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.

Goffman's Sociology of Everyday Life Interaction

Goffman's sociology of everyday life interaction

This chapter endeavors to draw a rough picture of the most important themes and concepts in Goffman's analyses of everyday life face-to-face interaction. The chapter will illustrate how Goffman's various studies of everyday face-to-face interaction all add to the same overarching theme: the interaction order. Goffman's investigations of the theatrical, ritual, strategic elements of social interaction as well as his identification of the various interactional elements in everyday-life social interaction all contributed to outlining the contours of a “substantive domain in its own right” (Goffman, 1983a, p. 2). The chapter is laid out in four parts. The first part presents the dramaturgical perspective that unfolds in The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life; the ...

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