Misgivings about Goffman : social structure, power and politics in the work of Erving Goffman

Smith, GWH ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-9496-434X and Jacobsen, MH 2019, 'Misgivings about Goffman : social structure, power and politics in the work of Erving Goffman' , in: Critical and Cultural Interactionism: Insights from Sociology and Criminology , Routledge, London, pp. 12-29.

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The purpose of this chapter is to excavate and explore some of the critical potential in the work of Erving Goffman. Even though Goffman is often depicted as an apolitical microsociologist with no genuine understanding of power or social conflict, this chapter critically engages with some of these misgivings about Goffman. This is done through an outlining of his perspective on topics such as social structure, power and politics. It is shown that Goffman in fact does touch upon these issues in his work on the ‘interaction order’ with its focus on face-to-face interaction and interaction rituals either explicitly or more implicitly. The chapter concludes that although Goffman did neither pay any particular nor any sustained attention to such topics (at least not compared to many other sociologists writing during his time), he nevertheless provided the discipline of sociology with some insights into the themes of social structure, power and politics that subsequent interpreters and users of his work have been able to elaborate and expand on.

Item Type: Book Section
Editors: Jacobsen, MH
Additional Information: This is an Accepted Manuscript of a book chapter published by Routledge on 21st March 2019, available online via the Official URL above.
Schools: Schools > School of Health and Society > Centre for Applied Research in Health, Welfare and Policy
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 9781138306233 (hbk.); 9781315141640 (ebk.)
Related URLs:
Depositing User: GWH Smith
Date Deposited: 25 Feb 2019 14:14
Last Modified: 16 Feb 2022 00:28
URI: http://usir.salford.ac.uk/id/eprint/49661

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