By Philip Manning
The paintings of Erving Goffman has had an important influence in the course of the social sciences. but his writings haven't obtained the special scrutiny which they deserve. This new publication is the 1st complete and obtainable account of Erving Goffman's contributions, ranging in its scope from his very earliest paintings correct as much as the initiatives upon which he was once engaged on the time of his dying. Goffman's writings, Manning argues, are even more systematic and conceptually strong than is more often than not stated. The booklet therefore deals a defence of Goffman's writings in addition to supplying an advent when you haven't any previous acquaintance with Goffman's principles.
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Extra resources for Erving Goffman and Modern Sociology
In a manner reminiscent of his Master’s thesis, “Some Characteristics of Response to Depicted Experience” (1949), he triangulated data, using statistical information, structured and unstructured interviews, and ethnographic observations. His findings were gleaned from information about 204 petrol stations in and around Chicago. The crux of the report is that dealers have three main roles: business man, service attendant, and technician. All three are in conflict. As business man the dealer is relatively independent and prestigious, as service attendant he is at everyone’s beck and call– wiping windshields, brushing cars, etc.
In these dreadful times an individual depends on the tact and charity of the audience to limit the extent of interactional damage. Audiences are tactfully tactful. Should their collective performance become strained or too self-evident then the “dramaturgical structure of social interaction is suddenly and poignantly laid bare” and outbursts of laughter or remonstration are necessary to cover the rapid realignment of teams and performers (1959: 227). The overall tenor of The Presentation of Self is of a world in which people, whether individually or in groups, pursue their own ends in a cynical disregard for others.
Tacit information must also be explicated on stage; in everyday life the silence about such information is part of the manufacture of intimacy– these are the “entrusted secrets” discussed in The Presentation of Self (1959: 141–43). On stage the “involvement contour” of participants is much flatter than it is off it, where audiences are not there for the sole purpose of entertainment or enlightenment (1974: 142–4). Goffman’s self-criticisms explore the ways in which the vulnerabilities of the theater analogy can be used to generate discoveries about everyday social organization.
Erving Goffman and Modern Sociology by Philip Manning