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 Life and Times of Erving Goffman

The life and times of Erving Goffman

Erving Goffman was undoubtedly one of the most significant, inspirational, and original sociologists on the post–World War II academic scene in the United States. Although at the beginning of his career it seemed unlikely that Goffman would succeed and eventually end up as an internationally renowned and recognized social thinker, he gradually—despite his continuous status as an outsider compared to the major paradigms of his time—grew into one of the finest stalwarts of postwar sociology whose ideas and perspective inspired ever new generations to take an interest in the microsociological aspects of social life. As one commentator once observed about the particular impact of Goffman's work: “Once you have been spellbound by ...

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