Tag: goffman

  • The Sociology of Awkwardness: Being (very) human in a digital age

    What is awkwardness? It’s something we recognise. It’s something which is everywhere. Yet when we do think about it, it’s often seen as something trivial and mundane, representing an interruption of decorum or a warp in the texture of micro-social interaction. It’s something that can be intensely felt but is soon forgotten and, where it is not, we see […]

  • The Face in the Crowd

    I saw a wonderful exhibition this weekend, collecting work by Alex Prager combining photography and film in intricately staged hyper-real scenes. The collection that has been playing on mind since seeing it is Face In The Crowd. If you click on the screenshot below, it will take you to the website where you can see the […]

  • Erving Goffman: the rag-and-bone man of Sociology

    There’s a wonderful essay by the playwright Alan Bennet in the London Review of Books, written 35+ years ago, reflecting on his fascination with Erving Goffman’s micro-sociology. His preoccupation was with the minutiae of everyday conduct, identified and described so astutely in Goffman’s work. Sociological observations in this register highlight our commonality, helping us see that individual experiences […]

  • the one where erving goffman works as a pit boss in vegas

    A fascinating little snippet from Addiction By Design, by Natasha Dow Schüll, pg 10: This tension is at the heart of the cultural diagnosis made by the American sociologist Erving Goffman in 1967 based on his ethnographic study of gambling in Las Vegas, where he worked as a blackjack dealer and was eventually promoted to […]

  • Notes for a realist (mis)reading of Erving Goffman 1.1

    In this series of posts I’ll be performing a realist (mis)reading of Erving Goffman, a theorist of social life I find fascinating and problematic in equal measure. By (mis)reading, I mean that I intend to read Goffman for my own purposes, focusing on what I can extract from the text which furthers the development of […]

  • The Phenomenology of Reading and the Rhetoric of Theorists

    The notion of ‘clarity’ is a contested one within social theory. This was made clear to me when various posts of mine, often just embedding videos of other people speaking, attracted a lot of indignation on Twitter. There are some people who really don’t like Lacan and Žižek being criticised for their lack of clarity. The latter still […]

  • Towards a realist sociology of everyday life

    I’m planning to write a paper next year for submission to this special issue on the sociology of everyday life. One aspect of the paper is an argument that Margaret Archer’s recent work offers a rich set of conceptual resources for understanding everyday life. Another will be an attempt to address confusions about voluntarism and […]

  • Spatio-temporality and Social Structure: Or, what Realists can learn from Goffman

    If we bracket the time dimension in order to focus on hierarchically organized social space, we have to take into account that agent X, in pursuing specific goals, is faced with external institutional and figurational structures which, from his/her perspective, present a mix of manipulable and non-manipulable features or properties. This structural mix is both […]

  • Why the ethics of researching Twitter and Discussion Forum users are so different…

    Traditionally, “Public places” refer to any regions in a community freely accessible to members of that community; “private places” refer to soundproof regions where only members or invitees gather” Erving Goffman, Behaviour in Public Places, Pg 9