Contemporary articles citing Goffman E (1983) Am Sociol Rev
concept, order, interaction, goffman, approach, epistemological, often, insights, situated, interactional
- Fine, Gary. 2010. "The Sociology of the Local: Action and Its Publics." Sociological Theory. 28:4 355-376.
- Sociology requires a robust theory of how local circumstances create social order. When we analyze social structures not recognizing that they depend on groups with collective pasts and futures that are spatially situated and that are based on personal relations, we avoid a core sociological dimension: the importance of local context in constituting social worlds. Too often this has been the sociological stance, both in micro-sociological studies that examine interaction as untethered from local traditions and in research that treats culture as autonomous from action and choice. Building on theories of action, group dynamics, and micro-cultures, I argue that a sociology of the local solves critical theoretical problems. The local is a stage on which social order gets produced and a lens for understanding how particular forms of action are selected. Treating ethnographic studies as readings of ongoing cultures, I examine how the continuing and referential features of group life (spatial arenas, relations, shared pasts) generate action and argue that local practices provide the basis for cultural extension, influencing societal expectations through the linkages among groups.
- Reich, Wendelin. 2010. "Three Problems of Intersubjectivity-and One Solution." Sociological Theory. 28:1 40-63.
- Social thinkers often use the concept of intersubjectivity to mark out a problem of theoretical sociology: If people are unable to look into each others' minds, why do they often understand each other nonetheless? This issue has been debated extensively by philosophers and sociologists in three largely disconnected discourses. The article investigates the three discourses for isolable ideas that can be fitted into a sociological answer to the problem of intersubjectivity. An interactional solution, fully coherent with key insights from the discourses, is offered at the end of the article. Its main point is to identify coordinative interactional mechanisms that compel participants to ``make themselves understandable'' vis-a-vis their interaction partners.
- Borch, Christian. 2009. "Body to Body: on the Political Anatomy of Crowds." Sociological Theory. 27:3 271-290.
- This article challenges the negative image that, since the late 19th century, has been associated with crowds, and it does so by focusing on a number of bodily-anatomic aspects of crowd behavior. I first demonstrate that the work of one of the leading crowd psychologists, Gustave Le Bon, instigated a racist body politics. As a contrast to Le Bon's political program, I examine Walt Whitman's poetry and argue that the crowd may embody a democratic vision that emphasizes the social and political import of sexuality and body-to-body contact. Further, I dispute classical crowd theory's idea of an antagonistic relationship between crowds and individuality. Following Elias Canetti, I claim instead that the bodily compression of crowds in fact liberates individuals and creates a democratic transformation. The analysis results in a rehabilitation of crowds and briefly suggests how a reinterpretation of crowd behavior may inform current debates in social theory.
- Hitlin, Steven & Glen Elder. 2007. "Time, Self, and the Curiously Abstract Concept of Agency." Sociological Theory. 25:2 170-191.
- The term ``agency'' is quite slippery and is used differently depending on the epistemological roots and goals of scholars who employ it. Distressingly, the sociological literature on the concept rarely addresses relevant social psychological research. We take a social behaviorist approach to agency by suggesting that individual temporal orientations are underutilized in conceptualizing this core sociological concept. Different temporal foci-the actor's engaged response to situational circumstances-implicate different forms of agency. This article offers a theoretical model involving four analytical types of agency (''existential,'' ``identity,''''pragmatic,'' and ``life course'') that are often conflated across treatments of the topic. Each mode of agency overlaps with established social psychological literatures, most notably about the self, enabling scholars to anchor overly abstract treatments of agency within established research literatures.
- Ryan, Dan. 2006. "Getting the Word Out: Notes on the Social Organization of Notification." Sociological Theory. 24:3 228-254.
- Even when the timing, sequence, and manner of notification are instrumentally inconsequential, how one conveys information affects the meaning of the telling. This article introduces the concepts of ``notification norms'' and the ``information order,'' showing how the former constrain the behavior of nodes in social networks as well as enabling manipulation of the relationships that comprise those networks. ``Notification'' is defined as information transmission motivated by role obligations and notification norms as social rules that govern such transmission. These rules produce patterns of information dissemination different from what individual volition would yield and from what technology makes possible. The capacity to wield a socially sanctioned repertoire of notification rules is a learned competence. Competent notifiers must also understand the local epistemological ecology-the distribution and trajectory of information, as well as the projects, concerns, and priorities of one's fellows. This study of notification introduces the broader concept of ``the information order'' and is a first step in the project of a sociology of information.
- Hallett, T. 2003. "Symbolic Power and Organizational Culture." Sociological Theory. 21:2 128-149.
- With the recent wave of corporate scandals, organizational culture has regained relevance in politics and the media, However, to acquire enduring utility, the concept needs an overhaul to overcome the weaknesses of earlier approaches. As such, this paper reconceptualizes organizational culture as a negotiated order (Strauss 1978) that emerges through interactions between participants, an order influenced by those with the symbolic power to define the situation. I stress the complementary contributions of theorists of,practice (Bourdieu and Swidler) and theorists of interaction (Goffman and Strauss), building upward from practice into interaction, symbolic power, and the negotiated order. Using data from initial reports on the fall of Arthur Andersen and Co., I compare this symbolic power approach to other approaches (culture as subjective beliefs and values or as context/public meaning). The symbolic power model has five virtues: an empirically observable object of study; the capacity to explain conflict and integration; the ability to explain stability and change; causal efficacy; and links between the micro-, meso-, and macrolevels of analysis. Though this paper focuses on organizational culture, the symbolic power model provides theoretical leverage for understanding many situated contexts.
- Misztal, BA. 2001. "Normality and Trust in Goffman's Theory of Interaction Order." Sociological Theory. 19:3 312-324.
- The article asserts that Goffman's concept of normality comes close to the notion of trust as a protective mechanism that prevents chaos and disorder by providing us with feelings of safety, certainty, and familiarity. Arguing that to account for the tendency of social order to be seen as normal we need to conceptualize trust as the routine background of everyday interaction, the article analyzes Goffmans concepts of normal appearances, stigma, and frames as devices for endowing social order with predictability, reliability, and legibility. For Goffman, normality is a collective achievement, which is possible because of the orderliness of interactional activities, which is-in turn-predicated ``on a large base of shared cognitive presuppositions, if not normative ones, and self-sustained restraints''.
- Rawls, AW. 2000. "``race'' as an Interaction Order Phenomenon: W.e.b. Du Bois's ``double Consciousness'' Thesis Revisited''." Sociological Theory. 18:2 241-274.
- This article reports on a study of interaction between Americans who self-identify as Black and White that reveals underlying expectations with regard to conversation that differ between the two groups. These differences seem not to have much to do with class or gender, but rather vary largely according to self-identification by ``race''. The argument of this paper will be that the social phenomena of ``race'' are constructed at the level of interaction whenever Americans self-identified as Black and White speak to one another. This is because the Interaction Order expectations with regard to both self and community vary between the two groups. Because the ``language games'' and conversational Orders, the ``working consensus'' is substantially different and as a consequence,conversational ``moves'' are not recognizably the same. It will be argued that a great deal of institutional discrimination against African Americans can be traced to this source.
- Vandenberghe, F. 1999. "``the Real Is Relational'': an Epistemological Analysis of Pierre Bourdieu's Generative Structuralism." Sociological Theory. 17:1 32-67.
- An internal reconstruction and an immanent critique of Bourdieu's generative structuralism is presented. Rather than starting with the concept of ``habitus,'' as is usually done, the article tries to systematically reconstruct Bourdieu's theory by an analysis of the relational logic that permeates his whole work. Tracing the debt Bourdieu's approach owes to Bachelard's rationalism and Cassirer's relationalism, the article examines Bourdieu's epistemological writings of the 1960s and 70s. It tries to make the case that Bourdieu's sociological metascience represents a rationalist version of Bhaskar's critical realism, and enjoins Bourdieu to give heed to the realist turn in the philosophy of the natural and the social sciences. The article shows how Bourdieu's epistemological assumptions are reflected in his primary theoretical constructs of ``habitus `` and ``field.'' To concretize their discussion, it analyzes Bourdieu's reinterpretation of Weber in his theory of the field of religion and of the young Mannheim in his theory of the scientific field.
- Cahill, SE. 1998. "Toward a Sociology of the Person." Sociological Theory. 16:2 131-148.
- This paper proposes a sociology of the person that focuses upon the socially defined, publicly visible beings of intersubjective experience. I argue that the sociology of the person proposed by Durkheim and Mauss is more accurately described as a sociology of institutions of the person and neglects both folk or ethnopsychologies of personhood and the international production of persons. I draw upon the work of Goffman to develop a sociology of the person concerned with means, processes, and relations of person production. I also propose that the work of Goffman, Foucault, and others provides insights into the contemporary technology of person production and into how its control and use affects relations of person production. I conclude with a brief outline of the theoretical connections among institutions of the person, folk psychologies, the social constitution of the person, and the prospect of a distinctively sociological psychology.