“Social Worlds: A term which is frequently applied to ‘universes of discourse’ through which common symbols, organizations, and activities emerge. They involve cultural areas which need not be physically bounded. Typical examples might be the ‘social worlds’ of surfing, nursing, politics, or science. They Gay Community is a self-conscious social world. The concept has a long but vague history in symbolic interactionism and is discussed most clearly by Anselm Strauss (in Norman Denzin’s edited Studies in Symbolic Interaction, 1978).”
Excerpted from: Marshall, Gordon, ed. Oxford Dictionary of Sociology. New York: Oxford University Press, 1994.