Interaction Ritual: Essays on Face-to-face Behavior

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Doubleday, 1967 - Social interaction - 270 pages
"From the exemplary opening essay of Interaction Ritual, "On Face-Work," -a full account of the extraordinary repertoire of maneuvers we employ in social encounters in order to "save face"-to the final, and classic, essay "Where the Action Is,"-an examination of people in risky occupations and situations: gamblers, criminals, coal miners, stock speculators-Goffman astounds us with the unexpected richness and complexity of brief encounters between people. For Goffman, as for Freud, the extreme cases are of interest because of the light they shed on the normal: The study of the trapeze artist is worthwhile because each of us is on the wire from time to time."

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About the author (1967)

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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