This comprehensive book provides an indispensable introduction to the most significant figures in contemporary social theory. Grounded strongly in the European tradition, the profiles include Michel Foucault, J[um]urgen Habermas, Roland Barthes, Jean Baudrillard, Pierre Bourdieu, Zygmunt Bauman, Martin Heidegger, Frederic Jameson, Richard Rorty, Nancy Chodorow, Anthony Giddens, Stuart Hall, Luce Irigaray and Donna Haraway. In guiding students through the key figures in an accessible and authoritative fashion, the book provides detailed accounts of the development of the work of major social theorists and charts the relationship between different traditions of social, cultural and political thought.

Erving Goffman

Erving Goffman

Biographical Details and Theoretical Context

Erving Goffman was born in Canada in 1922. He completed a BA in sociology and anthropology at the University of Toronto in 1945 and a PhD in sociology at the University of Chicago in 1953. For his doctoral thesis (‘Communication Conduct in an Island Community’), Goffman spent a year living and observing social interaction on a small island community off the coast of Scotland. Goffman wrote his doctoral dissertation in Paris where he became familiar with existentialism. Drawing on his research in the Shetland Isles, Goffman published his first major work The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life in 1956. The reissued version of this book in 1959 would become Goffman's most popular and widely read work. From ...

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