Part of the SAGE Social Thinker series, this book serves as a concise and inviting introduction to the life and works of Erving Goffman, one of the most prominent social theorists in postwar sociology. Goffman's ideas continue to influence scholars in various fields and have also attracted many readers outside conventional academia. Goffman's overall research agenda was the exploration of what he termed the interaction order—that is, the micro social order that regulates the co-mingling of people in each other's immediate presence. He coined several new concepts (face-work, impression management, role distance, civil inattention, etc.) with which to grasp and understand the complexities and basic social restructuring of everyday life, many of which are now part of sociology's standard vocabulary.

The Legacy of Erving Goffman

The legacy of Erving Goffman

As shown throughout the preceding chapters, Goffman left behind a substantial as well as a stylistic legacy to sociology and related disciplines. His substantial contribution consisted in conceptually carving out—with great detail and originality—a realm of social life titled the “interaction order,” according to him deserving of analysis in its own right. Moreover, his writings on performance, stigma, total institutions, self, and framing have also left an impact and proven to be of lasting importance. His stylistic legacy consisted of an unmistakable Goffmanesque and exquisite methodological style that, among other tricks of the trade, comprised such writing and rhetorical techniques as irony and sarcasm, essayism, metaphors, and abductive reasoning (see, e.g., Atkinson, 1989). Goffman's legacy was ...

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