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.

Reading Goffman “Backward”

Reading Goffman “backward”

In this chapter, we address Erving Goffman's theoretical roots and sources of inspiration. The primary aim is to illustrate the theoretical sources of Goffman's works and the influence of these in the construction of his own position. We begin by introducing the theorists and traditions to whom Goffman refers explicitly and directly, and afterward we turn to perspectives and theories that are not so explicitly elaborated in Goffman's works but nonetheless seem to have had an impact on his sociological thinking. We have permitted ourselves to be selective and have chosen the traditions we believe have had the greatest influence on or display the most significant similarities to his work.

Émile Durkheim

Although French sociologist Émile Durkheim is often associated with the ...

  • Loading...
locked icon

Sign in to access this content

Get a 30 day FREE TRIAL

  • Watch videos from a variety of sources bringing classroom topics to life
  • Read modern, diverse business cases
  • Explore hundreds of books and reference titles