HideShow resource information


1. Sociology and common sense

a. Empirical investigation and clear concepts

b. Focus on social change and social stability

c. The relationship between the individuals and the collective

2. The sociological imagination

3. Everyday interaction

1 of 6

Erving Goffman

  • Incredibly clear writer
  • Self-centered, right-wing
  • Unpleasant to colleagues

Interest in 2 areas:

1. Works on ritual and rules

a. 'The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life' (1959)

b. 'Encounters' (1961)

c. 'Asylums' (1961)

d. 'Stigma' (1963)

e. 'Interaction Ritual' (1967)

f. 'Frame Analysis' (1974)

g. 'Gender Advertisements' (1979)

2. Works on everyday interaction

a. 'Behaviour in Public Places' (1963)

b. 'Strategic Interaction' (1969)

c. 'Relations in Public' (1971)

d. 'Forms of Talk' (1981)

2 of 6

Key assumptions

1. People know (some of) what they are doing

2. Everyday life requires co-ordination and co-operation

3. People prefer to be thought well of

4. Everyday life takes place in space and time

5. Everyday life takes place in local orders

6. Rules are drawn on - they don't determine what people do

7. An emphasis, therefore, on how things get done (not what things, why, etc.)

3 of 6

Habit and improvisation

1. Improvisation

a. Life is complex

b. Life is changeable

c. Life is unpredictable

d. Memory is fallible

2. Habit and routine

a. Can't do everything from scratch

b. Creates the 'background' for improvisation

4 of 6

Some specific concepts

1. The presentation of self and impression management

2. Front stage and back stage

3. Face work

4. Tact and collusion

5. Stigma: information given and information given off

6. Use of metaphors and analogies ('cooling the mark out')

7. Interaction rituals

8. Territories

9. Frames

10. Civil inattention

11. Scanning and body checking

5 of 6


1. Too descriptive...

2. Ignores social structure...

3. Views people cynically...

4. Not a coherent theory...

6 of 6


No comments have yet been made

Similar Sociology resources:

See all Sociology resources »See all Lecture 4: Negotiating Everyday Life resources »