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11-04-2021 | Culture and Society | Issue 1/2021

Society 1/2021

Goffman’s Biography and the Interaction Order

Journal:
Society > Issue 1/2021
Author:
Dmitri N. Shalin
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Abstract

This essay rests on the premise that Goffman’s Behavior in Public Places can be profitably explored in light of Goffman’s own behavior in public places, and vice versa. The tentative conclusion based on available biographical accounts is that Goffman was a student of civility whose standards he flouted, that his demeanor was sometimes intentionally demeaning, his deference willfully deferred, and his incivility painfully obvious to those present. The argument is made that Goffman’s infringements on the interaction order were strategic, systematic, theoretically significant, and worthy of close study by interactionist sociologists.

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