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Erving Goffman
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Erving Goffman

Four Volume Set
Edited by:

December 2000 | 1 688 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd
Erving Goffman (1922-82) was an inspirational thinker, and one of the giants of 20th century sociology. Several of his books, notably The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life (1959), Asylums (1961), Relations in Public (1963), Stigma (1963) and Gender Advertisements (1979) are acknowledged as modern classics. Goffman fundamentally revised how we think of social life. After him, the study of social encounters, behavior in public, the construction and deconstruction of the self, stigma and forms of everyday communication, were never the same again.

Without being obviously attached to any discrete research tradition, Goffman drew from the best thought on social interaction, applied it in his fieldwork, and produced a richly satisfying and extraordinarily influential approach to making sense of social life. He was a sociological virtuoso, producing unmatched insights into how life with others is sustained and why forms of interaction break down or cause personal damage.

This unparalleled collection, edited by two acknowledged international experts on Goffman, produces a unique reference resource for researchers and students. It consists of the main critical responses to Goffman's oeuvre, offering readers a distillation of the main themes in Goffman's work and explaining how these themes relate to contemporary social thought. The collection is systematic and constitutes a unique asset in understanding this searching and wide-ranging thinker.

The four volumes are thematically organized into nine sections:

Section 1: Personal Reminiscences

Goffman became internationally famous during the 1960s and 70s, at a moment when American sociology was growing by leaps and bounds. Although in some ways, an unusually reticent man, Goffman's success made him one of the `faces' of American sociology during these crucial years in the professional formation of the subject. Because Goffman's methods of analysis are so personal to the man himself, this section is a particularly useful guide to elucidating and applying Goffman's ideas.

Section 2: Biography and Career

In this section Goffman's career is systematically and critically presented. Included are reflections on Goffman's relation to the academic community, his central legacies and his highly daring and revisionist attempt to rethink social encounters and social life.

Section 3: Goffman's Sociology & Modern Society

Although Goffman produced one of the most significant and influential of all contemporary approaches to sociology, the application of his ideas to the central questions of the day is often hard to identify. He was never an overtly `political' thinker, nor did he engage in utopian theorizing. In this section, the relevance of Goffman's ideas for understanding modern society is pinpointed. Included are considerations of his dramaturgical method, his place in the politics of 60s Sociology, the relation of his ideas to questions of civility and etiquette and a discussion of how Goffman viewed human nature.

Section 4: Methods

Towards the end of his life Goffman sought to externalize the main methodological themes in his work. These had been mainly implicit in his popular writings in the late 1950s and 60s. However, in books like Forms of Talk (1981) and Frame Analysis (1986) he began to be more concrete about the key methodological elements in his work. This section includes discussions of Goffman's use of the concept of self, outlines the distinctive features of his method and indicates how his thought relates to `common sense'.

Section 5: Textuality

This section continues the theme of Goffman's methodology, by examining how he understood and applied forms of `reading' society and, in turn, how his readings have been `read'. The challenge his work poses to orthodox ethnography, the place of irony in his analysis, the virtuoso character of his sociology and Goffman's innovations and decoding interaction comprise the central themes of this section.

Section 6: Central Sociological Concerns

In this, the most lengthy section of the collection, Goffman's central sociological concerns are investigated. His work on interaction, self, frames, stigma, mental illness and total institutions is critically examined. The section reveals the amazing fertility of Goffman's insights and the astonishing range of his sociological imagination. Above all, a critical understanding of why Goffman is important for sociology, what his achievement constitutes, and the strengths and limitations of his sociology, emerges from these pages.

Section 7: Goffman and the Classical Tradition

Goffman's relation to the classical tradition is explored in this section. Comparisons with the ideas of Cooley, Simmel, Park, Hughes and the Chicago School are identified and elaborated. The section helps readers to understand the nature of the unusual crucible from which Goffman's approach emerged.

Section 8: Goffman and His Contemporaries

Goffman's ideas generated a huge amount of critical discussion in his own lifetime. This section provides readers with a comprehensive guide to Goffman's relationship to the work of Blumer, structuralism, existentialism, Sartre, Elias, Habermas and feminism. Again, the sheer range of Goffman's influence emerges most powerfully.

Section 9: Goffman's Influence on Successors

Although Goffman died in 1982, his work is still a major influence in contemporary social analysis. This section explains how Goffman's ideas have been used in contemporary work on conversation analysis, semiotics, consumer culture, postmodernism and the public sphere.

This magisterial collection is a fitting critical tribute to the sociology of Erving Goffman. It enables readers to fully appreciate the achievement and originality of this seminal thinker.


Gary Alan Fine, Philip Manning and Gregory W H Smith
Introduction
 
PART ONE: PERSONAL REMINISCENCES
Pierre Bourdieu
Erving Goffman
Discoverer of the Infinitely Small

 
Allen D Grimshaw
Erving Goffman
A Personal Appreciation

 
Dean MacCannell
Erving Goffman (1922-1982)
P M Strong
On the Importance of Being Erving
Erving Goffman, 1922-1982

 
Dell Hymes
On Erving Goffman
Gary T Marx
Role Models and Role Distance
A Remembrance of Erving Goffman

 
Randall Collins
The Passing of Intellectual Generations
Reflections on the Death of Erving Goffman

 
Robert Erwin
The Nature of Goffman
 
PART TWO: BIOGRAPHY AND CAREER
Judith Posner
Erving Goffman
His Presentation of Self

 
Mark Oromaner
Erving Goffman and the Academic Community
Judith Posner
Rebuttal to Oromaner Paper
Paul Creelan
Vicissitudes of the Sacred
John Lofland
Erving Goffman's Sociological Legacies
Gaile McGregor
A View From the Fort
Erving Goffman as Canadian

 
Yves Winkin
Baltasound as the Symbolic Capital of Social Interaction
Jef C Verhoeven
An Interview with Erving Goffman, 1980
 
PART THREE: GOFFMAN'S SOCIOLOGY AND MODERN SOCIETY
Laurie Taylor
Erving Goffman
Alvin Gouldner
Other Symptoms of the Crisis
Goffman's Dramaturgy and Other New Theories

 
T R Young
The Politics of Sociology
Gouldner, Goffman and Garfinkel

 
Marshall Berman
Weird but Brilliant Light on the Way We Live Now
Bennett M Berger
A Fan Letter on Erving Goffman
Luc Boltanski
Erving Goffman et le Temps du Soupcon
Alan Dawe
The Underworld-View of Erving Goffman
Richard Sennett
Two on the Aisle
Peter K Manning
The Decline of Civility
A Comment on Erving Goffman's Sociology

 
Alan Bennett
Cold Sweat
Michael Schudson
Embarrassment and Erving Goffman's Idea of Human Nature
Laura Bovone
Ethics as Etiquette
The Emblematic Contribution of Erving Goffman

 
 
PART FOUR: METHODS
Daniel C Foss
Self and the Revolt Against Method
Philip Manning
Resemblances
Robin Williams
Understanding Goffman's Methods
Frank Cioffi
Stating the Obvious
What Does Erving Goffman Really Tell Us?

 
 
PART FIVE: TEXTUALITY
Robin Williams
An Appreciation of Sociological Tropes
A Tribute to Erving Goffman

 
Ricca Edmondson
Sociology, Rhetoric and Personal Communication
Paul Atkinson
Goffman's Poetics
Gary Alan Fine and Daniel D Martin
A Partisan View
Sarcasm, Satire, and Irony as Voices in Erving Goffman's Asylums

 
Patricia Ticineto Clough
Erving Goffman
Writing the End of Ethnography

 
Ira J Cohen and Mary F Rogers
Autonomy and Credibility
Voice as Method

 
Rod Watson
Reading Goffman on Interaction
 
PART SIX: CENTRAL SOCIOLOGICAL CONCERNS
 
INTERACTION
Sheldon L Messinger with Harold Sampson and Robert D Towne
Life as Theater
Some Notes on the Dramaturgic Approach to Social Reality

 
Deborah Schiffrin
Opening Encounters
Gary Alan Fine, Jeffrey L Stitt and Michael Finch
Couple Tie-Signs and Interpersonal Threat
A Field Experiment

 
Anne Warfield Rawls
The Interaction Order Sui Generis
Goffman's Contribution to Social Theory

 
Carol Brooks Gardner
Analyzing Gender in Public Places
Rethinking Goffman's Vision of Everyday Life

 
N G Hartland
Goffman's Attitude and Social Analysis
Paul Colomy and J David Brown
Goffman and Interactional Citizenship
 
Self
James M Ostrow
Spontaneous Involvement and Social Life
Alasdair MIntyre
The Self as Work of Art
Alan Ryan
Maximising, Moralising and Dramatising
Thomas Charles Hood
Character is the Fundamental Illusion
Thomas G Miller
Goffman, Positivism and the Self
Andrew Travers
Strangers to Themeselves
How Interactants are Other than They Are

 
Efrat Tseelon
Is the Presented Self Sincere?
Goffman, Impression Management and the Postmodern Self

 
Spencer E Cahill
Toward a Sociology of the Person
 
FRAMES
Fredric Jameson
On Goffman's Frame Analysis
Douglas W Maynard
Frame Analysis of Plea Bargaining
Raymond L Schmitt
Negative and Positive Keying in Natural Contexts
Preserving the Transformation Concept From Death Through Conflation

 
Avery Sharron
Frame Paralysis
When Time Stands Still

 
Paul Bouissac
Incidents, Accidents, Failures
The Representation of Negative Experience in Public Entertainment

 
Lawrence Hazelrigg
Reading Goffman's Framing as Provocation of a Discipline
 
Stigma, Mental Illness and Total Institutions
Miriam Siegler and Humphrey Osmond

 
 
Goffman's Model of Mental Illness
Nicholas Perry
The Two Cultures and the Total Institution
Roger Peel, Paul V Luisada, Mary Jo Lucas, Diane Rudisell and Deborah Taylor
Asylums Revisited
Peter Sedgwick
Psycho-Medical Dualism
The Case of Erving Goffman

 
Simon Williams
Goffman, Interactionism, and the Management of Stigma in Everyday Life
Christie Davies
Goffman's Concept of the Total Institution
Criticisms and Revisions

 
William Gronfein
Goffman's Asylums and the Social Control of the Mentally Ill
Raymond M Weinstein
Goffman's Asylums and the Total Institution Model of Mental Hospitals
 
PART SEVEN: GOFFMAN AND THE CLASSICAL TRADITION
Randall Collins
Erving Goffman and the Development of Modern Social Theory
Paul Creelan
The Degradation of the Sacred
Approaches of Cooley and Goffman

 
Gregory W H Smith
Snapshots `Sub Specie Aeternitatis'
Simmel, Goffman and Formal Sociology

 
Gary D Jaworski
Park, Doyle and Hughes
Neglected Antecedents of Goffman's Theory of Ceremony

 
Murray S Davis
Georg Simmel and Erving Goffman
Legitimators of the Sociological Investigation of Human Experience

 
 
PART EIGHT: GOFFMAN AND HIS CONTEMPORARIES
Herbert Blumer
Action vs. Interaction
Relations in Public - Microstudies of the Public Order by Erving Goffman

 
George Psathas and Frances C Waksler
Essential Features of Face-to-Face Interaction
George Gonos
`Situation' vs `Frame'
The `Interactionist' and the `Structuralist' Analyses of Everyday Life

 
J A Hall
Sincerity and Politics
`Existentialists' vs Goffman and Proust

 
Norman K Denzin and Charles M Keller
Frame Analysis Reconsidered
Erving Goffman
A Reply to Denzin and Keller
P D Ashworth
L'Enfer, c'est les Autres
Goffman's Sartrism'

 
Anthony Giddens
Goffman as a Systematic Social Theorist
Emmanuel A Schegloff
Goffman and the Analysis of Conversation
Phil Manning
Ritual Talk
Helmut Kuzmics
Embarrasment and Civilization
On Some Similarities and Differences in the Work of Goffman and Elias

 
James J Chriss
Habermas, Goffman, and Communicative Action
Implications for Professional Practice

 
Candace West
Goffman in Feminist Perspective
 
PART NINE: GOFFMAN'S INFLUENCES ON SUCCESSORS
Heinz-G[um]unter Vester
Erving Goffman's Sociology as a Semiotics of Postmodern Culture
Lauren Langman
Alienation and Everyday Life
Goffman Meets Marx at the Shopping Mall

 
Thomas Holtgraves
The Linguistic Realization of Face Management
Implications for Language Production and Comprehension, Person Perception, and Cross-Cultural Communication

 
Michael L Schwalbe
Goffman Against Postmodernism
Emotion and the Reality of the Self

 
Spencer E Cahill
Following Goffman, Following Durkheim into the Public Realm

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