Erving Goffman

Erving Goffman, 1922–82, American sociologist, b. Manville, Alta. His field research in the Shetland Islands resulted in The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life (1956), which analyzes interpersonal relations by discussing the active processes by which people make and manage their social roles. Using metaphors of the stage ( "dramaturgy" ), Goffman describes how ordinary individuals give performances, control their scripts, and enter settings that make up their lives. This active notion of "role" is often associated with the symbolist interactionist school of George Herbert Mead, which argues that humans manipulate social situations by selecting appropriate roles and by maintaining some distance from these roles. Goffman later studied deviance and the "total institution" in Asylums (1961); he later returned to patterns of communication in Frame Analysis (1974) and Forms of Talk (1981). Widely recognized for his distinctive writing style, he served as president of the American Sociological Association in 1981.

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2015, The Columbia University Press.

Erving Goffman: Selected full-text books and articles

Erving Goffman By Tom Burns Routledge, 1992
Forms of Talk By Erving Goffman University of Pennsylvania Press, 1981
Dramaturgical Analysis of Social Interaction By A. Paul Hare; Herbert H. Blumberg Praeger, 1988
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 3 "Presentation of Self"
Beyond the Enlightenment: Lives and Thoughts of Social Theorists By Roger A. Salerno Praeger, 2004
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 24 "Erving Goffman: The Drama of Self"
Psychology of the Image By Michael Forrester Routledge, 2000
Librarian’s tip: "Goffman and the Dramaturgical Self" begins on p. 86
Aspects of Confused Speech: A Study of Verbal Interaction between Confused and Normal Speakers By Pamela Shakespeare Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 1998
Librarian’s tip: "Goffman and the Interaction Order" begins on p. 6
Writing / Disciplinarity: A Sociohistoric Account of Literate Activity in the Academy By Paul A. Prior Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 1998
Librarian’s tip: "Complicating the Dyad: Erving Goffman on Participation Frameworks" begins on p. 144
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