Group Life: An Invitation to Local Sociology

Group Life: An Invitation to Local Sociology
Timothy Hallett, Gary Alan Fine
Publication Date
December 2022
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Sociological analysis is replete with debates about “micro” and “macro,” individual and society, but all too often these miss the point: interacting groups are the hinge that connects the two. To understand how structures matter and how individuals navigate them, we must take groups and people in local communities seriously.

Gary Alan Fine and Tim Hallett skillfully argue that sociologists have the obligation to examine the role of small communities in the creation of both the interaction order and structural realities. With novel concepts and rich ethnographic examples, this book describes how group commitments shape selves and society, emphasizing the importance of a meso-level approach to social organization. Fine and Hallett provide new models of identity, culture, conflict, and control, and consider how a network of groups can provide insight into extended communication channels and social media lattices. Ultimately, they show that, despite the importance of institutions and individuals, group life is the fundamental building block of community. 

This timely book makes the case for a local sociology that includes sociality. It will be a welcome resource for students and sociologists, and a necessary call to action for the discipline as a whole.


Fine, Gary Alan and Hallett, Tim. 2022. Group Life: An Invitation to Local Sociology. Wiley.