By Erving Goffman
Habit in Public locations: Notes at the Social association of Gatherings
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Extra resources for Behavior in Public Places: Notes on the Social Organization of Gatherings
Munich: Duncker & Humblot, 1923), pp. 403-405, trans. £. C. Hughes (mimeographed, University of Chicago). Introductory Definitions 25 mean suppressing or concealing many of the capacities and roles the individual might be expected to display in other settings. "Whatever his other concerns, then, whatever his merely-situated interests, the individual is obliged to "come into play" upon entering the situation and to stay "in play" while in the situation, sustaining this diffuse orientation at least until he can officially take himself beyond range of the situation.
Something less than significant symbolism seems to be involved, however: an extended exchange of meaningful acts is not characteristic; an impression must be maintained that a margin of uncalculating spontaneous involvement has been retained in the act; the actor will usually be in a position to deny the meaning of his act if he is challenged for performing it. 36 UNFOCUSED INTERACTION example, that a political speech is an expected part of a political rally. " But we must then ask why a particular activity is defined as appropriate for the social occasion in the first place.
H. Mead's distinction between "significant" and "nonsignificant" gestures is not entirely satisfactory here. Body idiom involves something more than a nonsignificant "conversation of gestures," because this idiom tends to evoke the same meaning for the actor as for the witness, and tends to be employed by the actor Involvement 35 see that it is, in addition, a normative one. That is, there is typically an obligation to convey certain information when in the presence of others and an obligation not to convey other impressions, just as there is an expectation that others will present themselves in certain ways.
Behavior in Public Places: Notes on the Social Organization of Gatherings by Erving Goffman