lifetime contributions of the Society for the Study of Symbolic Interaction, the Lifetime Achievement Award for outstanding scholarly achievements of the International Society for Self and Identity, and in 2009, the W.E.B. Du Bois Career Scholarly Achievement Award from the American Sociological Association.