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 “Forward”

Reading Goffman “forward”

In Chapter 2, we conducted a so-called “backward” reading of Goffman and attempted to outline the origins of his microsociological thinking in variety of intellectual perspectives and theoretical traditions. In this chapter, we shall try to read him “forward,” as it were, and thus try to identify how elements of his work have inspired other sociological thinkers and are employed as building blocks in contemporary social and sociological theory. Besides recording some of the most significant sociological analyses in the field of everyday, modern life, Goffman's publications have, indisputably, left distinct imprints in contemporary sociological theory. Not only has Goffman's authorship acted as inspiration or a dialogue partner to some of today's most distinguished sociological theory builders, his sociology has ...

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