Tiny publics and social worlds-Toward a sociology of the local

Gary Alan Fine, Reiner Keller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Gary Alan FINE is among the most prominent figures in contemporary sociological ethnography worldwide. In this conversation, he talks about influences in his academic career and key intellectual choices. Considered to be a “serial ethnographer” who has worked in multiple settings, his work focuses on small groups and peopled ethnography, as well as on rumors, gossip, and moral story telling in tiny and larger publics. FINE describes his core theoretical interest as residing in the interplay of structure, interaction, and culture and discusses the multiple local ways society is realized by people in formal and informal social settings: ranging from baseball teams, restaurant kitchens, weather reporting to chess players-to name but a few research sites. Influenced by symbolic interactionist thinking and other important approaches to social worlds, he argues for a confident voice of ethnographic research and writing as well as the importance of conceptual work in a theory-informed empirical sociology of what people do together.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number8
Pages (from-to)1-35
Number of pages35
JournalForum Qualitative Sozialforschung
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2021


  • Collective memories
  • Culture
  • Ethnography
  • Group
  • Interaction
  • Narrative
  • Rumor
  • Social theory
  • Social worlds
  • Structure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Tiny publics and social worlds-Toward a sociology of the local'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this