Interaction Ritual: Essays in Face to Face Behavior

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AldineTransaction, 2005 - Psychology - 270 pages
2 Reviews
"Not then, men and their moments. Rather, moment and their men," writes Erving Goffman in the introduction to his groundbreaking 1967 Interaction Ritual, a study of face-to-face interaction in natural settings, that class of events which occurs during co-presence and by virtue of co-presence. The ultimate behavioral materials are the glances, gestures, positionings, and verbal statements that people continuously feed into situations, whether intended or not.

A sociology of occasions is here advocated. Social organization is the central theme, but what is organized is the co-mingling of persons and the temporary interactional enterprises that can arise therefrom. A normatively stabilized structure is at issue, a "social gathering," but this is a shifting entity, necessarily evanescent, created by arrivals and killed by departures. The major section of the book is the essay "Where the Action Is," drawing on Goffman's last major ethnographic project observation of Nevada casinos.

Tom Burns says of Goffman's work "The eleven books form a singularly compact body of writing. All his published work was devoted to topics and themes which were closely connected, and the methodology, angles of approach and of course style of writing remained characteristically his own throughout. Interaction Ritual in particular is an interesting account of daily social interaction viewed with a new perspective for the logic of our behavior in such ordinary circumstances as entering a crowded elevator or bus." In his new introduction, Joel Best considers Goffman's work in toto and places Interaction Ritual in that total context as one of Goffman's pivotal works: "His subject matter was unique. In sharp contrast to the natural tendency of many scholars to tackle big, important topics, Goffman was a minimalist, working on a small scale, and concentrating on the most mundane, ordinary social contacts, on everyday life.'"

Erving Goffman was Benjamin Franklin Professor of Anthropology and Sociology at the University of Pennsylvania until his death in 1982. He is recognized as one of the world's foremost social theorists and much of his work still remains in print. AldineTransaction will reissue Asylums with a new introduction in 2006. Joel Best is chair and professor at the Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice, University of Delaware.
  

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Review: Interaction Ritual - Essays on Face-to-Face Behavior

User Review  - Jesse - Goodreads

describes certain rules that even those who scorn society are likely to respect. also a good manual for social skills Read full review

Review: Interaction Ritual - Essays on Face-to-Face Behavior

User Review  - Clay - Goodreads

There's an essay here called "Embarrassment and Social Organization." Aren't you curious? Read full review

Selected pages

Contents

Introduction
1
On FaceWork
5
The Nature of Deference and Demeanor
47
Embarrassment and Social Organization
97
Alienation from Interaction
113
Mental Symptoms and Public Order
137
Where the Action Is
149
Copyright

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About the author (2005)

Erving Goffman, an American sociologist, received his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago. He is known for his distinctive method of research and writing. He was concerned with defining and uncovering the rules that govern social behavior down to the minutest details. He contributed to interactionist theory by developing what he called the "dramaturgical approach," according to which behavior is seen as a series of mini-dramas. Goffman studied social interaction by observing it himself---no questionnaires, no research assistants, no experiments. The title of his first book, The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life (1959), became one of the themes of all of his subsequent research. He also observed and wrote about the social environment in which people live, as in his Total Institutions. He taught his version of sociology at the University of Pennsylvania; he died in 1983, the year in which he served as president of the American Sociological Association.

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